Hanging up her blue hat after 36 years
On day one at the Recruit Training Unit in July 1983, trainee Vicki Chapman could have had no idea she was embarking on a 36-year career in the Royal Australian Air Force.
After having served in blue for almost four decades, Warrant Officer Chapman retired on June 29.
Warrant Officer Chapman said her career had provided many fond memories.
As a trainee typist at clerk supply training, she remembers the supervising sergeant’s stern words to those who didn’t meet the required words per minute.
In her first posting at RAAF Support Unit (now AFHQ) she would type documents and personally deliver them by car to the Director General Supply.
Warrant Officer Chapman said one of her funniest memories was unknowingly carrying a huntsman spider on her hat for an entire parade.
For three years’ running she was responsible for mentoring and developing almost 400 ADF members from their first day in the military.
“My posting as a military skills instructor was one of the most fulfilling in my career,” Warrant Officer Chapman said.
This was followed by a posting to Philadelphia working alongside the United States Navy, which she said was her career highlight.
Warrant Officer Chapman has also played an integral role in ADF hockey. For 25 years she played with and managed countless teams.
“I am thankful for the amazing opportunities I have been afforded though triservice entities,” Warrant Officer Chapman said.
“They have promoted personal growth and allowed me to create extensive networks.
“My career has been highly satisfying because of the richness of relationships I’ve experienced both positively impacting me, and those I’ve been able to effect.”