Signed on the dotted line for six years for God, Queen and Country back in 1984. The original intention was to become an Engineer – I liked the idea of building a bridge and then blowing it up. At the end of 13 weeks at Kapooka, with very limited Engineer positions, Artillery was suggested as an alternative. They were running trial IET OPCPFD courses. Well artillery blew things up as well and I was told that as an OPCPFD I would also get to play with computers.
So off I went to the School of Artillery, North Head, Manly, where I found that the “computer” was a FACE computer that filled the back of a series 2 then 3 Landrover. From there, I spent time with 103 MDM BTY and 107 FD BTY, promoted to the rank of BDR and about to start my SGT courses.
Then in the winter of ‘89 after two weeks on rat packs, whilst digging a pit for the genny in the middle of the night, in the rain at High Range, I had an epiphany. I could smell steak cooking. I knew I had been out there too long but I still downed tools and followed the scent. As it got stronger I could swear I could even hear the steak sizzling and eventually, I ended up at the blacked out Tiffy tent. Upon entry, not only was there steaks cooking away, there was cricket on a small b&w TV and cold cans of softies.
I looked outside, I looked inside. I knew where I wanted to be.
So off to Bonegilla to attend the 1/90 ATET course – the first adult trade course to be run at the Army Apprentice School. Graduated (promoted?) from BDR to CFN in 1991 and off to Elec Wing for the 2/91 ET course.
Thus commenced a 14 year fulltime career, followed by a further 9 years in Reserves in the illustrious CORPS of RAEME highlighted by:
- Attending the last calibration course run by the RAAF
- Instructor and course manager of the ADF Calibration course
- Awarded Artificer of the year
- Promotion to WO2