Our People in SAAlexander Evans - You're never too old to give it a go
That is the message Lieutenant Alexander ‘Jim’ Evans would like to convey to anyone interested in joining the Australian Defence Forces.
At the tender age of 49, the Adelaide native decided to enter the Royal Australian Navy as a direct entry Nursing Officer.
“I thought initial training would be like ‘Full Metal Jacket’ but I had a great time and found it really enjoyable,” Jim said.
Married with six children and 2 grandchildren, Jim was involved for many years with Training Ship (TS) Noarlunga, his local Navy cadets unit.
Two of his sons, Peter and Philip Jaensch, attended the cadets unit and both are now in the Navy as well. He also has a son-in-law in the Royal Australian Air Force.
“Seeing the positive effect the cadets had on the boys certainly influenced my decision to join the Navy. I was also looking for the possibility to extend my clinical knowledge in a professionally supportive environment, travel and provide assistance in humanitarian and operational circumstances.”
It is safe to say that Jim’s these goals have been met in only a couple of short years.
After graduating from his training at HMAS Creswell Jim was posted to HMAS Penguin on Sydney’s North Shore. A nurse for 26 years, primarily at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, he is now a surgical trauma nurse with the Marine Role 2 Enhanced unit – on 48 hours notice to deploy as part of a surgical team afloat.
In 2009 Jim deployed with Operation Padang Assist, the Australian Defence Force’s month-long mission to help people affected by a major earthquake in Indonesia, onboard HMAS Kanimbla and has undertaken various military exercises, mainly in Queensland.
He is now onboard the USS Cleveland, an amphibious transport ship, as part of the US- led humanitarian aid mission Pacific Partnership.“Being a member of Pacific Partnership 2011 has fully vindicated my decision to join the Navy. I love the opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance in this way,” Jim said.