Eden’s Christine Stone has completed 10 challenging weeks at recruit school at the Royal Australian Navy. Development and training was held in extreme conditions like icy water, on high ropes, with weaponry in solitary and as a team.
After graduating in late August, Miss Stone is now on a 10 week training course specialising in maritime logistics, known as a writer, where she will work for the commanding officer of the ship and also deal with crew’s pay, leave and travel. She is also excited to be part of the ship’s medical emergency team when at sea.
Miss Stone’s family and close friends celebrated with her on graduation day at HMAS Cerberus and look forward to following her career.
In her words:
With the intentions to join as a Medic Sailor I re-submitted my application, however there were no positions available. At that time I was working in Perth in the Human Resources field and decided to take a Maritime Logistics - Personnel position also known as a Writer, which involves working with the sailors and officers dealing with their pay, leave, travel concerns also working for the commanding officer of the ship. Excitingly I will also be apart of the ships medical emergency team while out at sea.
I joined the RAN as a Maritime Logistics Personnel (ML-P) Sailor on 17th June 2013 and was part of the first Ship Division which was replaced from Waller Division. My time at recruit school went rather quickly as each day was jammed packed with instruction.
From day one there was not a minute to waste, within our first two weeks we had attended many briefs, participated in the first physical fitness tests, RAN Swim test, received our uniform kit up, immunisations, dental introductory and commenced our learning modules. We also completed one of our first milestones within our division, the Shakedown. The Shakedown is designed to see how far we can be pushed as a team rather than individuals. This involved a 4km run formed up in a squad around the base followed by many push ups and sit ups. After completing the Shakedown we then received our Divisional patches which identified our division as one.
In weeks 3 & 4 we completed the high ropes course which was another day of team building and finding your inner confidence and mental strength. We also completed the Unit Readiness Evaluation URE which was a day of team building, lots of physical activity and team formation. Also in this week we sat through our first major exam testing our knowledge of RAN rules and traditions.
Week 5 we were sent on our first outside instruction (out the gates of Recruit School onto the wider base of HMAS Cerberus) we attended the Survival at Sea training which involved conducting the RAN safety jump into the freezing cold water and climbing into a 25 man safety raft. We also did a capsized RHIB escape, also in the freezing cold water.
Week 6 We completed First Aid training instructed by a leading medic then went out to sea on a civilian ship for three days where we got the feel of living on a ship rocking from side to side while lying in your rack trying to fall to sleep ready for your midnight duty. It was interesting out on the ship, this made me appreciate my partner's job a lot more and now I know what its like for him when he goes away on trips, even though his trips are much longer than three days.
Week 7 We commenced our first week of weapons training with F88 Austeyr rifles. This week was very stressful as a safety breach can be made at any time, so we had to be focused every second.
Week 8 Fire fighting and damage control was a very full on and physically demanding week. Our class did fire fighting first which involved getting kitted up in the huge fire fighting suits, helmets and the very heavy breathing apparatus strapped to our backs. Once kitted up we then had to carry the heavy fire fighting hose and handle into the a simulated fire down a ladder bay and proceed to fight the fire. This was very demanding on every muscle, though we all pushed through to have the fire controlled.
We then did damage control, which was controlling damage to the ship which resulted in flooding. In a simulated ship we had to locate the damaged compartments, report them and with a response team go down and control the damage while the compartment is vastly being filled with cold water. This was hard work though enjoyable to see all of our team working as one to fight against the water flooding in.
Week 9 was our final week of weapons training where we went to the range and shot live rounds, I was glad when that was over as I was terrified I would safety breach. Though that never happened.
Week 10 we completed our final physical fitness test and our last major exam. We also completed the Military Readiness Evaluation MRE which was literally a full day of physical and mental fitness with the intention to see how we perform under pressure. At one stage I thought my legs had stopped working as they became numb, of course they were still there it was just my mind playing games.
Week 11 was painful as we literally did parade practise all week with the weapons which are quite heavy after a long period. Even though we were in pain and sick of the repetition there was something there that kept us going, I think it was the imagination of graduation day and picturing my parents and partner in the crowd. Graduation day was amazing, it went very quickly but I was so happy to see my partner who was also in uniform which was cute, my family, parents in law and one of my best friends who surprised.
After graduating Recruit School we are now trainees and have been sent to our own category schools. I am currently on a 10 week Maritime Logistics - Personnel course. I will then find out where my first posting will be when I put my training to use and finally be working out in the fleet. Fingers crossed I get to join my partner at HMAS Albatross.