FLTLT Tracey Bowman reports
WARRANT Officer (WOFF) Daryl Bessell says he is thrilled to receive a Federation Star and the fifth clasp to his Defence Long Service Medal last month, in recognition of his 40-year Air Force career.
With significant time served in the permanent force and as a reservist, WOFF Bessell reflected upon his career which saw him enlist as a Supplier on 1 July 1977.
“I was working for a company in West Melbourne and Air Force members would come into the shop and purchase parts,” WOFF Bessell said.
“I started talking to them and they would tell me what a great life they had and after thinking about that, I attended the recruiting centre in Melbourne and the rest is history.”
After four years as a Supplier, he re-mustered to Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in 1981.
“I absolutely love sport and physical training, and during my early years of Air Force I was representing the ADF in various sports including squash, AFL and cricket,” WOFF Bessell said.
“I thought why not become a physical trainer so I can train members of the Air Force in health and fitness. With that in mind I switched my career and never looked back.”
The committed Airman thoroughly enjoyed the next 16 years as a PTI and transferred to the Reserves in December 1997, before re-joining permanent Air Force in July 2001.
“When I returned to the Air Force I underwent training to become a Military Skills Instructor. Following the training, I spent the next few years instructing which was challenging and very rewarding at the same time,” WOFF Bessell said.
“In 2008 I re-mustered to Warrant Officer Disciplinary until I finished my career at the age of 60, then started reserve work for 21SQN at RAAF Base Point Cook and have been working under a continuous full time service contract since March 2019.”
CO 21SQN WGCDR James Rogers congratulated WOFF Bessell for his long standing commitment to the Air Force, acknowledging this significant personal and professional accomplishment.
“WOFF Bessell joins the privileged few who have achieved the milestone of serving his country for 40 years,” WGCDR Rogers said.
“It is testament to his pride in both our organisation and people that he came out of retirement without hesitation to serve as the Base Warrant Officer at 21SQN, and I am extremely grateful for the experience he brings to the squadron.”
WOFF Bessell expressed pride in achieving this special milestone and identified many highlights from his four-decade long military career.
“I had the best time serving as an instructor at the Combat Survival Training School,” WOFF Bessell said.
“I also had the honour to represent ADF in different sports and achieving number one rankings.
“Last but not least, being able to deploy on Operation SLIPPER and serve my country was a unique and extremely fulfilling experience.”
WOFF Bessell would like to thank his family for all the support they provided throughout his career. He is also extremely grateful for the friendship and mateship from all the Air Force members he has worked with.