NT Navy members among Queen’s Birthday honourees

Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), POIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Topic(s): Queen's Birthday Honours, Order of Australia, Conspicuous Service Medal

Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours recipients, left, Lieutenant Commander Laurie Choate, CSM, and right, Warrant Officer Arthur Mitcherson, OAM. (photo: POIS Peter Thompson)
Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours recipients, left, Lieutenant Commander Laurie Choate, CSM, and right, Warrant Officer Arthur Mitcherson, OAM.

Two members of the Royal Australian Navy in the Northern Territory have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.

Lieutenant Commander Laurie Choate received a Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) and Warrant Officer Arthur Mitcherson was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Warrant Officer Mitcherson of the Minor War Vessel Sea Training Unit said he was “very humbled but also extremely appreciative that the people I work alongside considered me for the medal.”

“I have had exceptional support from everyone I have worked alongside over the years, so I feel a little embarrassed but also very honoured to be singled out,” he said.

Warrant Officer Mitcherson received the OAM for ‘Meritorious performance of duty in the fields of Marine Engineering and technician training’.

The award reads, ‘Warrant Officer Mitcherson’s leadership, deep technical knowledge and experience left an enduring legacy by improving Navy’s technical workforce mastery and operational outcomes of the minor warship force over an extended period...His ability to coach, train and mentor provided results that will greatly enhance the culture and reputation of the Navy’.

Warrant Officer Mitcherson received a CSM in 2011 for services to engineering while working in the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving System’s Program Office.

Marine Engineering Officer Lieutenant Commander Choate said he had to share the medal with his family for their support over 33 years in the Navy.

“I never thought I would receive an honour like this and I’m humbled to be recognised for what felt like simply doing my job. It was a challenging role but it was with a part of Navy I have been involved in and believed in for a long time,” he said.

“My wife is really pleased that I have been recognised but I also see the medal as recognition of her support during my career, not just for this position but many postings at sea and ashore that came with their own challenges and tough times.”

Lieutenant Commander Choate received the medal for ‘Meritorious devotion to duty as the Regional Manager Fleet Support Unit - North East’.

His award reads, ‘Lieutenant Commander Choate’s dedication to duty enabled Fleet Support Unit-North East to upskill its workforce, rebuild local engineering capability, and foster the talent of junior sailors’.

Lieutenant Commander Choate is currently the lead engineer at Patrol Boat Headquarters in Darwin.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List are annual awards which seek to define, encourage and reinforce Australian goals and values.

Honourees are nominated by members of the community for their work in supporting others and their acts of selflessness.

The full Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List is available at:
https://www.gg.gov.au/queens-birthday-2019-honours-list.