Mark Bonser

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Marcus Frederick Bonser
Born (1952-08-07) 7 August 1952 (age 62)
Sydney, New South Wales
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch  Royal Australian Navy
Years of service 1971–present
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held Australian Defence College
Commander Australian Theatre
Northern Command
HMAS Anzac
HMAS Sydney
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Iraq War
Awards Officer of the Order of Australia
Conspicuous Service Cross
Commendation for Distinguished Service

Rear Admiral Marcus Frederick "Mark" Bonser AOCSCRAN (born 7 August 1952) is a flag rank officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and, since 2005, Head of the Military Justice Implementation Team for the Australian Defence Force.

Early life[edit]

Mark Bonser was born in Sydney on 7 August 1952.[1][2] He attended high school at Manly Boys High School and Macksville High School.[3]

Navy career[edit]

In 1971, Bonser joined the RAN, and commenced training at the Royal Australian Naval College.[3] He graduated from the RAN College in 1973, then undertook six weeks training with the Royal Navy, before joining the ship's company of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne.[3] Bonser completed his bridge watchkeeping certification aboard the carrier.[3] Over the following years, he served aboard HMA Ships Advance, Duchess, Jervis Bay, and Diamantina.[3] From 1980 until 1982, Bonser served as the commanding officer of the patrol boat HMAS Aware.[1]

In 1982, after a short period aboard Tobruk, Bonser was sent to the United Kingdom for Principal Warfare Officer training.[3] After qualifying as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer in 1983, Bonser served on exchange to the Royal Navy until 1985 as an officer aboard the destroyers HMS Antrim, then HMS Glamorgan.[1][3] On his return to Australia, Bosner was first posted to the destroyer HMAS Perth, then to HMAS Torrens as the destroyer escort's executive officer.[3] While aboard Torrens, he was promoted to the rank of commander.[3] In 1988, Bonser was assigned to Maritime Headquarters Sydney in the positions of Fleet Programming Officer and Commander Operations.[3]

In 1990, Bonser was attached to the ship's company of HMAS Brisbane as the Chief Staff Officer to the RAN Task Group Commander during the ship's deployment to the Gulf War.[3] He was awarded the Commendation for Distinguished Service for his actions during the deployment.[3] After returning from the Persian Gulf in 1991, Bonser attended the Joint Services Staff College.[1]

From April 1992 until 1993, Bonser was the commanding officer of the frigate HMAS Sydney.[3] During this period, Sydney was deployed to the Red Sea in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.[3] During 1994, Bonser was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for this deployment, and in December, he was promoted to captain.[1][3] After promotion, Bonser was posted to Maritime Headquarters again; initially as Chief Staff Officer Operations, then serving as the Chief Staff Officer C3I.[3] In January 1996, he transferred to the Australian Defence Force Headquarters as the Director Combat Force Development (Sea).[3]

From October 1997 to mid-1999, Bonser was the commanding officer of the frigate HMAS Anzac.[1][3] In July 1999, Bonser was promoted to commodore and assigned as Commander Northern Command.[3] At the start of 2001, Bonser became the Director General Command and Support Systems in the Defence Materiel Organisation.[3] Bonser was promoted to rear admiral in July 2001, and assigned as Director General of Coastwatch.[3] In June 2002, he was appointed Commander Australian Theatre.[3] In 2003, Bonser was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his leadership during the invasion of Iraq.[1][3]

From May 2004 to January 2006, Bonser was the Commander Australian Defence College.[3] During this period, he was appointed on 7 October 2005 as head of the Military Justice Response Coordination Team, then later that year as head of the Military Justice Implementation Team, a position he currently holds.[3]

Honours and awards[edit]

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 27 November 2003[4]
CSC Australia ribbon.png Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) 1994
Commendation for Distinguished Service (Aust) ribbon.png Commendation for Distinguished Service 1991
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975
Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal
Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal
Australian Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (5 clasps) (40–44 years service)
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
Us sa-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
AUS Meritorious Unit Citation with Federation Star.png Meritorious Unit Citation with Federation Star


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Marcus Frederick Bonser". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bonser, Marcus Frederick". Vietnam War Nominal Roll. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Rear Admiral Mark Bonser AO, CSC, RAN". Department of Defence. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  4. ^ It's an Honour - Officer of the Order of Australia - 27 November 2003