Able Seaman Nathan ‘Tex’ Walker, who was born and raised in Penrith, worked casual odd jobs until he decided to get himself a career.
“I joined the Navy as an electronics technician and maintained the communication and navigational systems on board the Guided Missile Frigate (FFG) warships,” said Nathan.
Nathan completed close to eight years’ service before he decided to transition.
“I had always planned on doing 10 years in the Navy but when my partner Kate and I decided to get married just as I was due to go back to sea, I decided it was time to put my partner and family first.”
“The transition process is quite an experience. Initially I found it hard to find someone to talk to about it as my colleagues who had been through the experience had already left and many of those who remained had not even looked at the process,” explains Nathan.
“Going through the ADF Transition Centre made everything simple and I can’t recommend enough that anyone even thinking of transitioning should go to them — sooner rather than later,” said Nathan.
Nathan’s transition coach laid out everything he needed to do, and in what order. “She constantly checked up on me and was always just a call or email away if I ever got stuck or needed more advice.”
Nathan has transitioned to the Reserves and to a Defence public service role — testing and certifying missiles.
“The job is great and the work is very interesting — we always have something to do. I would recommend looking at Australian Public Service jobs for anyone thinking about transitioning.”
Going from a two hour train ride each way to work, to a six minute drive with traffic has given him more time to focus on the things that matter.
Nathan noticed that when he decided to transition he did have some people question his decision, but points out that, “it is your life and it is up to you if you wish to continue to serve or if you want a change.” Staying in the Navy Reserves means he can still provide service, just in a more flexible way.
“It is a great idea to do your research before you put in the paperwork. Know your entitlements and give your local ADF Transition Centre a call. Your assigned Transition Coach will be your biggest source for help and support.”
Thank you for your service Nathan.