Anyone who's been on the flight deck of HMAS Choules first thing in the morning or late afternoon has heard physical training instructor Leading Seaman Justin Heard urge on a dedicated crew of exercisers.

His training sessions have attracted a loyal following of ship's company wanting to reach their fitness goals. 

Growing up in the coastal town of Redcliffe north of Brisbane, Leading Seaman Heard played for local rugby league team the Redcliffe Dolphins and the nearby soccer team the Power, and from an early age kept up a constant regime of fitness and exercise. 

He worked as an instructor at the local fitness centre but wanted the stability of a Defence job and began his Navy career in in 2014 as a combat systems operator before becoming an instructor. 

“Early on I knew I wanted to become a physical training instructor so when the opportunity came I grabbed it,” Leading Seaman Heard said. 

“The six-month PTI course at HMAS Cerberus is one of the highlights of my time in Navy along with my current posting to Choules.” 

Leading Seaman Heard said he had always been committed to training. 

“I started training when I was 15 and I wouldn't have had more than a few days off in the past 10 years. I am happy to do my own sessions but if I see one of the crew training I'll sometimes jump in and join them,” he said. 

“One of the most rewarding parts of running PT classes is when you see someone join for the first time and watch as they gradually improve and feel better about themselves." 

When Leading Seaman Heard is not leading his sessions, he can be found leading the Standing Sea Fire and Emergency party, providing the initial response for damage control exercises and incidents on the ship.