Rear Admiral Clinton William Thomas

RADM Thomas

Clinton 'Clint' Thomas was born in Adelaide in 1959 and entered the RAN College (HMAS Creswell) as a junior entry cadet midshipman in 1976. Thomas graduated from the college in 1979 with a Diploma of Applied Science and was also twice awarded the Governor Generals Cup as the best all round sportsman at the college. He then proceeded to sea in the destroyer tender HMAS Stalwart during which time the ship deployed to the Indian Ocean. He commenced training as a supply officer at HMAS Cerberus in 1980 and after completing the basic supply course was posted to Navy Office as a member of the supply systems database purification team for the Honeywell/Univac conversion.

Promoted sub-lieutenant in late 1980 he remained in Navy Office as Staff Officer Movements and Transport where he was responsible for major aircraft charters and movements including flights in support of the guided missile frigate construction in the United States. He was promoted lieutenant in early 1983 and appointed as the deputy supply officer in the guided missile frigate (FFG) HMAS Adelaide. During his service on board the ship operated in Australian and Southeast Asian waters. In 1984 Lieutenant Thomas served as Supply Officer (Cash) at the naval air station HMAS Albatross where he was responsible for pay and accounts for nearly a thousand RAN personnel.

In 1985 he became a Divisional Officer at HMAS Creswell and also assisted with transitioning officer training to the Australian Defence Force Academy which opened in 1986. He remained at the Naval College in 1986 as the Captain's Secretary and was awarded the RAN Officers Peter Mitchell Prize and a Chief of Navy commendation in 1987 for services to officer training. Lieutenant Thomas served as the Deputy Supply Officer and Stores Officer at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin during 1987-89 which saw significant work supporting the Fremantle Class patrol boats operating from the port and also support to Exercise K89.

Promoted lieutenant commander in December 1989 he completed the RAN Staff College course at HMAS Penguin before being appointed as the Supply Officer of the guided missile frigate HMAS Darwin. During his service in Darwin the ship deployed to the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf and Red Sea for Operations Damask I, III and V duties during 1990-92. Lieutenant Commander Thomas then served as the Base Supply Officer at HMAS Cairns and following promotion to commander in July 1994 he was appointed as Supply Officer of Adelaide. On completion of this sea posting he was posted to Fleet Headquarters as the Deputy Fleet Supply Officer. He was next appointed as Head of the Supply and Health Faculty at HMAS Cerberus before promotion to captain in March 2000.

Captain Thomas then took up the position of FFG Capability Element Manager within the newly formed Surface Combatant Force Element Group. A significant activity during his period in charge was the preparation of the FFG's for service in the Middle East as part of the Australian commitment to the International Campaign Against Terror in 2001. For his service in this demanding role Captain Thomas was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC)in the 2003 Australia Day honours list for outstanding achievement in the management of the Guided Missile Frigate Capability Element, particularly in the preparation of HMAS Sydney and HMAS Adelaide for deployment on Operation SLIPPER. Captain Thomas returned to Cerberus in December 2001 as the Commanding Officer and Training Authority - Logistics.

He was promoted commodore on 3 November 2003 and appointed as Director General Strategic Logistics within the Melbourne based Joint Logistics Command. During his tenure he led the Defence Integrated Distribution System contract remediation team and sought other ways and means of improving logistic services to the Australian Defence Force for which he was awarded a Chief of Defence Force commendation. In February 2006 Commodore was appointed as Director General Sea Change Implementation Team responsible for the significant reforms to personnel management and workforce renewal brought about due to Navy's poor recruiting and retention of personnel.

In June 2007 he returned to Joint Logistics Command as Director General Supply Chain. Commodore Thomas was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2008 for exceptional service as Commanding Officer HMAS Cerberus / Training Authority - Logistics, Director General Strategic Logistics, Director General Sea Change Implementation Team and Chairman of the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund. His next posting was to Navy Headquarters in Canberra as the Director General Logistics - Navy which also carried the additional responsibility of Head of Supply Community. During this period he implemented Project DEMETER to assess and implement future changes to Navy's logistics training, personnel and management.

Commodore Thomas had been planning to retire on completion of his tenure in Navy Headquarters but in November 2012 he was promoted rear admiral and appointed as Commander of Joint Logistics (CJLog). As Australia’s Senior Defence Strategic Logistician, he became accountable for the oversight and assurance of the entire Defence logistic capability. Despite being in a joint position as CJLog he maintained his Navy links as Chairman of the Navy Central Canteens Board and as Patron of the Navy Australian Football Association. He was also a Director for the Australian Defence Credit Union. In September 2015 the upgraded Joint Logistics Unit - West facility at HMAS Stirling was named in his honour. Rear Admiral Clint Thomas retired from the RAN in February 2016. 

In July 2017 he was appointed as Serco Asia Pacific's Managing Director - Defence. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a Member of the Australasian Mutuals Institute, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Member of the Risk Management Institute of Australasia. He also holds a Masters of Management in Operations/Logistics from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.