Lieutenant Commander Paul Pelczar has pioneered a path to improving Royal Australian Navy information warfare capability after becoming the first non-United States officer to be awarded the United States Navy's Information Warfare Officers' pin.
The Australian completed the qualification process during his exchange posting to Navy Information Operations Command - Hawaii (2012-2014).
The award is dated December 2014, but due to the unique circumstances of being the first Information Warfare Officer qualification to be awarded to a foreigner, approval by the United States Secretary of Navy was required - a nearly two-year process.
Lieutenant Commander Pelczar said he was honoured to receive the award after a busy two years on the exchange that challenged him professionally and academically.
"United States Navy members of the information warfare community are expected to complete the two-tier process within three years of graduating from their respective basic courses," Lieutenant Commander Pelczar said.
"The first phase is focused on achieving core competencies in an individual specialisation within the community and the second phase in displaying competence in all other key designations of information warfare including communications, intelligence, cryptology, cyber and information operations, space and oceanography."
"The process involves multiple competency-based assignments, examinations and two intensive boards by senior subject matter experts," Lieutenant Commander Pelczar said.
Operationally subordinate to Commander 10th Fleet (United States Fleet Cyber Command), the community, formerly known as the Information Dominance Corps, was established in the United States Navy in 2009.
The community's role is to more efficiently and collaboratively lead and manage officers, enlisted, and civilian professionals who possess extensive skills in information-intensive fields and who are tasked with developing and delivering dominant information capabilities in support of United States Navy, Joint and national objectives.
Commodore James McCormack, Director General Support to Military Operations, in Australia, presented the qualification to Lieutenant Commander Pelczar at the Defence Force School of Languages, at Royal Australian Air Force base Williams on 2 December, and congratulated him on being the first non-US military member to achieve the qualification.
Lieutenant Commander Pelczar is currently completing the one-year Thai General Language Course at the school in preparation for attendance at the Royal Thai Navy's Command and Staff Course in 2017.