For Navy midshipman Jordana McLeod of Cowra it was a big step swapping her ballet slippers for boots when she joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Logistics Officer.
Currently undertaking the Navy’s New Entry Officers Course, 19-year-old Jordana has joined HMAS Choules along with fellow course members for a sea training deployment to Auckland, New Zealand.
She has come a long way since graduating Cowra High School in 2013 and has said she is excited for her first taste of sea time with the Navy and is eager to expand her knowledge of the ship.
"I am particularly interested in spending some time with the ships supply department as it is where my role will take me once I have graduated from the Naval College." Jordana said.
Although MIDN McLeod admits she misses her family and her time at the Cowra Dance School she said it was worthwhile sacrifice for the experiences she has received.
"Seeing how people cope at sea is also a particular focus of mine, especially being away from friends and family."
All New Entry Officers undertake a two to four week sea training deployment as a part of their training to experience life at sea as a sailor.
"It is good to be able to see the connection and working relationships between sailors and officers, I think my time onboard Choules will be very valuable in shaping my leadership style," she said.
Jordana said her new career in the Navy couldn’t be more different from her old job at the Wyangala Waters General Store.
"The past four months have been a lot of fun and have included a number of experiences I would have never had otherwise," she said.
"I have learnt fire fighting, how to fire a weapon, abseiling, combat survivor ability and that’s just the start of it!"
Choules visited New Zealand as part of training program for over 100 embarked Junior Officers currently undertaking their NEOC.
Choules is a Royal Australian Navy Landing Ship Dock class capable of amphibious operations and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief throughout the region.
Jordana and the other members of NEOC 50 will graduate on 28 June 2014 at the Royal Australian Navy College, HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay.