Warrant Officer Jo Jordan has been appointed as the first female to the position of Command Warrant Officer. The appointment makes Jo one of four senior Warrant Officers supporting the Warrant Officer of the Navy, who reports to the Chief of Navy on a wide range of important issues including training and Navy culture.
“I’m very proud to be the first woman appointed as a Command Warrant Officer,” said Jo. “I am honoured to be in the chain of command in a manner that allows me to contribute to the management of the welfare and development of our people, which is vital to the improvement of Navy’s culture.”
Aged 52, Jo joined the Navy straight from Toronto High School in May 1981 because she was looking for a challenging and rewarding career.
“It seemed like a really great career,” she said. “My older sister Denise had joined before me, so I was following in her footsteps and was excited about the opportunities for adventure.”
Jo says since she joined the Navy some 33 years ago the organisation has come a long way with respect to the employment of women. “And I don’t foresee the challenges for me in this job being any different from my male colleagues,” she said.
Jo said the Navy had evolved as an equal opportunity employer and that other women should consider careers in the RAN.
“There are different opportunities available to everyone in the Navy, so it’s really what you want to make of it,” she said. “Sometimes you get presented with challenges, but if you make the most of the opportunities presented to you, are willing to work hard and be proud of what you’re doing, it doesn’t seem so challenging and the satisfaction is multiplied.”
Since joining the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service as a Writer in 1981, Jo has been employed in a variety of human resource management roles both at sea, ashore and overseas, on active operational service and in diplomatic roles.
Following promotion to Warrant Officer in 2005, Jo served as the Senior Personnel Manager HMAS Kuttabul, Ship’s Warrant Officer in HMAS Darwin and at the RAN Recruit School.
She has attended the prestigious Australian Command Staff Course and completed the Joint Warrant Officer Course and was deployed to the International Zone in Baghdad with Joint Task Force 633.
Jo said that when the busy work tempo allows, she will return home to Wangi Wangi to visit her mother Colleen (McLachlan), brothers James and Richard and sister Gilly, who still live in the area.
“The family support that I get is very important to my career in the Navy,” she said. “I’m single but I’m very close with family and I have some very good friends who help provide that important work-life balance.”