The 2012 ADFA Graduation parade. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The navy made a clean sweep of the major staff cadet awards at the Australian Defence Force Academy on Thursday.
The Commander-in-Chief's Medal was awarded to Midshipman Douglas Phillips, the Chief of Defence Force's Sword of Honour went to Midshipman Matthew Bell and the RSL Sword of Service was awarded to Midshipman Cleo Telford.
The awards were presented by Governor-General Quentin Bryce and the Acting Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin.
Commander in Chief Medal recipient, Midshipman Douglas Phillips, and recipient of the Chief of Defence Force Sword, Midshipman Matthew Bell. Photo: Rohan Thomson
''My congratulations to the three midshipmen for their sterling efforts,'' was Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison's response when asked about the senior service's remarkable success.
The parade, which marked the graduation of 265 cadets from all three services and also from nine other countries, took place in near-perfect conditions.
A large crowd of family members, serving military and other defence personnel converged on the ADFA parade ground to watch the cadets and midshipmen move onto the next stage of their careers.
For Midshipman Phillips that will be a stint at HMAS Watson in the new year, in preparation for a six-month deployment aboard a patrol boat.
The midshipman, who was also the parade commander, is hoping to be posted to one of the Anzac class frigates after that.
Midshipman Bell will remain at the ADFA in 2013 to complete an honours year in oceanography. He will also serve as a residential support officer, working with the new student intake.
Midshipman Bell said his fondest memories of the ADFA would be of the opportunities he had been given and the friendships he made.
''I had the chance to lead a group overseas on an American Civil War battlefields study tour,'' he said. ''It was awe-inspiring; the sites we visited were so old but so full of history.''
Asked what he intended to do with his sword, Midshipman Bell said it would go on the wall above his bed.
The Commander-in-Chief's Medal is awarded for excellence in military and academic achievement, with emphasis on leadership, personal standards and academic excellence. The CDF's sword acknowledges leadership and the RSL sword recognises service.
Mrs Bryce praised the graduates for the effort they had put in. ''The respect and trust of all Australians is with you wherever you go,'' she said. ''I wish you well, we are so proud of you.''