Sailor of year
Thursday, 27th December, 2018
By Emily McInerney
Petty Officer Marine Technician Tyron Craft has been awarded the inaugural Steel Cat of the Year Award and Sailor of the Year at a ceremony on the HMAS Brisbane III.
The former local left Broken Hill in 2009 to join the Navy and has been achieving ever since.
“I was looking for a bit of excitement and something different, and broaden my horizons,” said PO Craft.
“I joined as a marine technician and was on the HMAS Melbourne for my first Op Slipper rotation to the middle east region.”
It was during that time he was awarded a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for his efforts.
He subsequently returned in 2015 onboard HMAS Newcastle where once again his work was recognised with an Australian Defence Force Bronze Commendation.
The Op Slipper commemorative range, endorsed by the Chief of Defence Force, marks the end of Australia’s longest military operation.
It recognises military personnel’s service in various operations.
In 2017, PO Craft assisted completion of first of class trials onboard the HMAS Hobart, one of Australia’s new DDG class which has recently returned from the United States after all weapons testing.
In 2018, he was promoted to Petty Officer and was posted to Hobart’s sister ship HMAS Brisbane to help bring a second DDG into service.
His role in the Navy includes being a Propulsion Engine Specialist which incorporates Main Engine Gas Turbines and Propulsion Diesels as well as Diesel Generators for ship-bourne power distribution onboard.
PO Craft said he could not see himself anywhere but in the Navy.
“The Navy offers everything I need, they are very supportive when it comes to families.
“It has taken me to places I never could have been as a civilian, it’s given me a different perspective on life.
“I’ve seen stuff I never could have contemplated.”
PO Craft has been to Jordan, United Emirates, Diego Garcia which is a militarised island, Dubai and will be heading off to the US to support HMAS Brisbane.
He also spent 12 months in Adelaide helping to build two of the destroyers that are now in the Australian fleet.
“It gave me more insight into the working of a ship,” he said.
“With the knowledge of Australian Shipping Construction, I had a different aspect of how a ship runs and is maintained.
“We have whole new systems now and I learnt how they run and to take control of the ship. Without that knowledge, I don’t think I would have received Sailor of the Year.”
PO Craft said he was surprised to receive the awards.
“I was in awe when it happened. I’m still shocked, I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
PO Craft’s commanding officer wrote that he showed a high work ethic in his 12 months in Adelaide on the “Tin City” RAAF Edinburgh.
“Truly dedicated to your shipmates and the culture of ‘Brisbane’ from the start of your posting, you have displayed a strong desire to serve and make ‘Brisbane’ a great shop,” the CO wrote.
“This has been represented by your willingness to volunteer for representational activities including the Commissioning Guard and representing ‘Brisbane’ as part of a Tri service Guard at the opening of the South Australian Parliament.
“Your performance and dedication throughout the year have contributed greatly to ‘Brisbane’s’ overall performance.”
Tyron, his wife Ellie and children Riley (10), Paige (5) and Maximus (2) are in Broken Hill for Christmas season with their families.