Admiral (Australia)

Admiral (abbreviated as ADML) is the highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Navy rank of admiral. It is a four-star rank. Since World War II, in general,[1] the only time the rank is held is when the Chief of the Defence Force is a navy officer.

Admiral is a higher rank than vice admiral, but is a lower rank than admiral of the fleet.[2] Admiral is the equivalent of air chief marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and general in the Australian Army.

Admiral
Royal Australian Navy OF-9
The ADML insignia
Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy
Admiral's command flag
Country Australia
Service branch Royal Australian Navy
AbbreviationADML
RankFour-star
NATO rankOF-9
Non-NATO rankO-10
Formation12 July 1936
Next higher rankAdmiral of the fleet
Next lower rankVice admiral
Equivalent ranks

Australian admirals

The following have held the rank of admiral in the Royal Australian Navy:

Name Post-Nominals Date promoted Born Died Notes
Sir George Hyde KCB, CVO, CBE, RAN 12 July 1936 1877 1937
Sir Victor Smith AC, KBE, CB, DSC, RAN 23 November 1970 1913 1998 Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (1970–75)
Sir Anthony Synnot KBE, AO, RAN 21 April 1979 1922 2001 Chief of the Defence Force Staff (1979–82)
Michael Hudson AC, RAN 8 March 1991 1933 2005 Promoted to admiral on the day of his retirement by then prime minister, Bob Hawke.[1]
Alan Beaumont AC, RAN 17 April 1993 1934 2004 Chief of the Defence Force (1993–95)
Chris Barrie AC, RAN 4 July 1998 1945 Chief of the Defence Force (1998–02)

Rank insignia and personal flag

World War II Royal Navy admiral's shoulder board
Shoulder board prior to 1995.

The current ranks are rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral and admiral of the fleet, also known as flag ranks because admirals, known as flag officers, are entitled to fly a personal flag. An admiral of the fleet flies a national flag at the masthead, while an admiral flies a St George's cross (red cross on white). Vice admirals and rear admirals fly a St George’s cross with one or two red discs in the hoist, respectively. These command flags are exactly the same as in the Royal Navy, except for the admiral of the fleet, who flies the Union Flag.

The rank of admiral itself is shown in its sleeve lace by a broad band with three narrower bands. Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sword and baton, above four silver stars, above the word AUSTRALIA.[3] Note that unlike other Commonwealth countries, the sword is a naval cutlass, with a closed handle. The stars have eight points, like the Royal Navy insignia and unlike the four pointed Order of the Bath stars used by the army.

Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ a b Admiral Hudson was an exception to the "rule" that the only time the rank is held is when the Chief of the Defence Force is a navy officer. Although he served as Chief of Naval Staff for six years from 1985 to 1991 (the usual term is 3 years), he never held the post of CDF. He was promoted to admiral on the day of his retirement by then Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
  2. ^ Note that, other than Royalty, there have been no Australian admirals of the fleet.
  3. ^ "Uniform Ranks". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
Australia Station

The Australia Station was the British, and later Australian, naval command responsible for the waters around the Australian continent. Australia Station was under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station, whose rank varied over time.

Rear admiral

Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks". In many navies it is referred to as a two-star rank (OF-7)/(O-7).

It originated from the days of naval sailing squadrons and can trace its origins to the Royal Navy. Each naval squadron would be assigned an admiral as its head, who would command from the centre vessel and direct the activities of the squadron. The admiral would in turn be assisted by a vice admiral, who commanded the lead ships which would bear the brunt of a naval battle. In the rear of the naval squadron, a third admiral would command the remaining ships and, as this section of the squadron was considered to be in the least danger, the admiral in command of the rear would typically be the most junior of the squadron admirals. This has survived into the modern age, with the rank of rear admiral the most-junior of the admiralty ranks of many navies.

In some European navies (e.g., that of France), and in the Canadian Forces' French rank translations, the rank of rear admiral is known as contre-amiral. In the German Navy the rank is known as Konteradmiral, superior to the flotilla admiral (Commodore in other navies). In the Royal Netherlands Navy, this rank is known as schout-bij-nacht (lit.: supervisor during night), denoting the role junior to the squadron admiral, and fleet admiral.

Rear admiral (Australia)

Rear admiral (abbreviated as RADM) is the third-highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British rank of rear admiral. It is a two-star rank.

Rear admiral is a higher rank than commodore, but lower than vice admiral. Rear admiral is the equivalent of air vice-marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and major general in the Australian Army.

Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy vice admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sabre and baton, above two silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". The stars have eight points as in the equivalent Royal Navy insignia. Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.

Rear Admiral Robyn Walker became the first female admiral in the Royal Australian Navy when she was appointed Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force on 16 December 2011.

Vice admiral (Australia)

Vice admiral (abbreviated as VADM) is the second-highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British rank of vice admiral. It is a three-star rank. The rank is held by the Chief of Navy and, when the positions are held by navy officers, by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, or the Chief Capability Development Group.

Vice admiral is a higher rank than rear admiral, but lower than admiral. Vice admiral is the equivalent of air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy vice admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sabre and baton, above three silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". The stars have eight points as in the equivalent Royal Navy insignia. Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. (The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.)

Australia-United States Rank Code Officer Cadet O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7
*
O-8
**
O-9
***
O-10
****
O-11
*****
Royal Australian Navy MIDN ASLT SBLT LEUT LCDR CMDR CAPT CDRE RADM VADM ADML AF
Australian Army OCDT 2LT LT CAPT MAJ LTCOL COL BRIG MAJGEN LTGEN GEN FM
Royal Australian Air Force OFFCDT PLTOFF FLGOFF FLTLT SQNLDR WGCDR GPCAPT AIRCDRE AVM AIRMSHL ACM MRAAF

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