Rear Admiral Murray Bruce Forrest

Murray Bruce Forrest was born in Kogarah, Sydney, NSW on 3 February 1942 and was educated at Sydney Technical College and Canberra High School. He entered the RAN College (HMAS Creswell), at Jervis Bay, in January 1958 and graduated in December 1960. In his final year at the College he was the Chief Cadet Captain. On graduation he was awarded the Queens Gold Medal for the trainee who ‘...exhibits the most exemplary conduct, performance of duty and good influence amongst his peers at RANC’ and was also awarded the Burnett Memorial Prize as the best exponent for rugby union. He then undertook training at HMAS Cerberus, and in the training ship HMAS Swan, before proceeding to Great Britain in early 1961 for further training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Dartmouth.

After completing his training at BRNC Dartmouth he joined the tanker HMAS Tide Austral in August 1962; then operating on loan with the Royal Navy. Shortly after the ship was commissioned as HMAS Supply and Forrest was promoted to Sub Lieutenant in September 1962. Upon return to Australia, in early 1963, he joined the destroyer HMAS Voyager and served in her until November of that year, after which he joined the staff of the Flag Officer in Command East Australian Area (FOCEA). Forrest specialised as a Supply Officer and was promoted to Lieutenant in September 1964. In April 1965 he proceeded to the United States as the Deputy Supply Officer of the soon to be commissioned guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart. Lieutenant Forrest served in Hobart until January 1968 including a deployment to Vietnam (7 March-27 September 1967) during which the ship carried out the first deployment to Vietnamese waters of an Australian destroyer attached to the United States Navy.

From 1968-70 he was a training officer at the RAN Supply School, at HMAS Cerberus, before serving as the Supply Officer in the destroyer HMAS Anzac during 1970-72. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in September 1972 and served on the staff of the Fleet Commander, in Sydney, during 1972-73. During 1973-75 he was on the staff of the Chief of Naval Personnel, at Navy Office in Canberra. In 1975-76 he was the Supply Officer of Hobart before becoming the Deputy Fleet Supply Officer in Fleet Headquarters from 1976 until 1979, during which time he was promoted to the rank of Commander in December 1977. He was briefly Officer in Charge of the Supply School at Cerberus and then the Supply Officer of Cerberus during 1979-82.

In 1983-84 Commander Forrest was the Supply Officer of the destroyer tender HMAS Stalwart before promotion to Captain and taking up the position of Chief Staff Officer (Administration) to the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Support Command in late 1984. In 1988 he became the Assistant Director General Supply - Navy in Canberra before serving briefly on the staff of Headquarters ADF. Following promotion to Commodore in June 1990 he became the Director General Naval Logistics Policy in Canberra. In 1992 he returned to Naval Support Command in Sydney as the Chief of Staff. In April 1995 Commodore Murray Forrest was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and became the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) at Navy Office. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) on 12 June 1995 ‘In recognition of services to the RAN, particularly as Chief of Staff in Naval Support Command'. Rear Admiral Forrest retired from the RAN in late 1997.