Air Force officer Dee Cherry has achieved a lifelong dream to deploy on operations and honour her family’s proud military history that includes a Victoria Cross winner.
Flight Lieutenant Cherry, 31, from Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula, is one of 600 ADF members deployed to Operation Accordion in the Middle East Region.
The Personnel Capability Officer is the military assistant to the Chief of Staff at Camp Baird in the United Arab Emirates and said commemorating Anzac Day on her first operational deployment will remain a special highlight.
“Anzac Day held a special significance to me as my brother Liam Cherry and I are the fifth generation of our family to have served in the ADF,” she said.
“He was deployed with Operation Slipper in 2012 as an Army transport driver in Kabul. The fact that we have both been able to deploy, albeit in different locations, is a special connection that we will have forever.”
FLTLT Cherry said her motivation for joining the ADF was family tradition, patriotism and a sense of duty to serve her country.
She also has a family connection with Army Officer, Captain Percy Herbert Cherry, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and Military Cross for two separate actions in France during March, 1917.
“His courage, determination and sacrifice are an inspiration and his devotion to duty fills me with a sense of immense pride,” FLTLT Cherry said.
Memories of the Peninsula lifestyle are never too far away for FLTLT Cherry who rates being by the water, spending time with her two dogs and her family at the top of the list of things she is missing.
“I am also looking forward to spending time catching up with family and friends in Melbourne City and hanging out by the beach just relaxing and enjoying the café culture.”
She completed a Business Management Degree and worked with American International Group in Melbourne before joining the Air Force. Before deploying, she was posted as a Personnel Capability Officer with 4 Squadron at RAAF Williamtown, Newcastle.