|The inaugural Royal Australian Corps of Signals Lieutenant & Signaller of the Year were awarded by the Head of Corps, Brigadier Marcus Allan Thompson, AM at the Caduceus Cup Competion 2016. The Lieutenant of the year, is Lieutenant Geoffrey Brennan from the 1st Combat Signal Regiment and the Signaller of the year is Signaller Michael Koubaralis from 7th Combat Signal Regiment. Congratulation to both members - the full citations are below:|
LT Geoffrey Brennan, 1st Combat Signal Regiment
Lieutenant Brennan is currently the Network Support Section Commander for the 1st Brigade and in this role has significantly enhanced the development of the Battle Management System in the 1st Brigade, and the Australian Army. On Exercise Hamel 16, Lieutenant Brennan was responsible for the configuration and implementation of the largest, and most effective, tactical Battle Management System Network in the Australian Army to date. Lieutenant Brennan has also been instrumental, in conjunction with his team, in advancing the Battle Management System's beyond line of sight capability.
Lieutenant Brennan has demonstrated leadership and influence well above that expected or required by his rank through his engagement with multiple external agencies across Defence. These included the Land Network Integration Centre, the Network Implementation and Training Advisory Team and the Headquarters 1st Division in order to develop the most effective network configuration. Additionally, Lieutenant Brennan has engaged with Signals staff from five brigades to source the required inputs to configure the network. He submitted multiple reports about software and hardware issues to Army Headquarters, and the Equipment Manufacturer, in order to rectify equipment shortcomings. His efforts led to the development of a software patch by the Equipment Manufacturer which greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the network.
Lieutenant Brennan was also responsible for developing the Digital Theatre Gateway Model, which saw over three hundred digitised platforms configured by the Network Support Section whilst on Exercise Hamel 2016. This model is likely to be adopted by Combat Brigades across Army for future exercises. The requirement for elements from twenty three disparate units across Army to transit the Digital Theatre Gateway was driven by Lieutenant Brennan which demonstrates his resourcefulness; and the network size and performance was a testament to Lieutenant Brennan's initiative and commitment.
Lieutenant Brennan's leadership, dedication, commitment and resourcefulness have been instrumental in the betterment of the Australian Army's digitisation initiatives. His efforts are in the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
Sig Michael Koubaralis, 7th Combat Signal Regiment
Signaller Koubaroulis has exceptional trade knowledge that is applied to outstanding effect. As the Combat Radio System (CRS) Detachment Commander within 7th Combat Brigade (HQ 7 Cbt Bde) Main, Signaller Koubaroulis has driven the establishment and provision of communications to this major headquarters element. He has exceeded the expectations of a Signaller, and indeed that of a CPL Detachment Commander within this highly demanding role. Signaller Koubaroulis has undertaken duties above that expected of this rank without fault which has been pivotal in enabling situational awareness and command and control (C2) throughout 7 Cbt Bde.
Signaller Koubaroulis has directly led the 7 Cbt Bde Net Control Station (NCS), configuring, operating and maintaining voice and data communications, for 7 Cbt Bde HQ throughout 2016 faultlessly. He has been the key driver in the practical implementation of the communications emissions control plan prescribed by the Brigade, a Brigade Commanders priority. Further to this, he has energetically pursued and mentored soldiers on alternate CRS options other than VHF, assisting to reinvigorate HF, and HF TACCHAT. Building on his outstanding CRS skills is a knowledge and application of the Battle Management Systems (BMS) that is first class. The employment of BMS within the Bde HQ and his proactive training to Bde HQ staff has been pivotal to its uptake; BMS is now the preferred C2 tool for Bde HQ staff and Signaller Koubaroulis is the technical point of contact staff seek for assistance and fault resolution. Signaller Koubaroulis' dedication to this task has been a key contributor to the success of the 7 Cbt Bdes deception plan and electronic shielding of friendly assets during Exercise HAMEL
In addition, to his outstanding trade knowledge, Signaller Koubaroulis is a superb mentor; applying trade and leadership skills to guide junior soldiers and shape the chain of command. During Exercise DIAMOND SPRINT (Bde CATA) and HAMEL, Signaller Koubaroulis' team was promulgated late and included attached junior reserve soldiers who required his intimate attention and time, his trade knowledge and leadership style developed their technical skills exponentially. Signaller Koubaroulis concurrently maintained his responsibilities to HQ 7 Cbt Bde staff, and supervision of his own detachment members in addition to developing junior soldiers. Signaller Koubaroulis actively sought assistance, and drove additional training and opportunities to develop these soldiers, enhancing their core soldier skills.
Signaller Koubaroulis has executed initiative across a broad remit of tasks. He has been enthusiastic and proactive in updating Cbt Bde Standard Operating Procedures in order to support modernisation within 7 Cbt Bde, RASIGS and Army. This contribution has significantly enhanced the effectiveness and ability to deploy his detachment, and is the exemplar to all other CRS Detachments within 7 Cbt Bde. His consistent pursuit and improvement of alternate CRS solutions has resulted in reduced electronic emissions from the Bde HQ; a key driver in modernising 7 Cbt Bde. Building on these initiatives, Signaller Koubaroulis has created underpinning detachment documentation that formalises the processes that 7 CSR have instituted in 2017 for future detachment commanders. In particular, his 7 CSR Detachment Commanders folder is an excellent reference document containing comprehensive details to assist current and future Detachment Commanders within the Communications Radio Systems detachments. As an active enabler and self starter to training opportunities Signaller Koubaroulis is able to make accurate assessment of training needs. He demonstrates an extraordinary level of initiative, exemplified during Ex HAMEL through the conduct of extensive training on shortfalls he identified. This training covered a range of CRS capabilities from AK/MK remote keying, HF 3G ALE, HF antenna theory, HF TACCHAT and BMS for members within the Squadron. Signaller Koubaroulis' contribution to rectify knowledge gaps directly enabled communications capability that sustained situational awareness throughout the battle space and subsequently became our primary communications means.
A tireless worker, selfless, with a strong work ethic. Signaller Koubaroulis works tirelessly in the barracks and in the field environments, exceeding expectations when completing directed and identifying implied tasks. Signaller Koubaroulis seeks responsibility and selflessly works for the unit to achieve capability, working additional hours without prompting and with no fuss. His capacity for work is exceptional. All tasks allocated are completed within timeframes, always exceeding the standards required; including, technical tasks, detachment administration and equipment/capability maintenance. Yet he always balances the capability needs with his detachments personal requirements, a difficult balance in a high tempo unit. Signaller Koubaroulis provides highly effective and accurate advice on CIS services to both his Chain of Command and Brigade Staff.
Resilient, tough, technically competent, administratively capable, with a strong personal resolve for success; Signaller Koubaroulis upholds the Army's values always, this soldier is the example. He maintains his positive demeanour whether in the barracks or the field environment through a 'can-do attitude', has an excellent level of physical fitness and actively assists other in completing administrative tasks. Signaller Koubaroulis judgement is without fault, his decisions are wise and fair based on solid facts, and his leadership inspires cooperation, confidence and commands respect. His consistent approach and unwavering loyalty engenders trust and his personal character traits and motivation are inspiring to both his superiors, peers and junior soldiers within the unit. His proactive approach assists in building the units capability not just his detachment, vision beyond his rank. Signaller Koubaroulis' leadership style, professionalism and enthusiasm are the key driving force behind his and his detachments success.
A first rate leader and mentor. Signaller Koubaroulis applies an approachable leadership style that defines him as an exceedingly passionate soldier. He excels in developing team momentum, enthusiasm and pride which has been reflected by the excellent standards set by all members within his Detachment. He has built several teams throughout the year and has had the unenviable task of new detachment members prior to each major activity, including members from outside 7 CSR. The team he has built at every step has been first class; he exhibits a great mix of patience to develop and mentor soldiers and a firm resolve to ensure that tasks are completed. Further to this, he builds brilliant relationships as a member of the wider team, this wider team includes Bde HQ staff and he similarly mentors and guides these SNCOs and officers on the employment of BMS and CRS. Signaller Koubaroulis has an exceptional ability to readily establish professional relationships built upon trust which sets him apart from his peers. He is strategic and diplomatic with regards to the management of his detachment, a leader and mentor.
Signaller Koubaroulis has impeccable personal standards and readily impresses his own standards in order to develop others. His dress and bearing is first class, and he always conducts himself in the utmost professional manner around his peers and superiors. Signaller Koubaroulis' responsibilities have required him to continually interact and work around the Bde Comd, Chief of Staff and Unit Commanding Officers, and staff officers, he has done so without hesitation and to a consistently mature and appropriate approach.
Signaller Koubaroulis is an exceptional soldier, he is the example. He is inclusive, professional, resilient, a superb mentor and an outstanding leader. His energetic leadership executing the 7 Cbt Bde Comd Net NCS role has generated outstanding results for the Brigade, particularly on key exercises this year, where his detachment managed the Brigade emissions control plan, led the employment of alternate CRS methods and drove BMS use. Providing first rate outcomes for 7 Cbt Bde, formalising processes for future detachment commanders and leading a diverse team within the critical hub of Brigade Combat Radio; SIG Koubaroulis is an outstanding soldier, with untold potential. Signaller Koubaroulis is an exceptional asset to the Regiment, the Corps and the Army, a worthy candidate for the 2016 RA Sigs Soldier of the year award.