Lance Bombardier Lauren Kreis and Lance Corporal David Zammit are the joint winners of this year’s Forces Command Soldier of the Year award.

There were 17 nominations for the award – including two sailors and one airman – that recognises and rewards superior performance, with nominees selected by their leaders.

While Forces Command is based in Sydney, the award ceremony and other activities were this year held in Canberra because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Commander Forces Command Major General Matt Pearse said all the activities provided an opportunity to develop the ADF’s junior leaders.

“The benefit of being in Canberra is the access to strategic senior leaders that we don’t have in other cities,” he said.

The nominees had the opportunity to share their insights on issues facing Army through discussions with key Army leaders.

“It has been refreshing to give a development opportunity to those junior leaders and to hear their perspective on where we can make a difference in our Defence Force,” Major General Pearse said.

“Hearing the passion and enthusiasm they have is empowering.

“It’s important to get that insight and to know how they want to make a difference so we can enable them to do that.”

As part of the five-day activity, attending soldiers toured the Australian War Memorial annex and spoke with professional athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport.

“The war memorial reflects on our history and where we’ve come from as a defence force,” Major General Pearse said.

“It gives our junior leaders a foundation as we start thinking about future challenges and what we can learn from those who have gone before us.”