For Midshipman Amanda Fowler, the toughest challenge over the past five months was adapting to military life and meeting strict dress and bearing protocols.

The aspiring maritime warfare officer recently graduated from the Navy’s New Entry Officers Course (NEOC) 64 at the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay, New South Wales. 

She was one of 173 trainees who graduated the intensive residential course, which provided the trainees with the tools to become an effective leader both at sea and ashore.

Originally from Brisbane, Midshipman Fowler said the NEOC provided a great foundation that would set her up for future studies in the maritime warfare profession.

“It has been a great learning experience – five months of building friendships within our divisions and now we are moving into new training and new teams,” Midshipman Fowler said.

“The most challenging aspects have been adapting to military life from being a civilian and consistently meeting the high standards of dress, bearing and behaviour – things like learning drill and living with a new group of people.

“But we are all excited to start focusing on our primary qualification training over the next few years.”

The initial course also taught trainees combat survivability, including firefighting and flood safety, practical leadership techniques, communications skills, basic mariner skills, weapons handling and physical training.

Midshipman Fowler has commenced studies in the Maritime Warfare Officers Course at HMAS Watson and will spend the next two years learning the fundamentals of managing a warship at sea.