A Navy couple has been recognised for their service by the Governor-General during a ceremony in Canberra.

Even though they were awarded their medals a year apart, they received them together after requesting a delay in presentation.

Lieutenant Commander Jasmine Lauer-Smith received her Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours for devotion to duty in submarine operations intelligence.

A year later, Captain Dugald Clelland (then Commander) was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for duties in command of HMAS Warramunga supporting Operation Manitou from November 2017 to June 2018.

Lieutenant Commander Lauer-Smith was in her role for 18 months when she took maternity leave for the birth of their daughter, Florence.

At the time, Captain Clelland was Commanding Officer Warramunga and the ship was preparing for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East.

“We thought it would be special to receive our awards together, in the presence of our family, and especially our young daughter.

He was home for the birth of Florence, then rejoined the ship after 10 days to deploy.

“Shortly after the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list was released we moved to the United States for 12 months as Dugald was posted as a student at the US Naval War College in Rhode Island; as a result, I asked to delay the presentation of my award until we returned to Australia,” Lieutenant Commander Lauer-Smith said.

“Both Dugald and I are very humbled and honoured to be awarded a decoration, and could not have achieved it without help from each other, our family, and the Navy teams that separately supported us.

“We thought it would be special to receive our awards together, in the presence of our family, and especially our young daughter.

“I think it’s unusual for a serving husband and wife to receive these kinds of awards within a year of each other.

“We were both very fortunate to be in these roles. Although demanding and very busy, we were grateful to be able to make meaningful contributions to the service.”