Leading Seaman Christopher Sanders works in a high-tech information environment, leveraging sophisticated communications systems to enable the flow of information.
But one of the most important messages of his 11-year career in the Royal Australian Navy may well still be sitting in his letterbox at home.
Leading Seaman Sanders was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in this year's Australia Day honours.
“I received a notification email of the award just before the new year. I know there’s a formal letter, but being at sea since before Christmas as part of Operation Fiji Assist, I haven’t been able to receive any mail," he said.
He was honoured for his work in upgrading the communications and information capability on Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Inscription, Starboard crew.
“ADV Cape Inscription had a hybrid network before the upgrade that could no longer be supported,” Leading Seaman Sanders said.
“Once the new networks were installed and deployed on board it gave that platform enhanced capability to be able to manage the flow of information from the ship back to Australia and vice versa.
“This implementation has enabled ADV Cape Inscription for present and future operations as part of Operation Resolute.”
Leading Seaman Sanders said the CSM was a reflection of his team during the initial and subsequent deployments that enabled the completion of the network upgrades.
“I was the initial platform point of contact during the initial installs on Cape Inscription, it’s just the way it worked out,” Leading Seaman Sanders said.
“I’m really humbled, I know that’s a word used by a lot of recipients of these awards.
"It’s nice former colleagues and co-workers noticed the type of work we conducted during those upgrades and it’s always nice to be recognised.”