40 years of service celebrated
A day of joint celebration for Army and Navy personnel was even more memorable for Commodore Guy Holthouse as he was presented with his Federation Star.
CAPTION: Chief Nuclear Powered Submarine Task Force Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead, right, presents a Federation Star to Commodore Guy Holthouse, left, at Brindabella Park in Canberra. Story by Sanjaya Agalewatte Photo by Scott Bolitho.
Chief Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead presented the Federation Star to Commodore Holthouse at Brindabella Park, Canberra, in March.
The day held extra significance for Commodore Holthouse as he bid farewell to full-time service after a long and distinguished career.
Vice Admiral Mead gave a glowing endorsement of his colleague and friend, Commodore Holthouse, noting that their paths had crossed many times over the last few decades.
“It has been a long and illustrious 40-year career on multiple ships, multiple operational deployments and multiple overseas operations,” Vice Admiral Mead said.
“Guy is famous for his warm and endearing nature, his personality and professionalism.
“Forty years of commitment to the ADF is not just 40 years of service, it is a commitment to the security of this nation. It is putting the priorities and interests of your fellow Australians ahead of your own.”
Commodore Holthouse said the relationships he formed along the way were what he would treasure.
“It’s only really about people,” Commodore Holthouse said.
“It’s actually about the people you meet in those jobs, those friendships you make and those friendships you keep, well beyond Fleet Headquarters and the bits of the world I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to.”
Joining the Navy was always the plan for Commodore Holthouse. His inspiration was his father Rear Admiral David Guy Holthouse, who served for 44 years.
Since enlisting in 1982, Commodore Holthouse has held a range of highly specialised leadership roles throughout his career, but said his most memorable was as Commanding Officer HMAS Sydney in 2006-2007.
“Commanding Sydney, I oversaw a very complicated refit and made her the most lethal warship Australia had at the time,” he said.
Commodore Holthouse commanded the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre from 2014-2018.
He was Australia’s inaugural Defence Attaché to Spain, Italy, Greece and Egypt and more recently served as the Head of Australian Defence Staff London and the Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce’s Senior Liaison Officer to the United Kingdom.
Commodore Holthouse said he was looking forward to a new chapter in his life, with an emphasis on spending time with his family, in particular his two daughters.
He said he was also looking forward to his transition into the Reserves and undertaking some neglected projects closer to home.
“I’ve got a 50-year-old wooden Halvorsen boat that won’t varnish itself and a 52-year-old American sports car that won’t repair itself,” Commodore Holthouse said.
As to what’s next, remaining part of activities that are strategically or personally important will be key to Commodore Holthouse, whether in Defence or beyond.