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Deputy Chief of Navy (Australia)

Deputy Chief of the Royal Australian Navy
Jonathan Earley
since 16 December 2022
StyleRear Admiral
Member ofRoyal Australian Navy
Reports toChief of Navy
WebsiteOfficial website

The Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN) is the second most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy, responsible to the Chief of Navy (CN). The rank associated with the position is rear admiral (2-star).


The following list chronologically records those who have held the post of Deputy Chief of Navy or its preceding positions. Rank and honours are as at the completion of the individual's tours.

Deputy Chief of Naval Staff
Captain Frank Getting 1940 1942[1]
Captain Roy Dowling September 1943 1944
Captain David Harries 1944 1945[2]
Captain Herbert Buchanan DSO October 1945 1946[3][4]
Captain Henry Burrell October 1946 October 1948
Captain Galfry Gatacre DSC & Bar October 1948 1951[5]
Captain Alan McNicoll GM October 1951 1952[6]
Captain Otto Becher DSO, DSC & Bar 1952 1954[4]
Captain Henry Burrell 1954 1954
Rear Admiral Jack Mesley LVO, DSC 1955 1957[2]
Rear Admiral Galfry Gatacre DSO, DSC & Bar January 1957 January 1959[5]
Rear Admiral Otto Becher CBE, DSO, DSC & Bar January 1959 1962[4]
Rear Admiral Thomas Morrison CBE, DSC 1962 1964[2]
Rear Admiral Richard Peek OBE, DSC 1965 1967
Rear Admiral Victor Smith CBE, DSC 1967 April 1968
Rear Admiral David Stevenson CBE 1968 1970
Rear Admiral David Wells CBE 1970 1971[7]
Rear Admiral Anthony Synnot CBE 1972 1973
Rear Admiral William Dovers CBE, DSC 1973 1975[4][8][9]
Rear Admiral Geoffrey Gladstone AO, DSC & Bar 1974[9] 1975[2]
Rear Admiral Brian Murray 1975 1978[2]
Rear Admiral Neil McDonald AO 1978 1979[2]
Rear Admiral John Stevens 1979 1981[7]
Rear Admiral Peter Doyle AO, OBE 1981 1982[4]
Rear Admiral Geoffrey Woolrych AO 1982 1983[7]
Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO 1983 1984[7]
Rear Admiral Ian Knox 1984 1984
Rear Admiral Neil Ralph AO, DSC 1985 1989[10][11]
Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AO 1989 1989
Rear Admiral Ken Doolan 1989 1990[4]
Rear Admiral Ian MacDougall July 1990 March 1991
Rear Admiral Robert Walls AM 1991 1991
Rear Admiral Rodney Taylor AO November 1991 1994
Rear Admiral David Campbell AM 1994 1995[4]
Rear Admiral Chris Barrie AO May 1996 June 1997
Deputy Chief of Navy
Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould AO 1997 1999[7]
Rear Admiral Chris Ritchie AO 1999 1999[12]
Rear Admiral Geoffrey Smith AM 1999 2000[7]
Rear Admiral Brian Adams AM June 2000 June 2002[4]
Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt AM June 2002 June 2004[2]
Rear Admiral Max Hancock AM June 2004 June 2006[2]
Rear Admiral Russ Crane AM, CSM June 2006 June 2008
Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas AO, CSC June 2008 February 2011
Rear Admiral Trevor Jones AM, CSC February 2011 2013
Rear Admiral Michael van Balen AO 2013 28 January 2016
Rear Admiral Michael Noonan AM 28 January 2016 23 March 2018
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond AM 23 March 2018 11 September 2020
Rear Admiral Christopher Smith CSM 11 September 2020[13] 16 December 2022
Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley CSC 16 December 2022 Incumbent


  1. ^ Getting Division, Royal Australian Navy Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Rear Admirals G-M, Admirals of the RAN
  3. ^ J. V. P. Goldrick, 'Buchanan, Herbert James (1902–1965)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, Melbourne University Press, 1993, pp 286–287.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Rear Admirals A-F, Admirals of the RAN
  5. ^ a b Cooper, Alastair. "Gatacre, Galfry George Ormond (1907–1983)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  6. ^ "McNicoll, Alan Wedel Ramsay". Records Search. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 5 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e f Rear Admirals N-Z, Admirals of the RAN
  8. ^ Rear Admiral William John Dovers CBE DSC (born 1918) vs Rear Admiral William Anthony George Dovers CSC (born 1951) who was SO to DCNS
  9. ^ a b Dovers' end date is inconsistent with Gladstone's start date
  10. ^ A short biography of our national patron Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Rear Admiral Neil Ralph ret'd, Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia, Victorian Branch,
  11. ^ Australia Day Honours, 1987 Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 1987
  12. ^ Vice Admirals, Admirals of the RAN
  13. ^ "Rear Admiral Christopher Smith". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
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Deputy Chief of Navy (Australia)
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