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, AM, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1986 as an electronics technician at HMAS Cerberus. He was commissioned as a naval officer in 1988 and is a graduate of the RAN...

List of Previous Chiefs of Navy

VADM Sir Roy Russell Dowling
(1955-1959)

Vice Admiral Sir Roy Russell Dowling

Roy Russell Dowling was born on 28 May 1901 at Condong, on the Tweed River, NSW. He was the sixth child of Russell Dowling, sugar-cane inspector, and his wife Lily Jane (née Ingram). In 1915 Dowling...

VADM Sir John Augustine Collins
(1948-1955)

Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins

John Augustine Collins was born in Deloraine, Tasmania, on 7 January 1899. He was the son of the late Dr MJ Collins and Mrs Collins, and a brother of Dale Collins, the Australian novelist. He was one...

Colvin, Sir Ragnar Musgrave
(1937-1941)

Admiral Sir Ragnar Musgrave Colvin

Ragnar Musgrave Colvin was born on 7 May 1882 at Whitehall, London, son of Clement Sneyd Colvin, civil servant, and his wife Alice Jane, née Lethbridge. He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in HMS...

(1931-1937)

Admiral Sir George Francis Hyde

George Francis Hyde was born at Portsmouth on 19 July 1877. At the age of 17 he went to sea as an Apprentice in the steel clipper Mount Stewart, completing several round voyages from London to Sydney...

VADM Sir William Rooke Creswell
(1904-1919)

Vice Admiral Sir William Rooke Creswell

William Rooke Creswell was born on 20 July 1852 at Gibraltar, son of Edmund Creswell, the colony’s deputy-postmaster-general, and his wife Margaret Mary Ward, née Fraser. Educated at Aitken's Private...

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