Excuse A Bit of Self Congratulations….

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by Brenton Russell on

Please indulge me while I give myself a quick pat on the back but today is kind of a special day for me……

On the giant island down in the Southern Hemisphere, today (26th January) is known as Australia Day.  If you’re from this great country you’ll need no further explanation on what its all about.  If you’re from other parts of the global community, Australia Day is our national day and is pretty much a giant celebration.

Australia Day is also when the Governor-General (The Commonwealth Queen’s representative – its kind of complicated!) announces the official National honours and awards to recognise Australian citizens “for excellence, achievement or meritorious service.”

Today I had the great privilege of receiving a Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) as part of the Australian Day Honours 2011.

The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded for “leadership in action.”  If you’re interested you can read the official fact sheet on the Distinguished Service Medal.

Specifically I was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for leadership in action during my nine month deployment as an infantry officer with the Australian Army in Afghanistan in 2009/10 where my team and I lived with, mentored and worked alongside an Afghan National Army Infantry Battalion.

While it is great to receive an individual award I feel that this is deserved recognition of my entire team of exceptional officers and soldiers who worked with me and achieved so much as a collective group.  If any of my team are reading this, I sincerely thank you for your support and friendship throughout the deployment.  This is just as much recognition for all of your hard work, achievements and sacrifices.

Thanks must also go to my wife and children as well as my extended family for their love and support not just whilst I was in Afghanistan, but also throughout my entire military career.

I also pause for a moment to remember all the Coalition and Afghan soldiers who have paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan and also those seriously injured (both mentally and physically) who will bear their scars and challenges for the rest of their lives. My thoughts are with you and your families as you progress through your recovery.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Riley Harrison January 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

Congratulations Brenton. I know your family must be proud of you. It’s an honor to know you.



Brenton Russell January 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thanks for your kind words, Riley.


Sean Mathena @ Find Your Peak January 26, 2011 at 8:30 am


No excusing is needed, I am sure it is well deserved. Thanks for sacrificing your time away to help out over there!
Sean Mathena @ Find Your Peak recently posted..Book Review- The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus


Brenton Russell January 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Sean,

I’m pretty proud but really for the whole team. I had some of the best people working with me that I have ever met.


Peter J January 26, 2011 at 9:38 am


While we are all celebrating a few fire works in the sky, you’ve been awarded something even better.

Peter J recently posted..The ‘real’ reasons as to why you should keep on blogging


Brenton Russell January 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your comment. Hope you enjoy your Australia Day as well!


Ivan Honey January 27, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hi Brenton, Congratulations! In Australia, the D.S.M is a highly prestigious award, for distinguished leadership in action.Having a mentoring and leadership role in another culture under dangerous conditions must be one of the toughest assignments. It is great that your achievements are acknowledged . It is equally powerful that you acknowledge all those who have been part of your journey.Thank you for sharing it with us
Ivan Honey recently posted..December Training


Brenton Russell January 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm


Thanks for your kind words. Like most experiences in life, there are always challenging aspects but by training ourselves to identify the opportunities and positives in all situations every experience can lead to personal growth and fulfillment.

I did have such an exceptional team while I was in Afghanistan and having great people around you is what I believe to be one of the most important things in life.


Ryan Renfrew @lifestyle design January 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

Well done mate,

What a day that must have been.
Ryan Renfrew @lifestyle design recently posted..26 Things To Consider For Your Future


Brenton Russell January 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Hi Ryan,

Thanks. It was a great day and even better for sharing with my family.


Kellie Tweeddale (Raymond) January 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Hi Brenton,

Congratulations on your honour – we are so proud of you! I’m glad things are going so well for you…we were worried about you when you were sick a while back and presume all is ok now :). As I’m a ‘stay at home’ mum living in Glen Waverley, I see you dad all the time up at The Glen and he keeps me informed. Take care and hopefully we’ll all catch up soon.


Kellie, Ian and Ben xxx


Brenton Russell January 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for your congrats. Just a bit of temporary health glitch a little while back but back now to fighting fit! I follow your updates on Facebook and it sounds like life as a mum is really suiting you. Now that my agenda is more within my own control I do plan on visiting more so I’m sure that we will catch up in the near future.

Thanks again for stopping by.


Steve@Internet Lifestyle January 29, 2011 at 3:33 am


Congratulations! that is quite a big deal. I am sure you and your family are quite proud, and rightfully so. Congratulations also to your team, it is good to know that no man really achieves anything significant alone but always with the help and support of his co-workers, friends and loved ones.

Again, congratulations!

PS: yes, I did not know what Australia day was :( . I am too western Centric, but I will remember now…even if i forget the “date” within the next few days. (heck minutes…sometimes my memory is short)
Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted..19 Ways Fiverrcom can Grow your Internet Business


Brenton Russell January 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comment. I can’t emphasis enough what a great team I had. Not only did it make for a high level of collective achievement but also a great interpersonal environment to work in.

Good to see your learning about Australia Day. Its generally considered a good excuse to drink a few beers and enjoy the Australian summer. Mark it in your diary and conduct your own sympathetic Australia Day party next year!


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