Vice admiral (Australia)

Vice admiral
Royal Australian Navy OF-8.svg

The VADM insignia
Royal Australian Navy (sleeves) OF-8.svg
Country  Australia
Service branch  Royal Australian Navy
Abbreviation VADM
Rank Three-star
NATO rank OF-8
Non-NATO rank O-9
Formation 12 July 1936 (1936-07-12)
Next higher rank Admiral
Next lower rank Rear admiral
Equivalent ranks

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[a] and baton, above three silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA".[1] The stars have eight points[b] 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.)

Australian vice admirals

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

Rank Name Postnominals Year
Born Died Notes
Vice Admiral Sir William Creswell KCMG, KBE 1922 1852 1933
Admiral Sir George Hyde KCB, CVO, CBE 1932 1877 1937 Promoted to admiral in 1936
Vice Admiral Sir John Collins KBE, CB 1948 1899 1989
Vice Admiral Sir Roy Dowling KCVO, KBE, CB, DSO 1955 1901 1969
Vice Admiral Sir Henry Burrell KBE, CB 1958 1904 1988
Vice Admiral Sir Hastings Harrington KBE, CB, DSO 1962 1906 1965
Vice Admiral Sir Alan McNicoll KBE, CB, GM 1965 1908 1987
Admiral Sir Victor Smith AC, KBE, CB, DSC 1968 1913 1998 Promoted to admiral in 1970 on appointment as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee
Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peek KBE, CB, DSC 1970 1914 2010
Vice Admiral Sir David Stevenson AC, KBE 1976 1918 1998
Admiral Sir Anthony Synnot KBE, AO 1976 1922 2001 Promoted to admiral in 1979 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral Sir James Willis KBE, AO 1979 1923 2003
Vice Admiral David Leach AC, CBE, LVO 1982 1928
Admiral Michael Hudson AC 1985 1933 2005 Promoted to admiral by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1991 upon retirement
Vice Admiral Ian Knox AC 1987 1933
Admiral Alan Beaumont AC 1989 1934 2004 Promoted to admiral in 1993 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall AC, AFSM 1991 1938 Commissioner of New South Wales Fire Brigades
Vice Admiral Rodney Taylor AO 1994 1940 2002
Vice Admiral Robert Walls AO 1995 1941
Vice Admiral Donald Chalmers AO 1997 1942
Admiral Chris Barrie AC 1997 1945 Promoted to admiral in 1998 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral David Shackleton AO 1999 1948
Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie AO, CSC 2002 1949
Vice Admiral Russ Shalders AO, CSC 2002 1951
Vice Admiral Matt Tripovich AO, CSC 2007 1956
Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM 2008 1954
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC 2011 1961
Vice Admiral Peter Jones AO, DSC 2011 1957
Vice Admiral David Johnston AO 2014 1962
Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC 2014 1959
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO 2018 1966
Vice Admiral Stuart Mayer AO, CSC & Bar 2019 Promoted vice admiral on appointment as Deputy Commander United Nations Command[2]

See also

References and notes


  1. ^ Usually in Commonwealth countries a scimitar is used in the insignia, which is an open-handled weapon; the sabre has a closed handle.
  2. ^ The stars have eight points, unlike the four pointed Order of the Bath stars used by the army which are often referred to as "pips".


  1. ^ "Uniform Ranks". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Vice Admiral Stuart Mayer". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 22 July 2019.

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