Commander Andrew Pepper

CMDR Andrew Pepper

Commander Andrew Pepper, CSC, RAN was born in Port Huon, Tasmania. He commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1999, and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics and Information Systems.

Sub Lieutenant Pepper undertook Seaman Officer specialisation training in HMA Ships Ipswich and Newcastle, culminating in the award of his Bridge Warfare Certificate in 2004. Subsequently, Lieutenant Pepper served on HMAS Sydney. During these periods at sea he deployed on Operations CRANBERRY, RELEX II, CATALYST and SLIPPER.

After a year of intensive training, Lieutenant Pepper successfully qualified as a Mine Warfare Clearance Diving Officer in 2005 and then served at Australian Clearance Diving Team Four based in Western Australia, and on the Minehunter Coastal HMAS Diamantina. While posted to Australian Clearance Diving Team Four he was awarded the Navy Commendation Bronze (2007).

In 2008, he requested to dual specialise and qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer - Surface; he then served on several Guided Missile Frigates, including HMAS Darwin, based out of Sydney (2008-10). Returning to Clearance Diving, Lieutenant Pepper served as Executive Officer Australian Clearance Diving Team One (2010-11), deploying on Operation ANODE and Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST. Upon being promoted to Lieutenant Commander he returned to HMAS Darwin for his second PWO posting, and for this service he was awarded his second Navy Commendation Bronze (2013).

A posting to Sea Training Group as the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer in 2013 was followed by another sea posting in HMAS Melbourne, deploying to the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU (2014-15). For his efforts on this deployment he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Promoted to Commander in January 2016, he attended the Australian Command and Staff Course in Canberra, graduating with a Masters in Military and Defence studies. Commander Pepper then returned to the Fleet as Chief of Staff Sea Combat Commander (2017-18), before being selected and serving as Commander Australian Fleet’s Staff Officer (2018-19). A short posting to the Australian Destroyer Group then followed in 2020 as a part of his preparations for Destroyer Command.

As well as his Masters in Military studies from Staff Course, Commander Pepper holds a Masters Degree in Strategy and Management and a Graduate Diploma in Business.

Commander Andrew Pepper assumed Command of the Guided Missile Destroyer HMAS Hobart (III) on 12 December 2020.