Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

'I Would Trade It All for Others' Comfort and Peace'

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

'I Would Trade It All for Others' Comfort and Peace'

Article excerpt

COMMANDER Philip Spedding of the Royal Australian Navy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his command of HMAS Stuart while deployed to the Middle East in April 2004, as part of Operation Catalyst.

The frigate was stationed in the Northern Arabian Gulf when three suicide boats attempted to attack Iraqi oil terminals, resulting in the sinking of an inflatable boat from the US ship Firebolt.

Spedding's decisive actions defeated the attack and enabled the recovery and treatment of casualties. According to his citation, "his rapid response and that of his team no doubt saved lives."

While in the Middle East, Spedding demonstrated courage, leadership and operational acumen that reflected positively on both the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Defence Force.

He has since been promoted to Commodore and remains active in the Naval Reserve.

There have been 82 recipients of the DSC. Of these, six people have received a Bar (second award) and one has earned a second Bar (third award).

The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), introduced in 1991, is awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force who demonstrate distinguished command and leadership in warlike operations.

The medal is in the shape of a Maltese Cross and features the official coronation crown: Saint Edward's Crown.

Q&A with Commodore Philip Spedding

How did it feel when you were invited to accept the decoration?

I was excited, honoured and humbled in fairly equal manner. Excited and honoured because it is fairly unusual to have one's service and actions recognised through such a high award.

Humbled, because any success I was being recognised for, only came through the efforts of the fine men and women that I commanded, and the tremendous things that they achieved.

What does it mean to you to be recognised with a decoration? …

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