Chief of Navy Australia

Chief of Navy Australia Badge

The Chief of Navy Australia is the most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy. The rank associated with the position is Vice Admiral (3-star). The Chief of Navy Australia (CN) has overall command of the RAN and all uniformed naval personnel, regardless of where they work in Defence. Additionally, the Chief of Navy Australia is the principal naval adviser on strategic affairs and provides advice to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) on current capability, military affairs and future capability development; and also represents the RAN on various higher defence committees.

The Chief of Navy Australia is responsible to Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of the Department of Defence, for:

  • Providing naval forces that:
    • contribute to the ADF’s capability to ensure the defence of Australia and its direct approaches
    • contribute to the security of Australia’s nearer region
    • support Australia’s wider regional interests and a rules based global order
  • Raising, training and sustaining naval forces by proper stewardship of human, financial and environmental resources
  • Providing timely and accurate advice to the government on strategic direction and military capability of both the current and future force.

The Chief of Navy Australia delegates responsibilities to five principal subordinates within Navy Strategic Command and Fleet Command. These are:

  • Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy People Training and Resources (DCN / HNPTAR)
  • Head Navy Capability (HNC)
  • Head Navy Engineering Regulation, Certification and Safety (HNE)
  • Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT or Fleet Commander)
  • Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N).

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, AM, RAN assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on 6 July 2022.

Public speeches given by the Chief Of Navy Australia are available in either HTML or PDF format.

VADM Mark Hammond

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1986 as an Electronics Technician, before commissioning as a Naval Officer in 1988. Graduating from the Australian Defence Force...

List of Previous Chiefs of Navy

VADM Michael Noonan
(2018 - 2022)

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Naval College in 1984 and graduated in 1986 with a Diploma of Applied Science. He trained as a Seaman Officer and then subsequently...

VADM Tim Barrett
(2014 - 2018)

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a Seaman Officer and later specialised in aviation. A dual-qualified officer, Vice Admiral Barrett served in His...

VADM Ray Griggs
(2011 - 2014)

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs was born in Homebush NSW in 1961. He joined the Adelaide Port Division of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve in 1978 as a radio operator and entered the Royal Australian Naval...

VADM Russ Crane
(2008 - 2011)

Vice Admiral Russell Harry Crane

Russell Harry 'Russ' Crane was born in Southport, Queensland on 11 June 1954 and began his naval career as a Junior Recruit at HMAS Leeuwin in 1970, training as an Electrical Mechanic in aircraft...

VADM Russ Shalders
(2005 - 2008)

Vice Admiral Russell Edward Shalders

Russell Edward (Russ) Shalders joined the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay from Victoria in 1967. After sea training he undertook Operations and Weapons courses in the United Kingdom. On...

VADM Christopher Angus Ritchie
(2002 - 2005)

Vice Admiral Christopher Angus Ritchie

Christopher 'Chris' Angus Ritchie was born in East Melbourne, Victoria on 16 January 1949. Chris Ritchie graduated from the RAN College at Jervis Bay in 1968. He received further training at sea and...

VADM David John Shackleton
(1999 - 2002)

Vice Admiral David John Shackleton

David Shackleton was born in Leeds, UK on 2 March 1948.  He joined the RAN from Adelaide in March 1966 as a Supplementary List seaman officer, becoming the youngest Midshipman of SLEX 3/66.  After...

Vice Admiral Donald Chalmers
(1997 - 1999)

Vice Admiral Donald Bruce Chalmers

Donald Bruce Chalmers was born in Young, NSW on 29 April 1942 and entered the Royal Australian Naval College in January 1958. He graduated from the college in December 1960 and proceeded to sea in...

Vice Admiral Rodney Taylor
(1994 - 1997)

Vice Admiral Rodney Graham Taylor

Rodney Graham Taylor was born at Toowoomba, Queensland on 11 June 1940 and joined the RAN as a 13-year old junior entry cadet midshipman in 1954. He undertook his initial training at the Royal...


Vice Admiral Ian Donald George MacDougall

Ian Donald George MacDougall was born in Sydney on 23 February 1938 and joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a 15-year old Cadet Midshipman in January 1954. He graduated the following year...