SGT Tarquin Kennedy is the Australian Army Aviation Association Soldier of the Year for 2007 for his exemplary leadership, commitment and technical proficiency as a CH-47D Loadmaster for C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment and Task Group 637.3, Operation SLIPPER
SGT Kennedy’s inspirational leadership, professional excellence and dedication to duty have resulted in several outstanding contributions to 5th Aviation Regiment and the aviation capability. Most notably, his highly-developed individual skills and trade knowledge allowed him to rapidly master the M-134D Minigun weapon system and act as a mentor to other Aircrewman. Over and above his routine duties, he experimented with the fit of the M-134D weapon system and associated equipment during its introduction. Through these efforts, he ultimately developed an optimised layout that resulted in greater weapon proficiency and significantly fewer weapon stoppages; thereby resulting in increased protection for the aircraft, crew and passengers. The procedures and training methods that SGT Kennedy developed were subsequently adopted for all operators within the Army Aviation capability.
Whilst deployed on Operation SLIPPER, he consistently displayed an extremely professional and mission-focussed approach to flying operations. Notably, his courage and composure under fire during an Australian-led air assault mission into a heavily defended landing zone were beyond reproach. Since returning to Australia, he has continued to demonstrate a level of leadership and enthusiasm that has set him apart from his peers. This was highlighted by his enthusiastic involvement with the 5th Aviation Regiment obstacle course team and his efforts to improve the C Squadron outdoor training and recreation area during personal time.
SGT Kennedy has brought great credit upon himself, his Corps and his Unit. Your efforts reflect the finest traditions of the Army aviation capability’s soldier.