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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
44 naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 Why attend the Single Service Component of the Staff Course? Why would I agree to leave the comfort of my home and job as the Command Warrant Officer Recruit School at sunny Cerberus to spend three months in Canberra in winter? Good question but I will answer it with another question. Why would you pass up an opportunity to gain a great network of fellow professional navy people and get a university qualification at the same time? The Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC) is situated at Weston Creek, Canberra and is one of the best training facilities I have ever accessed during my naval career. The single service component of the staff course comprises of lectures, syndicate tutorials, individual exercises, group exercises, course member talks, syndicate discussions and individual research. Was I prepared for such an active learning experience? I would have to say no, not really. I did have a fair idea of what was going to occur from my fellow Warrant Officers and officers that had completed the course previously, however, as much as I would like to say that I was ready, I really was not prepared for the near vertical learning curve that I and my fellow Warrant Officers encountered. When I say my fellow Warrant Officers there were three RAN (including myself), two American Master Chiefs, and a Warrant Officer from each of the New zealand and Singaporean Navies. The whole Staff course is a tri-service, year-long course and we joined the 25 RAN officers who were moving into their single service component. The single service component is focused on subjects that are specific to the individual service and as you can guess the Navy single service component was focused on maritime issues. I found the courses difficult after having been out of the world of academia for some 30 years and the task of sitting for six to eight hours in a lecture theatre and trying to absorb almost alien information took its toll. If only that was the worst of it. Subjects such as the Law of the Sea, Australia’s success at having the UN approve the claim for extensions to the Australian Continental shelf and the international laws on the regulation of shipping are what I blame for me consuming very large amounts of caffeine during that three months. Additionally, many hours doing research and writing for individual/ group presentations, minutes, briefs and academic essays didn’t make life any easier. One saving grace is that your fellow students and the college staff are always willing to assist if you find the going a bit tough. Would I do it again? Yep you bet I would. I found the course time consuming, frustrating, informative and entertaining. I met men and women who are some of the most professional military personnel in the world and I have the opportunity to gain a Masters Degree in Maritime Studies through the University of Wollongong. As I said, who wouldn’t want to be given that opportunity and why would you even consider passing it up? You would have to have rocks in your head not to do it. BY WoSn m. monaGHan Command WaRRant oFFiCER – RECRuit SCHooL AUSTRALIAN COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE