At the Annual General Meeting in October 1990, the Australian Army Aviation Association decided that it would sponsor an annual award for the “Soldier of the Year”. All soldiers are eligible for the award, irrespective of corps or duties, however, emphasis is placed on nominations of sergeant and below. Units may nominate soldiers for the award for excellence in their soldierly qualities, knowledge of their trade or leadership. A panel of judges, comprising the RSMs of the Army aviation capability under the chairmanship of the Corps RSM, decides the winner and the award is announced and presented at the Annual Corps Dinner in July.
The list of recipients is unfortunately not complete. Several citations cannot be located and it is unclear whether the award was presented in 1997. In addition, many of the early photos are either of poor quality or missing. We continue to search to bring our records and this page up to date.
1991 | SGT S.P. Gallatly
1992 | SGT D.P. Heffernan
1993 | TPR Peter Cox
1994 | SGT Garth Bartier
1995 | SGT Malcolm Haddon
1996 | SSGT Peter Fowles
1997 | (recipient unknown)
1998 | CPL Evert Moorman
1999 | CPL Mick Booker
2000 | SGT Darren McCormack
2001 | SGT Lance Peterson
2002 | SGT Glenn Henderson
2003 | CPL David Meehan
2004 | SGT Amanda Edwards
2005 | SGT Sean Taylor
2006 | CPL Darren Lonergan
2007 | SGT Taquin Kennedy
2008 | CPL Ben White
2009 | CFN Stephen Laycock
2010 | LCPL John Keeley
2011 | CFN Lachlan Fraser
2012 | CFL Sean Brown
2013 | CPL Narongchi Jindanapalai
2014 | SGT Joseph Laycock
2015 | SGT Rhys Simspon
2016 | CFN Tyson Wade
2017 | SGT Ceara Tyrrell
SGT S.P. Gallatly
SGT S.P. Gallatly is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Corps Soldier of the Year for service in Operations Troop, 161 Reconnaissance Squadron.
In the past year he has filled the position of acting Operations Officer and Troop SGT of Operations Troop. He has demonstrated the ability to perform his duties to a very high standard and has contributed more to the effectiveness of 161 Reconnaissance Squadron than any other soldier.
As a measure of his professionalism, he was awarded Student of Merit on his Subject One SGT Course in 1991. This in itself has brought great credit to 161 Reconnaissance Squadron, 1 Aviation Regiment and the Australian Army Aviation Corps.
SGT D.P. Heffernan
SGT D.P. Heffernan is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 1992 for service in the School of Army Aviation.
In January 1990, SGT Heffernan commenced his current posting at the School of Army Aviation (SAA) as the Aircrewman Observer Instructor assigned to Corps Training and Tactics Wing. His primary duty in this position is the management and conduct of the Aircrewman Observers Course; however, SGT Heffernan has also provided extensive instructional input into the Aircraft Handler, Refueller, Medic/Fireman Familiarisation and Regimental Officers Basic (ROBC) courses.
It is, however, in the area of course redevelopment, design and implementation that SGT Heffernan's contributions to the Corps is most noteworthy. He has worked extensively on the rewrite of the Aircraft Handler course; notably the incorporation of the Aviation Bulk Refueller course into the Aircraft Handler course as a terminal objective rationalising not only the training, but also leading to training cost savings. Other projects involving much of SGT Heffernan's personal time include the rewriting of the Subject Four for Corporal (Aviation), the recognition objectives for the ROBC and currently the Aircrewman Observer course.
Throughout the numerous writing projects with which SGT Heffernan has been involved, he has maintained his personal flying skills resulting in the award of a Category A Aircrewman Observer category on his 1991 annual recategorisation.
SGT Heffernan, throughout his professionalism, rapport with all ranks and willingness to devote many hours of his personal time to course development, has contributed markedly to the attainment of the SAA objectives for course redesign and implementation. His efforts will contribute significantly to the quality of training received by soldiers and junior regimental officers alike.
TPR Peter Cox
Citation cannot be located
SGT Garth Bartier
Citation cannot be located.
SGT Malcolm Haddon
SGT Malcom Roy Haddon enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on the 28 April 1982. He served with the Royal Australian Infantry Corps until his transfer to the Australian army Aviation Corps on 4 March 1987. SGT Haddon has subsequently served at the School of Army Aviation, 173rd Surveillance Squadron, and is current posted as Groundcrewman Sergeant, 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron.
SGT Haddon has made an outstanding contribution to the operational effectiveness of 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron, particularly during December 1993 until December 1994 when he was acting Operations Officer. He accepted the additional responsibility of this demanding position well, ensuring that the Squadron operations continued to function in an efficient and timely manner. This added responsibility often required SGT Haddon to work additional hours in his own time.
SGT Haddon's devotion to duty is typified by his efforts in improving and standardising the Squadron's Command Posts (CP). On his own initiative, SGT Haddon drafted, staffed, and following approval, implemented a redesign of the Squadron's CP layout. This redesign has resulted in not only an increase in efficiency, but also due to its functional design a decrease in operator workloads. SGT Haddon's efforts have been considered at Regimental level for implementation across 1st Aviation Regiment.
While accepting the additional responsibility as the Squadron Operations Officer until January 1995, SGT Haddon has continued to oversee the development of the Squadron's groundcrewmen. He has developed a loyal, hard working and focussed team who have consistently drawn the praise of supported units. His efforts, particularly in the area of communications training and Raven radio implementation, have resulted in a consistently high standard of performance in both the barracks and field environments.
SGT Haddon's efforts as the temporary 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron's Operations Officer and the leadership he has displayed in his capacity as the Groundcrewman Sergeant are to be commended. His outstanding performance makes him a worthy recipient of the Army Aviation Soldier of the Year for 1995.
SSGT Peter Fowles
Citation cannot be located.
Citation cannot be located. It is unclear whether an award was presented in 1997.
CPL Evert (Tim) Moorman
For outstanding performance and devotion to duty as a groundcrewman instructor in Corps training and tactics wing, at the School of Army Aviation.
CPL Moorman in the course of his duties has demonstrated iniative and mature judgement in tasks assigned to him as part of the rewrite of the groundcrewman’s training management plan and competency log book project. His responsibilities for these tasks were carried out promptly and meticulously. His skills in applying the teaching practices of the Army Training System towards these projects were commendable. CPL Moorman’s contribution throughout both these corps projects, and person commitment to reducing inefficiencies within the groundcrew trade.
CPL Moorman’s conduct as a soldier and an instructor at the School of Army Aviation has been beyond reproach and this has been consistently displayed in his work, dress and bearing. In recognition of his contribution and dedication to the corps, CPL Moorman is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year Trophy for 1998.
CPL Mick Booker
Citation cannot be located.
SGT Darren McCormack
For outstanding performance and devotion to duty as the A Squadron 5th Aviation Regiment Operations Sergeant. Sergeant McCormick, during his term as Operations Sergeant, has displayed exceptional qualities in leadership, organisational and personnel management. He was posted into the Squadron during a tumultuous period in 1998. The Squadron was in the process of recovering the Special Operation capability.
The Squadron conducted intensive training, and an efficient and hardworking Operations Section was essential in completing this safely and effectively – Sergeant McCormick’s strong work ethics and competent performance was instrumental in achieving all that was required. During this period Sergeant McCormick held the vacant position as the Squadron Operations Officer for five months. In the latter half of 1999 Sergeant McCormick was instrumental in ensuring the Squadron deployed to Tindal with the correct equipment and personnel. When B Squadron 5 Aviation regiment deployed to Timor, the group deployed with the operational equipment and procedures that Sergeant McCormick had pulled together.
Sergeant McCormick is a most capable Senior NCO and leader. He has consistently provided strong and loyal support to his Operations Officer and to his OC utilising the best principles of directive control – an understanding of his Commander’s intent and an abundance of common sense. He exhibits leadership and organisational qualities. His unique style and his concern for his subordinates has resulted in an Operations Cell that is the envy of the rest of the Regiment, if not the Corps. He continually seeks to improve morale for the junior members of the Operations Cell and was instrumental in organising postings for his subordinates. Sergeant McCormick’s concern for the welfare of his soldiers and continued professional development of all members of his trade is second to none. He is a shining example to all AAAvn Groundcrewman and to the Corps as a whole.
SGT Lance Peterson
SGT Lance Peterson is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2001n for his exemplary professionalism and outstanding contribution towards the development and conduct of groundcrewman training.
SGT Peterson was posted as an Instructor to Aviation Trade Wing in January 2000. His arrival coincided with a period of great change for the Groundcrewman Trade. From the outset he demonstrated the ability to work unsupervised and seemingly unphased by the pressures of a tight schedule to develop, write and conduct the necessary training. He personally took charge of developing the communications modules within the Mission Support course. Of his own volition he sought out additional training for himself to supplement his considerable expertise in communications so as to ensure that the standard of training delivered to Aviation Groundcrewmen was the best available. Concurrently, hi also undertook a Training Technologist course to help facilitate the integrity of the course material for which he was responsible within the Wing.
SGT Peterson’s wide knowledge and practise of the many facets that go to make up his tradecraft as a soldier engenders respect from superiors, peers and trainees alike. As an individual, his work ethic, indomitable sense of humour, team spirit and integrity are no less inspirational.
Overall he is an exemplary role model for the many young soldiers who have passed through his care over the period. SGT Peterson’s contribution to the professional advancement of the Corps’ Groundcrewman has been nothing short of outstanding. Indeed, by his actions and persona he very much embodies the peace time soldier.
SGT Glenn Henderson
SGT Glenn Henderson is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2002 for his professionalism and commitment to the development of the Aviation "HGU-56P Aircrew Helment BlueFin Ensemble, Ephese Aircrew Breathing System, and HEEDS" capability.
SGT Henderson’s efforts and "can do" attitude has enabled the Australian Defence Force to expand its ability to perform Airborne Special Operations and Counter Terrorism with increased safety. His efforts and attitude were also highlighted after a recent rotation to East Timor as part of the 5th Aviation Regiment detachment. Once again the "Can do" attitude and enthusiasm contributed greatly to the effectiveness of the detachment and unit morale.
SGT Hendersen’s dedication to the Australian Army Aviation capability represents exemplary performance in the finest traditions of the Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and reflects great credit upon yourself and the Australian Army.
CPL David Meehan
Corporal Meehan is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2003. He joined the Army in 1991 and served as a trooper with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin before corps transferring in 1995. He was posted to the 5th Aviation Regiment as an armament Groundcrewman with Iroquois gunships in C Squadron before successfully completing a Loadmaster course in 2000. Corporal Meehan was then posted to the 171st Operational Support Squadron Aerial Fire Support Troop, responsible for training subordinates, and conducting both utility and fire support flying operations.
Peewee, as he is better known in the Squadron, is an excellent door gunner both in accuracy and effectiveness of fire. He works very hard at keeping his miniguns operating and firing. He is a tireless worker, whose enthusiasm and commitment to his trade and the Army ethos has been instrumental in the success of 171 Operational Support Squadron gunship operations over the past three years. He displays leadership qualities far in excess of those required for his position, and is an outstanding role model for junior loadmasters and Groundcrewmen. In addition to his primary tasks associated with the Aerial Fire Support Troop, Peewee is also a sub-unit PTI.
Corporal Meehan has proven time and again that he is a self-starter of enduring good humour and integrity who continually seeks and accepts additional responsibilities. In short, he is an outstanding soldier, and a very worthy recipient of the Aviation Soldier of the Year award for 2003.
SGT Amanda Edwards
SGT Amanda Edwards is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Soldier of the Year for 2004 for her exemplary performance as the Senior Non Commissioned Officer of Maintenance Control Section, Technical Support Squadron in support of technical airworthiness of the Black Hawk and Chinook aircraft at the 5th Aviation Regiment.
SGT Edwards’ thorough knowledge of the technical data management systems and excellent managerial skills, capacity for work and leadership were instrumental in the Regiment continuing to achieve its goals under a high operational tempo. Her support in maintenance management systems and technical documentation directly contributed to the success of Operations CITADEL, SCRUMMAGE and FALCONER.
SGT Edwards’ dedication, professionalism and pro-activeness to address problems during the preparation and rollout phases of the new technical airworthiness management system (CAMM2) also enabled a relatively smooth and successful transition without detrimental effect on the Regiment’s technical data integrity. Her tireless work ethic was crucial throughout this time, allowing 5th Aviation Regiment to maintain its operational capability. Her performance as the Senior Non Commissioned Officer of Maintenance Control Section, Technical Support Squadron has been critical to the ongoing success of the 5th Aviation Regiment. Her personal commitment, dedication and hard work throughout the year have been exceptional.
SGT Sean Taylor
SGT Sean Taylor is awarded the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2005 for his exemplary performance as a senior non commissioned officer of Armament Systems Wing, Rotary Wing Aircraft Maintenance School, Army Aviation Training Centre in support of explosive ordnance awareness training for Army Aviation Technical Training.
SGT Taylor’s application of knowledge on aircraft armament systems and explosive ordnance within the development of explosive ordnance training packages for initial employment training technicians, and Corporal, Sergeant, Artificer and Engineering Officer level courses, has enhanced Army Aviation maintenance of explosive ordnance awareness and safety. The explosive ordnance awareness package that he developed has been identified by the Royal Australian Air Force Explosive Ordnance Training School, and is being utilised in the development of a tri-service explosive ordnance awareness package. This package will be delivered to all aircraft technical tradesman at the Royal Australian Air Force School of Technical Training in the future.
SGT Taylor’s personal commitment, dedication and hard work throughout the year has been exceptional, has brought great credit on himself, his Corps, and is in the finest traditions of the Australian Defence Force.
CPL Darren Lonergan
The Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2006 is Corporal Lonergan in recognition of his exemplary performance as the Commander of Forward Repair Team Three, B Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment in support of Black Hawk aircraft maintenance.
Through his inspirational leadership, unflagging commitment and adept technical skill he has made a significant contribution to the successful conduct of flying operations, both overseas and within Australia. In particular, his support in assisting B Squadron prepare for Operations PAKISTAN, ASSIST, LARRY ASSIST and ASTUTE has been outstanding and well above that expected of someone of his rank and experience. In this demanding environment of high operational tempo he achieved results with his Forward Repair Team that, ultimately, has enhanced the international reputation of the Australian Army’s aviation capability.
CPL LOnergan’s dedication, skill and tenacity in the most difficult of conditions has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and his Regiment and reflect the finest traditions of the Army aviation capability’s soldier/tradesmen
SGT Taquin Kennedy
SGT Tarquin Kennedy is the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2007 for his exemplary leadership, commitment and technical proficiency as a CH-47D Loadmaster for C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment and Task Group 637.3, Operation SLIPPER
SGT Kennedy’s inspirational leadership, professional excellence and dedication to duty have resulted in several outstanding contributions to 5th Aviation Regiment and the aviation capability. Most notably, his highly-developed individual skills and trade knowledge allowed him to rapidly master the M-134D Minigun weapon system and act as a mentor to other Aircrewman. Over and above his routine duties, he experimented with the fit of the M-134D weapon system and associated equipment during its introduction. Through these efforts, he ultimately developed an optimised layout that resulted in greater weapon proficiency and significantly fewer weapon stoppages; thereby resulting in increased protection for the aircraft, crew and passengers. The procedures and training methods that SGT Kennedy developed were subsequently adopted for all operators within the Army Aviation capability.
Whilst deployed on Operation SLIPPER, he consistently displayed an extremely professional and mission-focussed approach to flying operations. Notably, his courage and composure under fire during an Australian-led air assault mission into a heavily defended landing zone were beyond reproach. Since returning to Australia, he has continued to demonstrate a level of leadership and enthusiasm that has set him apart from his peers. This was highlighted by his enthusiastic involvement with the 5th Aviation Regiment obstacle course team and his efforts to improve the C Squadron outdoor training and recreation area during personal time.
SGT Kennedy has brought great credit upon himself, his Corps and his Unit. Your efforts reflect the finest traditions of the Army aviation capability’s soldier.
CPL Ben White
CPL Ben White is the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2008 for his exemplary leadership, commitment and technical proficiency as a FARP Team Leader for 171st Aviation Squadron, 6th Aviation Regiment and the Timor Leste Aviation Group, Operation ASTUTE.
CPL White displayed great courage and determination as a soldier and demonstrated significant leadership under adversity as a team leader. He has consistently demonstrated a thorough understanding of his trade, shown professionalism under trying conditions, and proven his value to the aviation capability in all aspects of his work. During his deployment on Operation ASTUTE in November 2007, he undertook an extensive review and audit of the state of the FARP equipment, procedures and processes, and discovered that critical requirements for the quality and safety of aviation fuel were not being satisfied. When faced with this situation he demonstrated moral courage and insisted that aircraft refuelling could not take place until the situation was rectified. CPL White then worked assiduously to rectify the technical, procedural and regulatory issues that affected the capability. In so doing, he demonstrated outstanding trade skills as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the external agencies and regulations that govern the provision of aircraft refuelling.
During his posting, CPL White also demonstrated a high level of dedication and leadership in support of Black Hawk operations in the 6th Aviation Regiment. This is made all the more significant given the increasing issues with availability of fuel assets within the unit. Despite the number of serviceable fuel vehicles reaching critically low levels, his inspiration leadership has helped to ensure that motivation and compliance with standards has not been compromised.
By demonstrating leadership, commitment and technical proficiency at levels well above worn rank CPL White achieved exemplary results. His service has been in the finest traditions of the 6th Aviation Regiment and the Army Aviation capability.
CFN Stephen Laycock
The Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2009 is CFN Stephen Laycock for his exemplary performance in carrying out your duties and responsibilities as an Avionics Technician at the 1st Aviation Regiment.
CFN Laycock’s contribution to the introduction of the ARH capability at the 1st Aviation Regiment has been invaluable. He has conducted your duties to an excellent standard and demonstrated outstanding devotion to duty during high tempo periods. He directly contributed to the improvement of avionics maintenance procedures and notably, the availability of serviceable aircraft during Exercise Possum Guns.
In addition to his primary duties as an avionics tradesman, CFN Laycock concurrently assumed the roles and responsibilities of an ARH avionics mentor. The coaching and mentoring he provided to junior craftsmen within the Regiment is of the highest standard and a direct reflection of his inherent leadership ability and knowledge of ARH avionics systems.
CFN Laycock’s achievements are of the highest order and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force. He is an ambassador of the emerging ARH capability.
LCPL John Keeley
The Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2010 is LCPL Joseph Keeley for His outstanding performance of duty as the Information Systems Technician within the Rotary Wing Group on deployment in Afghanistan. Throughout the deployment he made a significant contribution to mission readiness and the conduct of operations through his work maintaining the Group’s information systems.
His efforts have been fundamental in allowing the Rotary Wing Group to meet operational requirements. He actively sought to establish, support and maintain the Group’s information systems, particularly in an aviation context, and to further refine management practices, protocols and procedures.
CPL Keeley can be rightly proud of his achievements and, through them, his recognition as the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year
CFN Lachlan Fraser
The Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2011 is CFN Lachlan Fraser. As a Fitter Armourer in the 5th Aviation Regiment, CFN Fraser took on all the roles and responsibilities of the position with enthusiasm. He performed trade duties and responsibilities with dedication and displayed an exceptional ability to manage all tasks allocated. Of note, was his positive attitude, which, combined with his trade skills, have ensured exceptional productivity in Ground Equipment Repair Troop.
CFN Fraser is one of the few tradesmen in the Army qualified on the M134D 7.62 Mini-gun. This weapon system is essential for force protection of CH-47 Aircraft operating in Afghanistan. There is a very small fleet of this specialised weapon system in the ADF and he has been constantly under pressure to ensure sufficient numbers are available for both operations and domestic training. Despite significant pressures, he demonstrated maturity and moral courage when he identified a systemic error in management of M134D Maintenance Procedures. CFN Fraser alerted the chain of command, despite knowing the issue might reflect poorly on his peers, and would cause the Army to lose a capability for a short period of time. He then applied yourself to rectifying the problem and you instigated robust measures to prevent recurrence.
CFN Fraser is also a subject matter expert on a wide variety of topics, from infantry minor tactics and navigation, through to technical references and documentation relevant to trade tasks. He is highly regarded within the unit as a hard working and professional soldier. He takes a proactive approach to the mentoring of the On-The-Job trainees. Whilst not his primary role, CFN Fraser consistently takes the initiative to provide trainees with the opportunity to expand their knowledge, going out of his way to engage trainees, using challenging scenarios to develop their diagnostic skills.
During his tenure at the 5th Aviation Regiment, CFN Fraser has consistently demonstrated the capacity to accept extra responsibility. He regularly exceed standards with the quality of his work, applying keen attention to detail. He always completes his duties to a high standard and can be trusted to work independently. He consistently strives to improve himself and this has a positive impact on both his peers and the general work environment. CFN Fraser’s initiative, integrity and dedication are in the finest traditions of the Army.
Corporal Sean Brown
‘I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on being names the Australian Army Aviation Corps Soldier of the Year for 2012. This is a great achievement and one you should be very proud of.
Through your own iniative, hard work and determination, you achieved accreditation to conduct Dangerous Goods Training within the ADF. Obtaining this accreditation outside of the normal civilian and military agencies responsible for this training is widely recognised as difficult and unusual. Furthermore, by achieving this accreditation in the manner you have, you have afforded Defence significant savings in terms of travel and subsistence payments.
In recent times, you have managed and conducted critical aircrew training within Army and Navy and have been involved with the development of courseware and delivery. This is a significant achievement for a JNCO and in no small part, has contributed to the safety of ADF aircraft operations.
Furthermore, you have displayed an exemplary level of professionalism, whilst working under sever time constraints. You have applied yourself diligently to all tasks, ensuring all training has been delivered in an accurate and succinct manner.
You are highly regarded within the Australian Army Aviation Training Centre as a hard-working, professional and resourceful soldier. In your day to day duties, you consistently go beyond what is required of you, regularly demonstrating the highest of standards. You should be proud of your achievements and your recognition as the Australian Army Aviation Soldier of the Year for 2012.’
CPL Narongchi Jindanapalai
I commend you for your exceptional service as an Avionics Technician in Support Squadron, Sixth Aviation Regiment.
During your time at Sixth Aviation Regiment, you have developed into the subject matter expert for Avionics processes, greatly assisting the critical shortage in Avionics Trade Supervisors. You possess the most extensive knowledge of all Avionics Technicians at your rank and an unparalleled thought process, which is logical and efficient. It has been noted that the high quality of Avionics Technicians in the unit is attributed to your ability to mentor them. Your work has resulted in an increase in Sixteenth Aviation Brigade’s Avionics Technician capability.
Your devotion to excellence was also seen in your involvement with the Avionics components of the Black Hawk Modification Program (BHMP). Due to the infancy of some modifications forming the BHMP, an extensive knowledge base was yet to be established by Army Aviation System Program Office (AASPO). You pioneered the way forward through system trials and end-user feedback. Your pivotal liaison between Sixth Aviation Regiment EMEOPS and AASPO helped achieve the successful implementation of the Avionics modifications of the BHMP. Throughout the program you have been the personification of the professional Avionics Technician, actively demonstrating your work ethic in a high tempo unit. You have sought responsibility to execute tasks as an Avionics Trade Supervisor beyond that expected of your rank.
Throughout the 6th Aviation Regiment’s yearly battle rhythm, you have been involved in the majority of exercises. This sacrifice has resulted in decreased time spent at home, which has detracted from your personal life. Your involvement in the Army Rugby Union team has provided some respite from your professional work commitments. You have been an integral member of the regiment’s team, participating in the Kapooka 9s and Kapooka 10s victories, as well as representing Sixteenth Aviation Brigade as the starting winger with great success and being selected for the Tri-Service team.
Your contribution to the Sixth Aviation Regiment is of the highest order and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Army Aviation Corps, the Australian Regular Army and the Australian Defence Force.
SGT Joseph Laycock
For outstanding service in the performance of duty as the Training Sergeant and the Squadron Aircrewmen Instructor at the 171st Aviation Squadron, 6th Aviation Regiment.
Sergeant Laycock has conducted pivotal work contributing to the development of the Army's Special Operations Aviation capability. He has been inspirational in the establishment and introduction of updated Aircrewman Special Operations flying procedures, leading to significantly safer flying operations. This was demonstrated by his ability to identify capability faults and then develop and put into practice strategies to overcome specified deficiencies. His superior knowledge of both his trade skills and the operational requirements of the Tactical Assault Groups contributed to the development of procedures to enhance the interoperability between both the Commando Regiments and the Special Air Service Regiment with respect to aviation.
Sergeant Laycock's professionalism and ability to engage with personnel has developed and enhanced the reputations of his squadron and the Australian Army. This was well demonstrated when he conducted a liaison and information exchange visit with the United States Army's, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. He conducted himself well above the standard expected from someone of his rank and experience during this engagement. Throughout the visit he remained positively engaged in all of the activities. He continuously analysed the new information he was receiving whilst concurrently developing methods to implement this knowledge in Australia.
Throughout 2013 Sergeant Laycock was primarily employed as the 171st Aviation Squadron Training Sergeant. Additionally, he was the Senior Qualified Aircrewman Instructor for the squadron. While performing these roles there were periods where he was also temporarily conducting the duties of the Regimental Aircrewman Standards Warrant Officer. This is a noteworthy achievement as very few similarly ranked members could manage the same responsibility. It was through superior knowledge, dedication and an exemplary work ethic that he excelled in all these positions.
Sergeant Laycock's skills and expertise are highly sought after by a number of agencies within the Australian Army relating to Special Operations and general aviation issues. Due to his understanding and meticulous planning he was able to identify areas of concern with the 3rd Brigade's helicopter insertion and extraction training and mitigate and rectify these issues. The success of this training and the subsequent enhancement of 3 Brigades operational capability was a direct result of his individual actions.
Over the past two years Sergeant Laycock has played a crucial role in the successful qualification of new Special Operations Aircrewmen and pilots. His dedication and willingness to extend himself have been exemplary. The results of his efforts at the 171st Aviation Squadron have greatly assisted the Army to produce a highly effective Special Operations Aviation Task Group.
Sergeant Laycock's exceptional standards of professionalism, organisation, and commitment are an inspiration to his peers and subordinates and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Australian Army.
SGT Rhys Edward Simspon
I commend you for your exceptional service as maintenance of 6th Aviation Regiment.
You are an outstanding soldier who is widely respected throughout the 6th Aviation Regiment. Your mentoring ability and attitude command respect from subordinates and superiors alike. Your easy going yet professional personality combined with your technical prowess has allowed tradesmen under your command to develop from a professional standpoint into future trade superiors and maintenance managers. Despite the mission focus and can do attitude that resonates within your teams, you are an advocate of aviation safety. Your Mission First, Safety Always approach enables to lead your soldiers to mission success.
Your superior leadership and technical abilities have been demonstrated during a number of exercises, in particular during Exercise Dawn Tiger in 2014 (the regiments first international engagement exercise in Malaysia) and Exercise Iron Rotor 2015 (in support of the Special Air Services Regiment in Perth). You demonstrated your operational efficiency and command ability by leading your teams in achieving all require aircraft tasking safely during periods on intense operational tempo. Leading from the front, you maintained excellent aircraft serviceability whilst in a foreign country despite operating within a dislocated repair parts chain. Your unwavering ability to manage your workforce, plan scheduled maintenance and address unscheduled maintenance in austere environments ensured mission success for the detachment and paved a way for the aviation capability by proving such deployments are achievable from an aircraft maintenance perspective.
In addition to performing your normal daily duties, you have demonstrated a superior ability for succession planning. You have taken on the role as he Squadron Maintenance Aircrewman Technician mentor where you personally devote your time to enhancing this capability. You have also devised various methods in improving the deployed maintenance capability. This has been evident where you have lead your team in standardising improved Fly Away Kit arrangements and updating out-of-date Composite Tool Kit tools and containers. Your knowledge has greatly assisted the Troop Commander in improving the squadron embedded maintenance node, particularly within a unit that maintains one of the Army’s shortest notice to move requirements. Your exceptional standard of professional excellence and dedication has brought great credit upon yourself and the Regiment and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army.
CFN Tyson Terry Wade
Craftsman Wade has displayed exemplary leadership, professionalism and dedication to duty as an Avionics Technician within the Technical Support Troop, A Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.
Craftsman Wade was instrumental in achieving serviceability of the emerging Multi-Role Helicopter capability through his enthusiasm, passion and superior leadership. He has been responsible for the development and implementation of the Ground Logistics Information Management System at the Regiment level and has consistently performed above his worn rank. His exceptional service has brought great credit upon himself and the 5th Aviation Regiment, and has been in the finest traditions of the Australian Defence Force.
SGT Ceara Mindy Tyrrell
Sergeant CM Tyrrell, Australian Army Aviation Corps, is awarded the Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for exemplary service as the Ground Crew Mission Support Sergeant whilst posted to the Tactical Operations Cell, 5th Aviation Regiment.
You are a dedicated, hard-working and capable soldier whose commitment, professionalism and technical ability has significantly enhanced mission support contributions to Regiment flying operations. Your leadership and dedication to the members of your team have been critical to Ground Crew Mission Support integration and the success of Chinook and Taipan flying tasks at the 5th Aviation Regiment.
Your tireless efforts in leading soldiers in the Tactical Operations Centre have helped support the numerous, high profile activities of the unit such as Vigilant Scimitar, Operation Queensland Assist, Sea Explorer and Talisman Sabre. Your role in developing and mentoring junior soldiers has greatly improved soldier retention and the training competence of the members of your trade, which will continue to enhance the Mission Support provided to aviation operational support.
Your performance, commitment and leadership has been outstanding and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army Aviation Corps. Your dedication in promoting the GCMS capability and supporting aviation operations has earned you high regard from your superiors and the respect of your peers. Your efforts have brought great credit upon yourself, your Corps and the Australian Army.
© THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY AVIATION ASSOCIATION