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- June 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Vice Admiral MacDougall accepted our invitation to be patron of the Society when he succeeded Admiral Hudson as Chief of Naval Staff on 8th March, 1991. His curriculum vitae follows:
Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a Cadet Midshipman in 1954 at the age of 15 and graduated the following year. From 1956-57 he undertook professional training afloat, and ashore at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, United Kingdom. Upon graduation he was awarded the Queen’s Telescope for leadership.
From 1958-63 Admiral MacDougall served as a Supply Officer in a number of ships and establishments including H.M.A.S. ANZAC, H.M.A.S. ALBATROSS, H.M.A.S. SWAN, H.M.A.S. VAMPIRE and H.M.A.S. MELBOURNE.
In 1960 he obtained his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate (in H.M.A.S. VAMPIRE’S first commission) and subsequently, in 1963, transferred to the Submarine Arm as a Seaman Officer. Admiral MacDougall’s initial submarine experience was in the United Kingdom serving in H.M. S/M. ALARIC and H.M. S/M. OTUS, then as Executive Officer of H.M.A.S. OXLEY under construction at the ship builders in Scotland.
From 1969-71 he commanded H.M. S/M. OTTER whilst on exchange with the Royal Navy, returned to Australia and commanded H.M.A.S. ONSLOW from 1971-73. This submarine conducted a South East Asian deployment during this time as part of ANZUK Force based in Singapore.
In 1974 Admiral MacDougall was appointed Officer in Charge of the Submarine Command Team Trainer, based at H.M.A.S. WATSON, until 1976. During this period the Trainer was accepted into service. For 18 months, from 1977-78 he served in Canberra as Deputy Director of Naval Officers’ Postings.
During the period 1978-79 he was Executive Officer and latterly Commanding Officer of H.M.A.S. HOBART. The ship participated in a RIMPAC Exercise in Hawaiian Exercise Areas, and later rescued an injured scientist from Macquarie Island. This entailed the construction, whilst on passage, of a temporary helicopter platform on the ship’s stern.
In 1980 Admiral MacDougall was appointed Commanding Officer of the Fleet replenishment ship H.M.A.S. SUPPLY, until 1982. A major activity was an Indian Ocean deployment in response to the situation in Afghanistan.
From 1982-84 he served in Canberra as Director of Submarine Policy, during which time he was involved with the initial policy development for the current COLLINS Class Submarine Project.
During 1985 Admiral MacDougall commanded the Australian Submarine Squadron, based in H.M.A.S. PLATYPUS at Kirribilli, Sydney.
Admiral MacDougall was appointed Director General Joint Operations and Plans for the Australian Defence Force in 1986 where he remained until December, 1987.
In 1988 he conducted a review of the roles and functions of the Royal Australian Naval Support Command as part of the RAN’s devolution programme.
From January, 1989 to July, 1990 Admiral MacDougall served as Maritime Commander Australia. One of the highlights of his time in command of the Fleet was attendance at Gallipoli at the 75th Anniversary of the ANZAC landings in 1915. Another key event was KANGAROO 89, Australia’s largest ever peacetime exercise. He then took up the position of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
Admiral MacDougall was promoted to Commander in 1973, Captain in 1979, Commodore in 1986 and Rear Admiral in January, 1989. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College (1980) and is an occasional external student at the University of New England, reading history. He was appointed an Officer in the Military Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List in 1991. Admiral MacDougall was appointed Chief of Naval Staff on 8th March, 1991.
Admiral MacDougall’s interests include cross country skiing, golf, squash and reading (particularly history). He is a member of the Hobart Town First Settlers (1803) Association.
He is married with four sons. He and his wife Carol live in Canberra.