Warrant Officer Paul Whittaker

Warrant Officer of the Navy (1993 - 1997)

WO Paul Whittaker

Born 18 January 1949, Paul John Whittaker, like his father before him, had long held an interest in the Navy from an early age. His career commenced on enlistment (for twelve years) 5 January 1965, through the Junior Recruit Training Establishment HMAS Leeuwin, Fremantle, Western Australia. During the first twelve months, he undertook further academic studies along with extensive Naval training and for his efforts, was awarded the Governor’s Prize.

1966 saw him posted as an Ordinary Seaman to the Fast Troop Carrier, HMAS Sydney (ex-Majestic Class aircraft carrier), in which he deployed on several occasions to Vietnam, or as it was commonly termed then ‘the Port Jackson-Vung Tau ferry route’.

On completion of his category specialist training as a Seaman and Radar Plotter, a variety of postings followed including HMAS Platypus, Nirimba, the aircraft carrier Melbourne, Watson and Derwent. These were punctuated by promotions to Leading Seaman and Petty Officer after which, he spent some time as an instructor in the ND School (later called the AIO School now called the CSO Faculty).

From that point there were several consecutive postings as a Chief Petty Officer RP between HMAS Watson and HMAS Hobart. Promotion to Warrant Officer came about during his last sea posting on 11 December 1986, at which time he was posted as Training Support Officer for the Tactical Trainer, at the RAN Surface Warfare School. It was during this period, along with a number of bilateral duties, he was awarded a Flag Officer’s Commendation in 1989.

Late 1992 saw him finish off a very successful tour of duty as the Senior Navy Recruiting Officer North Queensland, after which he joined the Directorate of Sailors Career Management as the OIC Career Management Cell 7 (Reserve Sailors).

He was appointed the Royal Australian Navy’s first Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) on 13 December 1993.