The graduation of the latest junior Navy officers capped off a record year for the Royal Australian Naval College, with 297 new officers.

The 134 newest junior officers to graduate at HMAS Creswell as part of New Entry Officers Course (NEOC) 61, including five international graduates, marched proudly on to the Parade Ground on November 28, wearing their ceremonial uniforms in front of family and friends.

Commanding Officer of  Creswell, Captain Warren Bairstow, said their training would soon be tested after they completed their application courses and became junior leaders throughout the fleet.

“The men and women of NEOC 61 have gone from being civilians, and in some cases junior sailors, just a few short months ago to officers and leaders ready to serve at sea,” Captain Bairstow said.

“We’ve challenged and developed their mental aptitude, physical fitness and strength of character and they leave us equipped with the skills and attitudes of effective junior naval officers.”

“They will soon represent Australia on operations and exercises around the world and be responsible for protecting Australia and its interests in a fighting navy and a cutting-edge fleet.”

Graduating Midshipman George Capelas said NEOC had been one of the most challenging events of his life.

“It has been incredibly satisfying to see myself and my fellow trainees develop into young naval officers eager to step out into the fleet with pride and meet the next challenge,” Midshipman Capelas said.

Fellow graduate Sub Lieutenant Alessandro Zanda said the five-month course had been testing.

“It has pushed my endurance further than expected," Sub Lieutenant  Zanda said.

“Throughout the course I have developed professionally, personally and I have experienced opportunities that I would never have otherwise been given.”