11 months ago

Commando News Winter Edition10 June17


4 COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 10 I June 2017

News from our National Vice President COMMANDO COMRADESHIP About 6 weeks ago, I was contacted by Andrew Condon, former CEO of Legacy NSW. His Northern NSW rep indicated there was a ‘former’ member of the 2nd Commando Regiment with a wife and two young daughters doing it hard in her area. Specifically, his daily struggle with physical and other injuries made it hard to keep his yard clean, clear and safe for his children. Legacy were keen to help, however the Commando would not accept assistance. Through some concerted effort, the Legacy rep concluded the only way the Commando would accept assistance was if his brethren were engaged. I put word out to Jack Thurgar and Nick Hill as our two closest reps in terms of proximity and in Nick’s case, service period. Through them, the call went out to all Commandos within 200km. Many responded covering the spectrum of age, unit service and history. In addition, Doug Baird, father of CPL Cameron Baird VC, MG also volunteered. On a near perfect Commando Training Day (it was cold and pissing rain), a Section Strength Element descended on the objective. The job was bigger than first anticipated. However, through predictable courage and determination, a day of toil cracked the back of the problem and the yard was transformed. Legacy provided food and funding for the project and all the Commandos provided the muscle. One email I saw read: “It was an honour to be able to help out last Friday. As a member of the Commandos Association it is part and parcel of our aims to assist former and serving members in whatever small way we can. I found it personally beneficial to talk to the former members of 2nd Commando to see how they are adjusting to civilian life, and they seem to be coping well. Their work ethics are first class and got stuck into any task they were asked to undertake. I felt humbled in their presence. Lyn (Legacy) does a sterling job and is not afraid to her hands dirty also. Sorry that most of my work was indoors whilst all you guys were out in the rain, knew there was a reason I chose to be an electrician. Look forward to the next working party and the company of some great people.” Gentlemen, that for me captures the essence of what we are about, what we have always been about, and what we should continue to strive to achieve for our people… that is ‘Commando for Life’ in action. I commend Jack, Nick and all our Members who were involved for coming to the aid of one of our own. ★★★★★ LEADERSHIP On Thursday 29 Jun 17, Major General Jeffrey Sengelman DSC, AM, CSC will hand over the mantle of Special Operations Commander – Australia to Major General Findlay AM. MAJGEN Findlay served in SASR as a Troop Commander, commanded the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, the 7th Combat Brigade and most recently has commanded the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. He will be a formidable Commander and a worthy successor to MAJGEN Sengelman. He will also attend the Rimau Ceremony in Brisbane. MAJGEN Sengelman has quietly and humbly worked to fundamentally change the way in which the Special Operations Community looks after its people and their Families. This will become more apparent in the coming weeks and months as we share emerging material and initiatives that he has been championing. As a snap shot, the SO Community will enjoy unique support and assistance from DVA, a pilot transition support program will be established to ensure all our people are set up for success. An employment placement program is about to be launched and a range of other education and support initiatives are being prepared. On his fourth last day in Command, MAJGEN Sengelman summoned reps from the Trusts and the Associations of the SAS and the Commando communities to meet with him, MAJGEN Findlay and DVA to discuss these initiatives and a system that is more integrated. This is a first in my lifetime and reinforces that we must seize the opportunity to consolidate the ACA as a key partner and player in the community. Predictably, MAJGEN Sengelman intends to (and will no doubt successfully) disappear in to the shadows, eschewing fanfare and recognition. If you happen upon him, make sure you say a simple ‘Thanks’. ★★★★★ AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL There are a number of SO related activities coming up at the AWM around Sep/Oct. I think the first will be the launch of Chris Masters’ book on Special Opera - tions in Afghanistan. He has told the story of all 20 SOTG rotations and from what I have seen, has done an incredible job of it… again. He remains a faithful voice for our community. On 19 Oct 17, there is a book on the life and service of Cam Baird will be launched at the AWM. Once we have details, we will pass them along. Also in October, Dr Brendan Nelson will open a temporary exhibition at the AWM that records the history of Australian Special Operations from WWII to 2014 utilising over 320 artefacts. It is intended that there will be a chance for a private viewing by members of the Special Operations Community and their Families. There may also be other opportunities associated with its. More to follow. Apologies for the wordy email. However, I hope there is something in there for everyone. C4L BC COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 10 I June 2017 5

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