There was no question for Michael Herbert of Caboolture when it came to deciding what he wanted to do when he grew up.
Joining the military had always been Michael’s goal, inspired largely by his many family members who have previously served, including both parents.
Since joining the Royal Australian Navy in 2007, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Herbert has had many unique and exciting experiences, not to mention many travel opportunities including travel to Hawaii, Singapore, Thailand, Samoa, Bali and most of Australia.
“Travelling to Hawaii for RIMPAC was a massive highlight. I was able to catch up with my relatives who live there and they took me hiking up volcanos and taught me to surf,” he said.
Michael is currently posted to Darwin based patrol boat crew Attack Three.
He is one of about 500 Defence Force personnel deployed in Operation RESOLUTE, the ADF contribution to Australia’s whole of government maritime border security effort.
Michael’s role is a dynamic one that is physically and mentally challenging.
“My role is varied, so in a given day I could be setting up the lines for towing another vessel, steering the ship when it is under way or maintaining weapons and safety gear,” he said.
“As a Boatswains Mate I carry out helmsman’s duties, have an in-depth knowledge of seamanship evolutions and a thorough understanding of each different weapon onboard for the close defence of the ship.”
Michael is also head of the ship’s safety equipment onboard, so he must ensure the maintenance and repair of the life jackets, helmets and life rafts.
Operation RESOLUTE involves daily boat activities and it is Michael’s job to ensure that all the safety equipment is ready to go at a moment’s notice.
The patrol boats and their crew of about 21 provide surveillance and response to counter eight distinct maritime threats including; terrorism, people smuggling, illegal fishing, prohibited imports and exports, quarantine risks, pollution and piracy.
“It’s a big job and a challenging one but it is a great feeling to be doing our bit for the country and protecting Australian borders.”
Michael has been awarded an Operational Service Medal – Border Protection, the Australian Defence Medal and received the Ship’s Warrant Officer Award while serving at HMAS Albatross in 2010.
“It was an honour to receive the awards and always an honour to serve.” Michael concluded.