Australia Day 2015 Honours - Navy's most Senior Sailor

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), LSIS Dove Smithett (photographer), ABIS Kathy Tuddenham (photographer), LAC Bill Solomou (photographer)

Topic(s): Australia Day Honours

File image: Warrant Officer of the Navy, Martin Holzberger attends a Commemorative reading of 'A personal story from the Roll of Honour' at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

 (photo: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham)
File image: Warrant Officer of the Navy, Martin Holzberger attends a Commemorative reading of 'A personal story from the Roll of Honour' at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

“Actually a little bit humbled, and quite surprised,” was how Warrant Officer of the Navy Martin Holzberger described being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List.

Warrant Officer Holzberger was among 19 Navy members to be honoured with an award.

Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N), Martin Holzberger.

Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N), Martin Holzberger.

He said he didn’t believe the award was purely a reflection of things he had done.

“It’s in many parts because of all the people I have served with, worked with and worked for, for the best part of 28 years,” he said.

“Their leadership, guidance and mentoring are what’s got me to where I am today and for that I am very thankful.

“I feel that I was just lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time.”

Warrant Officer Holzberger said there had been a huge number of inspirational people that he had worked with, especially over the last few years, who he has learnt a tremendous amount from.

“I still have a lot to learn from them, and they go from senior admirals down to recruits, and across the services,” he said.

Warrant Officer Holzberger said he had had many highlights throughout his career.

“Going to the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in HMAS Oxley in 1990 as a ‘scratcher’s lackey’ was one,” he said.

Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger, CSC, stops to speak to members of General Entry 316, Emms Division on the parade ground during their Graduation Ceremony held at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger, CSC, stops to speak to members of General Entry 316, Emms Division on the parade ground during their Graduation Ceremony held at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

“Being Chief of Boat in HMAS Sheean and deploying to the Middle East as Ship's Warrant Officer in HMAS Warramunga were other highlights.

Warramunga was my first surface ship after 20 years in submarines and it gave me a very different perspective on what Navy people do and can do.”

Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the Military Division

Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the Military Division

Warrant Officer Holzberger said there had been times during his career when he had a bad day or a bad week and thought about leaving the Navy.

“But I look at everything as a new adventure, and would advise young sailors to do the same,” he said.

“Look at your next posting as a new adventure; it’s a great way of looking at life.

“There’s always something ahead that’s better than where you are today.”

Warrant Officer Holzberger also had a message for junior officers.

“You need to lead - our sailors want to be led,” he said.

“As junior officers, you will learn from your senior officers, your senior sailors, and your junior sailors, the things you learn from them will make you better leaders - something Navy has always had and will always need.”

Warrant Officer Holzberger was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his role in HMAS Warramunga.

Citation

For exceptional performance of duty in the field of Navy leadership and management.
 
Warrant Officer Holzberger's exceptional passion, drive and performance as Manager Sailors' Training at Training Authority Submarines, Fleet Command Warrant Officer and the Warrant Officer of the Navy have been extraordinary. His dedication, determination and expertise in senior non-commissioned roles across Navy have proven inspirational for a generation of Navy's sailors. His actions have contributed significantly to strengthening Navy leadership, culture and capability.