James Goldrick

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James Vincent Purcell Goldrick
Born 1958
Sydney, New South Wales
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Navy (1974–2012)
Royal Australian Navy Reserve (2012–)
Years of service 1974 – present
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held Australian Defence College (2008–11)
Border Protection Command (2006–08)
Australian Defence Force Academy (2003–06)
RAN Sea Power Centre (1999–00)
HMAS Sydney (1996–99)
HMAS Cessnock (1990–91)
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Awards Officer of the Order of Australia
Conspicuous Service Cross

Rear Admiral James Vincent Purcell Goldrick, AO, CSC (born 1958) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy until he retired from full-time service in 2012. He is an author, naval historian and analyst of contemporary naval and maritime affairs. He currently holds the position of Fellow at the Sea Power Centre – Australia. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, an Adjunct Professor in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of The Australian National University and a Professorial Fellow of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong. He was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford in the first half of 2015.

Early life and education[edit]

James Goldrick joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1974 as a fifteen-year-old Cadet Midshipman. A graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Letters from the University of New England. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School (AMP 168) and has been honoured with the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of New South Wales.

Naval career[edit]

A Principal Warfare Officer and anti-submarine warfare specialist, he has seen sea service around the world with the RAN and on exchange with the British Royal Navy, including the patrol vessel HMS Alderney, the frigates HMS Sirius, HMAS Swan and HMAS Darwin and the destroyer HMS Liverpool. He has served as Executive Officer of HMAS Tarakan and HMAS Perth. He was Commanding Officer of HMAS Cessnock and twice commanded the frigate HMAS Sydney before serving as the inaugural Commander, Australian Surface Task Group. During this posting, he commanded the Australian task group deployed to the Persian Gulf in early 2002 and also served as commander of the multinational naval forces conducting maritime interception operations to enforce UN sanctions on Iraq, including units from the RAN, the United States Navy, the Royal Navy and the Polish Armed Forces. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for this service.[1]

Goldrick's shore postings have included serving as Aide to the Governor-General of Australia, as an instructor on the RAN's Principal Warfare Officer course, as Officer-in-Charge of the RAN's tactical development, tactical training and warfare officer training faculty, as Research Officer and later as Chief Staff Officer to the Chief of Navy, as Director of the RAN Sea Power Centre and as Director-General Military Strategy in the Australian Department of Defence. For his service, particularly at the Sea Power Centre, he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.[2]

He took command of the Australian Defence Force Academy in September 2003. He was promoted to rear admiral and assumed duties as Commander Border Protection in May 2006. In May 2008, he was appointed Commander Joint Education, Training and Warfare (a position retitled in 2009 as "Commander Australian Defence College"). After completing his posting in August 2011, he served as Acting Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy until March 2012.

James Goldrick has lectured in naval history and contemporary naval affairs at many institutions. He spent 1992 as a Research Scholar at the US Naval War College. He has been a long term and active member of the Australian Naval Institute including a significant period on the Institute's governing council where he was President between 2005 and 2008. He is an Overseas Corresponding Member of the Society for Nautical Research and is a Councillor of the Navy Records Society.

James Goldrick is married with two sons.

Published works[edit]

  • The King's Ships Were at Sea: The War in the North Sea August 1914 – February 1915 (1984)
  • Reflections on the Royal Australian Navy, edited by T.R. Frame, J.V.P. Goldrick, and P.D. Jones. (1991)
  • Mahan is Not Enough: the Proceedings of a Conference on the works of Sir Julian Corbett and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, edited by James Goldrick and John B. Hattendorf (1995)
  • No Easy Answers: The Development of the Navies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (1997)
  • Struggling for a solution – the RAN and the acquisition of a surface to air missile capability by P.D. Jones and James Goldrick.
  • Navies of South-East Asia: A Comparative Study, by James Goldrick and Jack McCaffrie.
  • Before Jutland: The Naval War in Northern European Waters August 1914 – February 1915 (2015)

In addition, he has contributed to many other works, and to professional journals, including The United States Naval Institute Proceedings. As a junior officer he twice won the Guinness Prize of the British Naval Review.

Among his important articles and chapter-length contributions are:


  1. ^ It's an Honour – Member of the Order of Australia – 26 January 2004
    Citation: For exceptional command and leadership as the Commander of the Multi-national Maritime Interception Force enforcing United Nations Sanctions against Iraq as part of Operation SLIPPER.
  2. ^ It's an Honour – Conspicuous Service Cross – 11 June 2001
Military offices
Preceded by
Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas
Commander Australian Defence College
Succeeded by
Major General Craig Orme
Preceded by
Air Commodore Julie Hammer
Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy
Succeeded by
Brigadier Brian Dawson