Royal Australian Navy Maritime Warfare Officer Reviews | Glassdoor

Royal Australian Navy Maritime Warfare Officer Reviews

Updated Oct 31, 2019

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3.5
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Royal Australian Navy CEO Vice Admiral Tim Barrett
Vice Admiral Tim Barrett
1 Ratings
  1. "Good Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Maritime Warfare Officer 

    I worked at Royal Australian Navy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Travel Pay good Pay accommodation Leadership training

    Cons

    Away alot Duties take up weekend.

    Royal Australian Navy2019-10-31
  2. "Ready to sacrifice your life? Instead sacrifice your health, sanity, passion, and family."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Maritime Warfare Officer in Sydney
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Royal Australian Navy full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Senior Leadership actually champion (although they do err) a range of visions and values that - alone - would make people proud to serve, sacrifice, commit, and be part of something bigger. Sadly, these values and behaviours don't happen in reality. Conditions of Service (including stable pay) are generally good - although hourly pay can be criminally small once you consider the hours worked (e.g. at sea). Also... expect to have to fight (either your personnel office, toll transitions, DHA, or all three as they pass the parcel) to get many of these conditions that you're entitled to. The housing purchase assistance, defence home ownership and other schemes are quite good, but don't be fooled into the belief that you'll have "free housing", you just get a (ranging from negligible to significant) subsidy towards your rent or mortgage. If you follow a traditional career path as a Maritime Warfare Officer, and attempt to get as many deployments as possible to areas like the Middle East (and don't blow it), you can put together quite a decent nest egg. The superannuation scheme (particularly for current members under MSBS or its predecessors) is unparalleled.

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    Cons

    Because your employment is not 'employment' under Australian Law, but 'appointment' under the Defence Act, you're not entitled to minimum hourly wage, overtime, or even the right to resign (in your first 6-9 years). This is compensated by "service allowance - $10-15k", however once you divide your total salary into the hours you work, you can be paid as little as $4.50/hour to be in charge of a billion dollar... warship. Real culture for junior officers (at sea and ashore) is toxic, belittling, and at complete odds to Senior Leadership intent. Expect to be treated (and referred to) as a child for at least the first ten years of your career, with no opportunities for off-model career progression, innovation or growth. Any form of innovative thinking or non-traditional posting history will halt any opportunities for promotion or advancement. Senior officers with known (and on record) history of violent, sexist and bullying behaviour are highly promoted (to O5/O6 - three to four ranks below Chief of Navy) as long as "they get the job done". Real workplace culture is a homophobic and racist "old boys" club with regular transphobic, homophobic, sexist, violent and racist comments made in open workplaces.... but expect to be forced to complete '(not so) voluntary' white ribbon programs so the RAN can maintain its accreditation. The RAN also has widespread problems with alcohol, drugs, mental health (with suicide and attempted self-harm being a daily-to-weekly occurence), and expect family breakdowns (not helped by acceptance that most married personnel will openly have a "husband or wife" at sea - aka a "sea squarie"). Zero HRM knowledge within the organisation - Career Management Agencies (misnomer) are manned by 'senior junior officers' who've "done their time at sea" and therefore 'understand strategic HR'. Expect to be regularly told that previous experience, qualifications, and expertise mean nothing now that you're in uniform. Zero interest in innovation at "the staff level" unless it can help earn your boss's boss a medal or commendation. Almost no individual medals or commendations are awarded to sailors or junior officers; instead commendations are 'rites of passage' for people who've stayed in long enough and made the right people look good. Woeful administration processes supported by no governance & policy documents and instructions that are 5-10 years old. Payroll and administration is regularly incorrect - spend a lot of your time chasing incorrect pay, administration of allowances to avoid having your wages docked because payroll screwed up once again. Deficiencies across the warfare officer branch = expect to have consolidation/post-qualified training minimised to fill gaps in other areas, and then be set up to fail. Third-world healthcare and health management (months+ waiting time, with a hostile approach to any mental healthcare, and don't expect to be able to have a check up more than once every five years). Zero transferable skills to take to the outside world - Navy has lost almost all RTO accreditation and courses that used to previously mean your training counted towards Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, or external recognised skills... google "Navy Marine Technicians lawsuit" for a classic example. IT Software is years if not decades (no exaggeration) old. Expect to spend any time at sea doing administration waiting for computers running Windows 95 and Lotus Notes to open.... one of the currently available (as at August 2018) online training courses is "What's New in Excel 2010".

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    Advice to Management

    The Senior Leadership Group within the Navy (at the 2-star and above) level have great intentions and champion a culture that would be fantastic to work in. Look 1 or 2 ranks below, and it simply doesn't get passed down to the troops. Chief of Navy and Commander Australian Fleet issued directives several years ago to manage and realign working hours and improve fitness, camaraderie, and espirit de corps, but... these have been ignored and overridden by local command perceptions and the old school mantras of 'presenteeism at all costs'. Ask any Junior Officer or sailor; the Navy ascribes to key behaviours of "driving decision making down" and "embracing innovation" and these are simply lies in reality. Based on between 10 and 20 shore-based establishments and seagoing platforms I've seen in the last decade, I've had one non-toxic workplace. My career is over, and I'm only staying in to maintain an income while I study (at my own expense) "real" qualifications for my next career, because I got none from Navy. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of people in this position, and the key issue is at the mid-level management not executing the culture you've directed. Australia's warfighting capability will crumble if you continue to bleed people, and the blame squarely rests with those who've been promoted above their ability and turned an efficient organisation into one that smart, capable, courageous, and loyal people can't wait to run away from.

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    Royal Australian Navy2018-08-01
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