Home' Navy News : July 8th 2010 Contents Fleet Network Pty Ltd D/L No. 20462
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July 8, 2010
More than meets the eye
By Michael Murray and
ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
NAVY personnel who are 'seeing
double' when it comes to Gap Year
sailors don't need to have their eyes
checked because three sets of identi-
cal twins have entered the RAN Gap
Year program since it began.
SMNGXs Leah and Madeleine
'Maddy' Elliott from Tasmania are
the latest identical twins to enter the
program and, while they both applied
to start at the same time, they went
through consecutive Recruit School
intakes -- Moran 278 and Rankin 279.
Maddy said she decided to try the
program because she was unsure about
starting university and wanted to travel
and meet interesting people.
"I highly recommend this program,
especially if you have an interest in
the ADF because it's just such a great
taste-test of Service life," she said.
"There are a few rates that interest
me at the moment, but I will make up
my mind once I've been to sea -- offic-
er entry is still an option too."
Both sisters have completed their
training phase at HMAS Cerberus
(CAPT Mark Hill) and were recent-
ly reunited at the ADF Gap Year
On July 5 they joined the Fleet for
their first 'work experience' postings.
Leah has been posted to HMAS
Manoora (CMDR Stephen Dryden)
and Maddy to HMAS Sydney (CAPT
Leah and Maddy agreed that seeing
a familiar face each day helped them
get through their recruit training.
"I haven't been home yet, but
I'm lucky because I've had that
sense of home the whole time here at
Cerberus," Maddy said.
"For the first two weeks I wasn't
allowed to talk to Maddy because I
was a junior recruit, so that was kind
of weird," Leah said.
"I saw her but we were just so busy
most of the time and the staff didn't
even realise we were twins until my
"A couple of times Maddy's divi-
sional staff tried to tell me what to do,
so that was pretty funny."
In June 2009, Recruit School saw
twins Breanna and Brittany Abel join
intake Rankin 270.
The Abel twins both applied for
transfers of category during their Gap
Year and have returned to Cerberus for
Brittany is training to become a
marine technician and her sister,
Breanna, will begin communications
and information systems training on
Breanna said she entered the pro-
gram because many of her friends had
enjoyed it and having her sister there
helped her get through recruit training.
"It was heaps easier and it wasn't
as hard to leave home because she was
always there with me," Breanna said.
"It also made it a lot easier to get
along with everyone else in our class,
even though they got us confused
"I have told all my friends about
the program and three of them are
started last week. It's just so much
SMNs Matthew and Stuart Dawe
were the first identical twins to join the
RAN Gap Year program and became
Matthew has since been posted
to HMAS Success (CMDR Anthony
Rayner) and Stuart works in the
Marine Engineering Department at
For more information on the ADF Gap Year
program visit http://www.defencejobs.
DOUBLE VISION: From
left, SMNs Brittany Abel,
Breanna Abel, Leah
Elliott and Maddy Elliott
have loved Navy's Gap
Year program and no
doubt caused some con-
fusion at HMAS Cerberus
during their training!
Photo: ABIS Andrew Black
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