Rear Admiral Bruce Kafer

Bruce Kafer joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Cadet Midshipman in 1977. After initial Seaman Officer training in HMA Ships Supply, Moresby, Swan and USS Chicago he specialised in hydrographic surveying and, on completion of his basic survey course, served in hydrographic survey ships of the RAN and Royal Navy.

Highlights of his seagoing career have been his command of the RAN survey ship HMAS Flinders (1992-1994), commissioning Commanding Officer of HMAS Leeuwin in 2000 and his two-year exchange posting with the Royal Navy during which time he served in HM Ships Fawn and Herald. He has seen active service in the Arabian Gulf on two occasions: initially during the Iran/Iraq War, when he participated in mine clearance operations while on exchange with the Royal Navy; and in 2008-09, when he had command of two coalition maritime task forces (Combined Task Forces 158 and 152) which were responsible for security and interception operations in the Gulf.

Bruce Kafer has also had a variety of senior staff appointments ashore. He served as the Director of the RAN Staff College at HMAS Penguin and in 2000 served for four years as the Hydrographer of Australia and Commander of the RAN’s Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic Force Element Group. More recently he was the Chief, Combat Support Group in Fleet Headquarters. Between December 2009 and December 2013 he was the Commandant, Australian Defence Force Academy.

Commodore Kafer transferred to the Naval Reserve in January 2014, and in November 2014 he assumed duties as Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves. He was promoted Rear Admiral in December 2016 and appointed as Head Reserve and Youth Division and Commander Australian Defence Force Cadets.

He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC), for services to hydrography in 2005 and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in 2008, for his services as Chief Combat Support Group.

Rear Admiral Kafer retired from naval service in December 2018.