Blog: Personal Stories
When rest of the AIF went to France in 1916, the bulk of the mounted forces remained behind in Egypt. Some men, feeling they were missing out on ‘the action’, left the Light Horse and joined the infantry serving on the Western Front.
Day 15 - Hurry up and wait
Like parents who get their children's names muddled up, the three blokes I am travelling with often get each other's names confused. So now they are called G1, G2 and G3, and collectively, the G-force.
I am known as 'Dead eye dick", because I shot 13 out of 13 rounds on target with the pistol. However, the enemy would probaby be on top of me before I managed to line up the shot and pull the trigger. As someone who advocates that war should always be a last resort, I never expected to be learning to fire a pistol!
Day 14 - "an army marches on its stomach"
Napoleon Boneparte was spot on when he (is credited to have) said: "an army marches on its stomach", I haven't noticed a lot of marching going on around the base, but there's certainly a lot of eating!
Day 13: colours of the battle zone
The rain has cleared leaving the sky clear of dust. This provided some spectacular views to the distant mountains beyond the Tarin Kot base.
Day 8 - Brown bears, angry birds and plane pulls
Culture is a curious thing. We create it, shape it and mould it to suit ourselves and our circumstances. The military has its own culture, which is characterised by conformity. Everyone looks the same (women have to wear their hair in a bun, men must be clean shaven, no jewellry is permitted), dresses in the same uniform and speaks the same lingo of abbreviations and acronymns strung together with verbs.
Day 9 - Beefcake
Day 10 - Army aesthetics
When I arrived at Al Minhad Air Base (AMAB), I felt like I’d landed on the moon. But Multinational Base Tarin Kowt, located in southern Afghanistan, is even more desolate and stark. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarinkot There are no soft surfaces here. The base consists of shipping containers stacked beside razor wire, metal girders and steel staircases.
Day 11 - compartmentalising
The food is so good and plentiful at the Aussie mess, that we've divided our stomachs into compartments: we switch over to the "dessert stomach" when the main stomach is full.
The CO (Commanding Officer) of 7RAR (Royal Australian Regiment), the main army unit deployed in Uruzgan at present, also uses compartments but in a much more serious way.
Day 12 - Mud and dust and salsa
It rained in Tarin Kot for 36 hours straight and all the dust turned to pale brown mud. G1 wanted to go sliding in it - there's something about the rules and regimentation of an army base that just makes you want to muck up. All I wanted was a hot bubble bath to warm myself up. There was no chance of this, so I went to the gym instead.
Day 5 - Ned Kelly would be jealous
What do Ned Kelly and modern Australian soldiers have in common? Body armour! Ned fashioned his out of metal, while the scientists in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) have spent years coming up with a sophisticated protective human shell. Like everything in the Australian Defence Force, it is commonly known by its abbreviation: MCBAS.