Graduation parade at the Royal Military College, Duntroon for the class of 2012. Winner of the Queen's Medal, Sgt. Briony Morgan, receives her medal from Governor General, Quentin Bryce, on the parade ground. Click for more photos

Graduation parade at RMC Duntroon class of 2012

Graduation parade at the Royal Military College, Duntroon for the class of 2012. Winner of the Queen's Medal, Sgt. Briony Morgan, receives her medal from Governor General, Quentin Bryce, on the parade ground. Photo: Graham Tidy

Duntroon's Briony Morgan joined a small, but growing, elite when she became only the fourth female cadet to be awarded the Royal Military College's Queen's Medal on Tuesday.

The prestigious Sword of Honour was presented to Senior Under Officer Lachlan Joseph.

Staff Cadet Morgan, a University of Melbourne graduate who has an honours degree in biochemistry, is to join the Royal Australian Medical Corps in Brisbane in the new year.

During her time at Duntroon, she has also served as the platoon sergeant with Alamein company, a distinction made on merit that carries leadership as well as ceremonial responsibilities.

''This was good,'' she said. ''It gave me mentoring responsibilities for up to 30 or 40 cadets.''

Staff Cadet Morgan who, along with her 155 classmates, was due to have her commission as a lieutenant in the Australian Army take effect at midnight on Tuesday night, said she could not have done so well without the support of her partner.

''I could not have achieved this on my own,'' she said. ''My partner is also a member of this graduating class and I'm here because of him.''

The Queen's Medal is an accolade for academic excellence and goes to the cadet who places first in the graduating class.

The sword of honour recognises ''exemplary conduct and performance of duty''.

Senior Under Officer Joseph, who was promoted to that rank in June, said it had been a privilege to be offered a leadership role so early in his military career.

''It meant I had to perform to a very high standard and that I had to prove myself to myself, my superiors and my peers.''

This meant his Sword of Honour was the result of a collaborative effort that would not have been possible without the support of others.

Senior Under Officer Joseph has his eyes firmly set on field service and is looking forward to joining the 2nd Cavalry at Robertson Barracks, Darwin, in the new year.

He will lead a troop of ASLAV 25s, the tracked gun trucks used to provide fire support in Afghanistan and which are equipped with 25-millimetre chain guns.

Duntroon's end-of-year graduation was attended by Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley, Chief of Army and Lieutenant-General David Morrison.

A special guest was General Tan Sri Dato Seri Panglima Haji Zulkifli bin Zainal Abidin, the chief of the Malaysian army who was present to witness the graduation of a Malaysian cadet.

Tuesday's graduates were members of Duntroon's 121st class. The college is now in its second century having celebrated its centenary last year.