Officers recognised for long service

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, Victoria

Topic(s): HMAS Cerberus, Federation Star, Long Service Medal

Head of Navy Engineering, Rear Admiral Colin Lawrence, AM, RAN (right), presents Lieutenant Commander Eric Mushins, RANR, with his second Federation Star for the Defence Long Service Medal, marking 45 years service in the Royal Australian Navy. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Head of Navy Engineering, Rear Admiral Colin Lawrence, AM, RAN (right), presents Lieutenant Commander Eric Mushins, RANR, with his second Federation Star for the Defence Long Service Medal, marking 45 years service in the Royal Australian Navy.

Three Naval officers in Victoria have been formally acknowledged for their cumulative 105 years in the Navy during a small ceremony at HMAS Cerberus

Lieutenant Commanders Mark Fielder, Eric Mushins and Cassandra Mohapp have a collective total of 105 years of service between them. 

Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus Captain Tim Standen CSC, RAN, presented LCDR Cassandra Mohapp with her 20 Year Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN. 

LCDR Fielder and LCDR Mushins received their first and second Federation Stars respectively from Head of Navy Engineering Rear Admiral Colin Lawrence AM, RAN in recognition of 40 and 45 years of service.

LCDR Mushins expressed pride in his achievement of this significant career milestone. 

"I'm happy I made it because I don't think anyone thinks they will be in the military for that long when they first join," he said.

"One of the highlights of the past 45 years is completing the long labour control shipping course on Whale Island near Portsmouth in England in 1985."

LCDR Mohapp spent 17 years with the Royal Australian Navy Band followed by her current posting as 1st Lieutenant at HMAS Cerberus and feels like the past 20 years have given her plenty of space to grow.

"I was a little restless in my early years as an Able Seaman Musician, but I found my way," she said. 

"I think when I made strong friendships, saw the value in what I was contributing to Navy and the community, and broadened my skills beyond music and performance it made all the difference."

LCDR Mohapp was the first female ADF Band Officer to conduct a service at Gallipoli on Anzac Day in 2013, an opportunity she considers a career highpoint.

"We had a 30 piece children's choir from Brisbane, musicians from the Royal Australian and Royal New Zealand Navy Bands and it was broadcast live on the ABC," she said. 

"I feel like there is so much more I can do in the Navy am looking forward to the next 20 years."