International Women’s Day – Star performer over 40 years

An Air Force warrant officer who joined the Air Force as a young dental assistant has notched up four decades of achievement.

CAPTION: Commander Air Warfare Centre Air Commodore Adrian Maso presenting Warrant Officer Janet Brennan with her Federation Star. Story by Flight Lieutenant Rob Hodgson. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Annika Smit.

For Warrant Officer Janet Brennan, International Women’s Day, on March 8, holds that extra bit of importance as the anniversary of her 1982 enlistment into Air Force.

Warrant Officer Brennan’s 40 years of service were recently recognised at a ceremony in Headquarters Information Warfare Directorate.

The ceremony was not only to award her the fifth clasp to the Defence Force Service Medal (represented by a Federation Star) but also an opportunity to reflect on her service as she transitions to the reserve workforce.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve for the past 40 years,” Warrant Officer Brennan said.

“I will miss the conversations and the responsibility, but look forward to the future and will continue to serve as a reservist.”

Warrant Officer Brennan, from Adelaide, joined Air Force as a qualified dental assistant after training as an enrolled dental nurse at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

She has served in units across Australia in dental clinical, health administration, Headquarters staff, instructional and Air Force health intelligence and operations.

Career milestones include being ‘flower girl’ for Princess Diana during the Royal visit to RAAF Base Williamtown in 1983, being appointed senior instructor at the ADF Dental School, serving as the senior non-commissioned officer at Aeromedical Evacuation Control Centre, deploying to the Middle East region as task group warrant officer in 2006-07, and deploying to Antarctica on Operation Southern Discovery in 2016.

A significant highlight, in a career full of achievement, occurred in 2016 when she was unanimously chosen by the Air Operations Centre Executive as their member of the year.

She was the first female member and the first non-aircrew member to be given this recognition.

In 2017, she joined the Air Warfare Centre and facilitated its High Performance Program, which focused on fifth-generation behaviours designed to build some of the best current and future leaders in Defence.

Her final appointment was as the inaugural Warrant Officer of the Information Warfare Directorate.

Director of the directorate Group Captain Andrew Hoffmann reflected on Warrant Officer Brennan’s career and particularly her role as the directorate Warrant Officer.

“Warrant Officer Brennan brought a deep theoretical understanding of emotional intelligence to the directorate and she was especially in her element when mentoring our junior enlisted members,” Group Captain Hoffmann said.

“Forty years of service is a remarkable achievement by Warrant Officer Brennan, and it signifies a commitment to service we can all aspire to.”


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