Love boat, exciting and new. Come aboard. We’re expecting you.

Unclear whether the former Australian Navy chief was humming “The Love Boat” theme song when he reportedly took his girlfriend on a military submarine last summer to propose to her, but it was not long after he got down on one knee that his romantic gesture was deemed just a tad inappropriate.

Vice Adm. Michael Noonan, former chief of the Royal Australian Navy, is receiving some well-earned criticism for allegedly using his position to allow his partner to board a Collins-class submarine, the HMAS Waller, on June 23 last year for a little overnight romantic cruise, according to The Canberra Times.

“The Navy is a professional outfit, this isn’t the chief of Navy’s personal love sub,” Phillip Thompson, a spokesman for an Australian political party, said according to the outlet.

At the time of the excursion, the military sub was in port filming recruitment material for the country’s military in Western Australia, the outlet added.

Not long after the summer incident, Noonan announced his retirement. He had served in the position since 2018.

“At this important and pivotal time, I am confident I leave Navy in great hands,” Noonan said in his farewell statement. He was succeeded in his role as chief by Vice Adm. Mark Hammond.

“It is not routine for [defense] members to take a civilian partner, spouse (or) relative on an overnight sea ride,” an Australian Department of Defense spokeswoman, told The Daily Mail.

Routine or no, when love is on the 1MC, one must listen.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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