Four firsts for Navy's new rate

27 December 2022

Able Seaman William Scott is the first sailor to be recruited, employed, promoted and deployed, paving the way for other maritime logistics – general mariners (GM).

From Thursday to Saturday, Able Seaman Scott juggles his university studies with instructing gym classes.

When he steps off the fitness mat, he spends the remainder of the week as a GM.

The new rate currently has 32 personnel, all reservists who undertake a wide range of roles.

GMs were established in December 2021 after increased Defence support to crisis like COVID-19 stretched full-time ADF resources.

They have no training continuum beyond recruit training, making the role flexible.

Earlier this year Able Seaman Scott was an office manager for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 at Fleet Base East, and later deployed to support maritime logistics in Singapore.

He said the rate would benefit those looking for flexible, part-time or full-time employment.

“It has incredible opportunities for deployments and exercises whilst generating strong connections with sailors and officers,” he said.

Lieutenant Commander Lisa-Jo Laing, GM workgroup planner at Future Navy Workforce Branch, said the rate could be employed in various elements.

“You could be used at port services for wharf preparation, conduct transport activities, administrative duties, assist in security and checkpoint duties, ceremonial activities, and any general duties in support of ADF operations, humanitarian and natural disasters,” Lieutenant Commander Laing said.

The main transfer method into the category is through the completion of the Gap Year.

If the sailor chooses not to sign on to permanent Navy, it is an automatic transfer to GM.

There is also an option to transfer to GM on the 50th day of recruit school, or if they are unsuccessful at category training.

Lieutenant Commander Laing said it was an opportunity to harness a capability that otherwise slipped through the cracks.

“A lot of GMs are university students, so they are out there continuing to develop their own education and improving their skill bases, which can only be advantageous if they choose to come back into the Defence Force on completion of study,” Lieutenant Commander Laing said.

“The GM can earn over $180 per day tax free.”



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