Embroidered Shoulder title : Australian Army Catering Corps

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL39257.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Badge
Physical description Cotton, Felt
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1980
Conflict Period 1980-1989

Curved slate grey felt shoulder title embroidered in gold 'AUSTRALIAN ARMY CATERING CORPS'.

This shoulder title is part a collection made by Brigadier Andrew Nikolic during his time in the Australian Army from 1979 to 2010. The titles were phased out of use in the 1980s.

History / Summary

UN Military Observer in Israel, Syria and South Lebanon 1990-91; Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, Australian National Command Element in Kuwait 2001-03; National Commander of Australian Forces in Southern Iraq 2005. Currently a senior public servant at Dept of Defence. Member of the Order of Australia; Conspicuous Service Cross.

Brigadier Andrew Alexander Nikolic was born in Yugoslavia on the 20 June 1961 and enlisted in the Australian Army in January 1979. After completing basic training he was posted to 1 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) in Townsville for eighteen months. Nikolic then applied for officer training, and after being accepted attended the Officer Cadet School, Portsea graduating on the 12 June1981. He then served with 3RAR for five years with the battalion.

In 1986 Nikolic was posted as adjutant to the Adelaide University Regiment. He also spent time visiting schools in the Adelaide area informing students on army careers. In1988 he was posted to the Royal Military College, Duntroon as a tactics instructor.

Nikolic was promoted to major just before his first overseas posting in November 1990, as a United Nations Military Observer to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Israel and Syria. The duration was for a year until November 1991. The first four months of his posting coincided with the lead up to the first Gulf War. He was required him to carry a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare suit because there was a fear that Scud missiles launched by Iraq against Israel would be armed with weapons of mass destruction. His first duty station, until April 1991, was the Observer Group Golan-Tiberias. Nikolic served first in static observation posts (OP’s) and was then selected to visit OPs on both Israeli and Syrian sides of the area of separation.

His second duty station was with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon between May and November 1991. After serving in static OP’s in South Lebanon Nikolic was selected as team leader of Mobile Team Zulu. This involved him and his partner investigating incidents along the border of southern Lebanon and Israel, including Katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli kibbutzim and South Lebanese and Israeli army positions. He also had to try and negotiate the release of UN personnel captured by Palestinian terrorists.

Back in Australia Nikolic return to 3RAR as a company commander in late 1991, then served as the Battalion Operations commander until 1993. He attended the Australian Army Command and Staff College in 1994. This was followed by a posting in Brisbane as Senior Operations Major with 1 Division Headquarters (HQ) where he also led the Airborne Planning Team until 1996. At Army HQ in Canberra, Nikolic was the Director of Public Information. He graduated from the Joint Services Staff College of Australia (Course 57/98)and from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Command and Staff College in1999. In 2000 Nikolic became Commanding Officer (CO) and Chief Instructor at the Parachute Training School at Nowra.

Nikolic’s next overseas posting was as Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Australian National Headquarters (ASNCE) commanding Australian forces in the Middle East, ensuring the tasking of Australian troops was consistent with national interest and with operational tasks given, as well as keeping the leaders of Australian forces in theatre informed of the larger strategic picture. This period, October 2001 until March 2002, included the initial deployment of the ADF in Afghanistan, code named Operation Slipper. Nikolic commanded ASNCE when Brigadier Ken Gillespie, the CO, was on leave. This coincided with Operation Anaconda and the heavy fighting in which the SAS task group was involved.

In 2004 Nikolic became Commandant of the Army Recruitment Training Centre at Kapooka. In early 2005 he was posted to Basra in Iraq where he exercised national command of Australian forces in Southern Iraq. During Operation Catalyst Nikolic oversaw the initial deployment of 450 Australian soldiers of the Al Muthanna Task Group, tasked with providing protection for Japanese Army engineers and with training members of the new Iraqi army. As well as his Australian command, Nikolic served as a Branch Head and Chief of Staff on the British led Multinational Division Headquarters in Southern Iraq. He returned to Australia in October.

In June 2006 Nikolic was again posted overseas, to the United States Army War College as an International Fellow. In mid 2007 he became Director-General Public Affairs for the Department of Defence. From June 2008, Nikolic was employed in the Department of Defence's International Policy Division as a First Assistant Secretary Regional Engagement. He was responsible for managing Australia's defence relationships in South East Asia, the Pacific and East Timor.

In January 2002 Nikolic was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for his military service at the Parachute Training School. He went on to become a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for ‘For exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in the field of operations and international policy’. Nikolic retired from the Australian Army in January 2010.