AT 18, Joel Bulley is set for the adventure of a lifetime.
The former Shoalhaven High student completed his initial officer training at HMAS Creswell in June and is about to launch his naval career.
The midshipman, who was born and bred in Nowra, is now undertaking initial single service training at HMAS Albatross before starting his aeronautical engineering degree at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in the New Year.
Although being born into a navy family, with his father Terry being a lieutenant commander in the reserves and formally stationed at HMAS Albatross, he said it was a chat with current
personnel that really sealed his decision.
“I always knew that my dad was in the navy but never really knew what he did,” he said.
“But it was my chat with Leading Seaman Jan Gilmour who is a staff member for the Navy Domestic Engagement Program who explained to me there were many options available for a career in navy.
“My passion was stirred and it inspired me.”
After undertaking his aptitude testing at the Wollongong recruiting office he decided on officer training, to study aeronautical engineering.
“Eventually I will be able to work within a squadron, overseeing the maintenance programs on one of our helicopter types,” he said.
“Ideally, I would love to work with the new Romeo Seahawk helicopters.”
Since passing out he has gone to the training department at HMAS Albatross, which has seen him complete tasks that will help him at ADFA, as well as the HEUT course at the base’s helicopter escape underwater training facility.
He has also undertaken a number of outdoor expeditions that involved leadership and teamwork tasks.
He has also toured the base’s squadrons.
“It’s all about furthering our experiences and training in the time between finishing officer training and starting our degrees,” he said.
“I start at ADFA in February to undertake my degree which will take four years.”
He is also still harbouring his dream of one day becoming a pilot.
“That would be the ultimate,” he said.
“But I want to complete my engineering degree as well.”
While he is also undertaking his studies he will also continue his military training.
“And when we have time off at the end of university semesters we come back to Albatross to continue our training,” he said.
Midshipman Bulley encouraged any local students thinking of a career in the navy to take advantage of the local school courses that are held at Albatross and Creswell.
“It’s a great opportunity to see what careers are available in the navy,” he said.
“It gives you a great insight into what a life in the navy may be like and the many career opportunities within the Navy – there are heaps of opportunities.
“At the end of the day if you decide it is not for you, you have lost nothing, had a great experience and gained some extra skills and will no doubt meet some great people who will end up as lifelong friends from other local schools.”
UPWARD TRAJECTORY: Midshipman Joel Bulley is currently based at HMAS Albatross, looking forward to starting his studies at ADFA in the New Year.
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