Rear Admiral Raydon William Gates

Commander Australian Fleet (2002 - 2004)

Raydon Gates entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1972 as a senior entry Midshipman and graduated in 1974.

His early career was spent primarily at sea serving in more than 15 ships with two postings to the United Kingdom for specialist warfare training. His sea service culminated with the command of the guided missile frigates HMAS Canberra in 1991-93 and HMAS Adelaide 1995-97. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) for his command of Canberra during an operational deployment to the Middle East, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. He was awarded the French Order of Maritime Merit for his command of Adelaide during the Southern Ocean rescue of the stricken Vendee Globe yachtsman, Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore.

His shore postings have included operational and personnel positions in Sydney and Canberra in various headquarters.

Rear Admiral Gates has been awarded a Masters Degree in Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies, and a Diploma of Company Directorship. He is a graduate of a number of strategic leadership management programs from Mt Eliza Management College, Australian Graduate School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard University.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral in January 2001 and appointed as the inaugural Commander of the Australian Defence College in Canberra, responsible for joint staff training of officers from O-1 to the O-6 rank levels. He was Maritime Commander Australia July 2002 to June 2004 responsible for the entire Australian Fleet. He commanded the Fleet during the Iraq War and the continuing Global War on Terror. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2005 Australia Day Honours List for his distinguished service as a Flag Officer. Rear Admiral Gates was accredited as the Australian Defence Attaché and Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington) from August 2004 to July 2008. He was awarded the United States Legion of Merit for meritorious service as the Defence Attaché. Rear Admiral Gates retired from the Royal Australian Navy in November 2008 after a career of 37 years.