James Lybrand - An opportunity to lead

Running time
1 min 47 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was quite gut wrenching because you've actually, I wanted to join as a pilot initially but didn't pass the maths tests for pilot. So when it's an apprentice actually just to join the military. So yeah, it's a bit of a hit to your personal ego. But, you know, it was a course at which I was sort of only just making the grade the whole way along, basically.

So I guess, you know, in retrospect as a mature reflection of what it was, it probably would have been quite difficult to sort of go through that pipeline, you know, on an ongoing basis unless something dramatically changed. However, I guess what I said a few moments ago, I'll expand upon that a bit more. So what did I want out of pilot training?

It was early command opportunities, get to do something independent, and then do something that was good fun and pretty cool. So if I move that forward to submarines, what did I actually get out of that? I got to do something that had early command opportunities because at that time, submarine CEOs were lieutenant commanders, something independent, because submarines are all about independent operations and got to do something pretty cool. But the benefit, sort of, I guess, there is also about people.

So you have a crew on a submarine now of 60, at the time, 82. So you get all the benefits and personal interactions of actually managing and leading a whole bunch of people. So you got all that I wanted, you know, and more. And, you know, I felt that I actually thrived in that particular submarine environment having been in it a couple of years because that was where the real challenge is, managing people.

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