Warrant Officer of the Navy

The Warrant Officer of the Navy (WON), is responsible to the Chief of Navy (CN), and is entitled to exercise command over all other Sailors in the RAN.

The WON's primary duty is to represent to CN and others the solicited and unsolicited views, concerns and opinions of Sailors, which affect the Navy as a whole. WON provides administrative advice and input to the CN of any need to review regulations or conditions of service, monitors the effectiveness of the Divisional System, and guides Warrant Officers and Senior Sailors messes on matters of administration, and protocol. WON maintains a close working relationship with the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army and the Warrant Officer of the Air Force.

The WON is the senior non-commissioned representative of personnel at significant ceremonial occasions, functions, and civil receptions. In addition to being a permanent member of formal advisory groups and councils, WON is also a Director on the Boards of Navy Health Pty Ltd.

Warrant Officer Andrew Bertoncin

Key appointments

Warrant Officer of the Navy (2022 - present)


WO Andrew “Bert” Bertoncin, OAM, joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1988 as a Radio Operator. On completion of his training at HMAS Cerberus, he served in his first Fleet unit HMAS Swan.

During his service as a junior sailor, he served in the Minor War Vessel community in HMAS Tarakan and Bunbury, and ashore in key strategic communications centres. Promotion to senior sailor saw incorporation into the Communication Information Systems (CIS) category and a return to service in Major Fleet Units with two postings to HMAS Arunta. A highlight of his service in Arunta was the award of the Peter Mitchell Prize as the most outstanding senior sailor of the year in 2005.

Promotion to WO in 2007 led to a wide range of CIS manager roles including Operations WO (OPSWO) Defence Communications Area Master Station, Officer-in-Charge Defence Communications Station Perth, and the OPSWO position in the Force Communication Unit deployed in the Middle Eastern Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper.

Altering the course of his career he took the opportunity to serve as a Command Warrant Officer (CWO) in HMAS Sirius, Stirling and the Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic, and Patrol Force. WO Bertoncin undertook the responsibilities of the WA Alcohol and Drug Program Coordinator where he achieved a Diploma in Alcohol and Drug Counselling.

WO Bertoncin was awarded the OAM in the 2016 Queens Honour’s List for his service to the Communications category and as the CWO of Sirius.

In February 2021, WO Bertoncin was appointed to the role of CWO Fleet Command. While serving in this positon WO Bertoncin completed the Royal Australian Navy Staff Acquaint course at the Australian Command and Staff College, Canberra.

In December 2022 WO Bertoncin was appointed as the Royal Australian Navy’s tenth Warrant Officer of the Navy.