Throwing their hats in the air today marked not only the end of their training and studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) but also the start of a new phase in the military careers of 265 midshipmen and officer cadets.
Families joined the distinguished guest list including the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency the Hon Quentin Bryce AC CVO, the Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, the Hon Darren Chester MP and the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley AC, DSC, to celebrate this significant milestone.
Commandant of ADFA, Commodore Bruce Kafer said the parade marked the successful completion of academic studies and military training at ADFA for the young men and women studying three-year undergraduate degrees.
“It has been a pleasure watching them graduate today, as I have seen this cohort develop from young and enthusiastic individuals who arrived at ADFA in 2011 to graduates and junior leaders in the ADF today,” Commodore Kafer said.
“The education and training provided at ADFA equips officer cadets and midshipmen with strong values and the fundamental knowledge and qualities of character they will need as young leaders in the Australian Defence Force.”
During the parade, the Academy’s most prestigious award, the Commander in Chief Medal, was awarded to Midshipman Nam Nguyen. This medal is awarded to the most outstanding graduate in the fields of military and academic achievement as well as leadership, personal example and performance of duty.
Navy graduates took out three of the six awards presented at the graduation ceremony. Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Vice Chief of the Defence Force presented the RSL Sword of Honour for Service to Midshipman Kieran Davis, while Midshipman Claire Hodge took out the Chief of Navy prize.
The other three awards were shared by Army and Air Force. General Hurley presented the Chief of the Defence Force Sword of Honour for Leadership to Officer Cadet Kent O’Sullivan, who displayed the highest standard of leadership and officer development among the graduating class, while Officer Cadet Jacob Taylor and Officer Cadet Laura Haws were awarded the Chief of Army and Chief of Air Force Prizes respectively.
The midshipmen and officer cadets who graduated today will be posted to establishments around Australia to continue their training, or to commence operational duties. Those studying for four year undergraduate degrees graduate from their military studies but remain at ADFA to complete their university qualification.
“I am very proud to farewell the graduating class of 2013. It has been an honour and privilege to train these young people who will now become junior leaders of the Australian Defence Force,” Commodore Kafer said.
Commodore Kafer was himself honoured yesterday, when he was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of New South Wales – one of just eleven people ever to be bestowed the title.
Imagery available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20132514.