Vice admiral (Australia)

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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[edit]

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

Rank Name Postnominals Year
Born Died Notes
Vice Admiral Sir Creswell, WilliamWilliam Creswell KCMG, KBE, RAN 1922 1852 1933
Admiral Sir Hyde, GeorgeGeorge Hyde KCB, CVO, CBE, RAN 1932 1877 1937 Promoted to admiral in 1936
Vice Admiral Sir Collins, JohnJohn Collins KBE, CB, RAN 1948 1899 1989
Vice Admiral Sir Dowling, RoyRoy Dowling KCVO, KBE, CB, DSO, RAN 1955 1901 1969
Vice Admiral Sir Burrell, HenryHenry Burrell KBE, CB, RAN 1958 1904 1988
Vice Admiral Sir Harrington, HastingsHastings Harrington KBE, CB, DSO, RAN 1962 1906 1965
Vice Admiral Sir McNicoll, AlanAlan McNicoll KBE, CB, GM, RAN 1965 1908 1987
Admiral Sir Smith, VictorVictor Smith AC, KBE, CB, DSC, RAN 1968 1913 1998 Promoted to admiral in 1970 on appointment as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee
Vice Admiral Sir Peek, RichardRichard Peek KBE, CB, DSC, RAN 1970 1914 2010
Vice Admiral Sir Stevenson, DavidDavid Stevenson AC, KBE, RAN 1976 1918 1998
Admiral Sir Synnot, AnthonyAnthony Synnot KBE, AO, RAN 1976 1922 2001 Promoted to admiral in 1979 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral Sir Willis, JamesJames Willis KBE, AO, RAN 1979 1923 2003
Vice Admiral Leach, DavidDavid Leach AC, CBE, LVO, RAN 1982 1928
Admiral Hudson, MichaelMichael Hudson AC, RAN 1985 1933 2005 Promoted to admiral by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1991 upon retirement
Vice Admiral Knox, IanIan Knox AC, RAN 1987 1933
Admiral Beaumont, AlanAlan Beaumont AC, RAN 1989 1934 2004 Promoted to admiral in 1993 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral MacDougall, IanIan MacDougall AC, AFSM, RAN 1991 1938 Commissioner of New South Wales Fire Brigades
Vice Admiral Taylor, RodneyRodney Taylor AO, RAN 1994 1940 2002
Vice Admiral Walls, RobertRobert Walls AO, RAN 1995 1941
Vice Admiral Chalmers, DonaldDonald Chalmers AO, RAN 1997 1942
Admiral Barrie, ChrisChris Barrie AC, RAN 1997 1945 Promoted to admiral in 1998 on appointment as Chief of the Defence Force
Vice Admiral Shackleton, DavidDavid Shackleton AO, RAN 1999 1948
Vice Admiral Ritchie, ChrisChris Ritchie AO, CSC, RAN 2002 1949
Vice Admiral Shalders, RussRuss Shalders AO, CSC, RAN 2002 1951
Vice Admiral Tripovich, MattMatt Tripovich AO, CSC, RAN 2007 1956
Vice Admiral Crane, RussRuss Crane AO, CSM, RAN 2008 1954
Vice Admiral Griggs, RayRay Griggs AO, CSC, RAN 2011 1961
Vice Admiral Jones, PeterPeter Jones AO, DSC, RAN 2011 1957
Vice Admiral Johnston, DavidDavid Johnston AO, RAN 2014
Vice Admiral Barrett, TimTim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN 2014 1959

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]


  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. Retrieved 17 April 2016.