Two long-serving warrant officers have been celebrated by Combat Support Group with the awarding of their Federation Stars at RAAF Base Amberley on August 10.

With a combined 29 postings, seven deployments and 12 medals, Warrant Officer’s Stuart Thomas and Perry Thomas, not related, have received the fifth clasp to the Defence Force Service Medal in recognition of 40 years of service. 

WOFF Stuart Thomas said it was an honour to receive his Federation Star.

“It’s a great honour that I didn’t expect to achieve when starting out in my Air Force career, especially with a medical review at the 11-year mark when I came close to ending my career at that time,” WOFF Stuart Thomas said.

WOFF Stuart Thomas joined the Air Force in 1980 as a clerk supply trainee, eventually deploying four times as part of Operations Slipper, Catalyst and Sumatra Assist, and working his way through 15 postings including two in the United States.

For WOFF Perry Thomas, after joining Air Force in 1979 as an armament fitter, he deployed three times for Operations Slipper, Catalyst and Accordion, which included remustering twice along the way as an avionics technician and armament technician.

“The secret to being around so long is to be adaptable, resilient and to understand and agree with the RAAF values,” WOFF Perry Thomas said.

WOFF Stuart Thomas agreed and said embracing inevitable change was part of that.

“Do the best you can with every task or challenge and embrace change,” WOFF Stuart Thomas said.

“When you are provided the opportunity to have some influence on the changes faced, take that opportunity.”