When Wing Commander Darren Dolan received notification that he would be among those recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday honours, he was speechless.
“I didn’t know how or what to feel,” he said, of the unexpected honour.
Wing Commander Dolan, who works as Chief of Staff at the Australian Defence Force Academy Headquarters in Canberra, was made a Member (AM) in the Military Division of the Order of Australia for exceptional service in combat support, organisational development and training delivery for the ADF.
“Recognition in such a manner is humbling to say the least, having read about and know previous recipients and all that they have achieved,” he said.
“Additionally, knowing the process and journey such an application takes, that to be assessed by peers as suitable and then be honoured in such a way is, again, humbling.”
It did give him cause to consider that the honour was also recognition for those around him.
“My thoughts went to those I have served with during my various postings and the privilege that afforded me, and importantly, the support of my family during my service.”
Wing Commander Dolan has served more than 30 years in the Air Force, producing a host of significant advances in combat support in 13 Squadron and in training delivery and capability development for 1 Recruit Training Unit.
His AM recognises his professionalism and skills as an exemplary commander who has demonstrated inspirational leadership, exceptional managerial skill, steadfast determination and exemplary dedication.
“Words cannot describe the opportunities I have been afforded over the years, in many locations and different positions,” he said.
“From the Air Force I joined in 1988 to the one in which I serve in today, it has been the people I have worked with that have supported my journey.
“Air Force is a great organisation that supports its people to achieve all they wish and I am grateful to have had those shared experiences with some amazing people.”