An Observation (make of it what you will):

I once overheard some colleagues bemoaning the introduction of a new rifle, not because of its small caliber but because of its cumbersome appearance:

I was once a soldier smart,
Learned to stamp my feet, the art
Of calling out ‘The Time’, the thrill
Of perfect, synchronising drill.

We did it in the Sunshine glare
On what was called parade ground square.
It’s something that I’ll always miss.
Those halcyon days, what perfect bliss

To march along in line abreast,
Our arms swung well up to our chest.
Rhythmic, gravelled, crunching feet,
With Pipes and Drums, and pagan beat.

When marking time we’d raise our knees,
Oh what a jape, oh what a wheeze.
We’d point the toe, dig in the heel,
Stay with the marker on the wheel.

Saluting dais comes in sight
So make your dressing by the right.
Neck to collar and chest out,
This is what it’s all about.

Look at us, performing fleas:
Shoulder, order, stand at ease;
Perfect creases, looking good,
Just like all good soldiers should.

Mick Shave

My Toast to The Regiment

The well aimed shot, the instinctive kill,
Return the same intrinsic thrill.
To see it twitch then lie quite still,
Was once the measure of our skill.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

(all stand and with raucous voice)
Tip your glass e’n when your old and roar back down the table.
Boast and glare, give back the stare, for you, sir, have been able
To cut and thrust, to fire and move, to prove yourself in might,
To show that you enjoyed the gore and carnage of the fight.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

(pass the beer from hand to hand while this is said)
Ah! Here’s the horn of plenty. Drink from it deep without a fuss,
Then bone the bard – but not too hard – would you believe he’s one of us?
That Viking fought at Maldon which, ’tis said, was quite a brawl.
And be careful with that legionnaire he’s just got back from Gaul.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

A toast to those who enjoyed their war,
But never dwell on “things” they saw,
Who gain a quiet satisfaction
When thinking of themselves in action.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

Mick Shave

Champion Company – a tragic comedy that really happened

One morning safe in barracks while sitting on the loo,
Our Colonel, who’d put duty first, was wondering what to do.
Now, he’d sounded out the adjutant and the R.S. M.
He’d asked that pair what did they think would occupy the men.
They had answered ‘drill, sir. Men love parade ground stuff’.
But the Colonel, after consultation, thought they’d had enough.
Their morale it should be lifted, satisfaction thus enjoyed.
‘We must not have the men abused, but gainfully employed’.

Thus, next morning doing block jobs, the diggers were astonished
When told by sergeant of platoon that toilets must be polished.
”Tis for honour and the Company’s pride’ he’d said to busy soldier
‘And pleased it is you’ll be my boy before you’re too much older.
That instead of stamping feet on square or theory of the gun,
Or concealment from an enemy, or stalking (which is fun),
You will spend your time with elbow grease each morning here with me,
Polishing taps and porcelain and cleaning lavatory’.

So that every week when CO. comes to look at WC.,
Accompanied by the Major and all the powers that be,
And they poke round toilet ledges, check louvred slats for dust,
These expert, fighting officers smelling drains because they must
Ensure their Colonels wish, and we to quench our Major’s thirst,
So that of Battalion’s toilets it’s his that comes in first.
And young, fit, soldier volunteers, now feeling damned annoyed,
Are to be denied all training to be gainfully employed.

But enough of silly moralising, holier than thee,
Who was it beat up all the rest for champion company?
Well, that was Sergeant Kusba, who were a devious swine.
He’d doctored water closets so they smelled like table wine.
Well, ‘twer lemon essence really, after which one could not flush.
And a secret guard on toilet bowls to ward off morning rush.
Which was borne by me and Sergeant Glen ’til trickery did we smell,
After which we cornered Kusba in the Mess and gave him Hell.

So we as well began to use the lemon essence trick.
We all professed to satisfy but thought our Colonel thick,
As he stood at water closet breathing deeply, satisfied,
The diggers standing by their beds all laughed until they cried.
And the CSM., cognisant, fed-up as much as we,
Served the Colonel and his minions a scrumptious morning tea,
Whilst they stood relaxed and at their ease upon our polished floor,
Between urine trough on one side, on the other, closet door.

Mick Shave

Aerial threat: why drone hacking could be bad news for the military

Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called drones, are now a fundamental part of defence force capability, from intelligence gathering to unmanned engagement in military operations. But what happens if our own technology is turned against us?

Drones are now being used in a host of applications, including agriculturemediaparcel delivery, and defence.

However, as with all IT technology, manufacturers and users may leave the digital doors unlocked. This potentially leaves opportunities for cyber-criminals and perhaps even cyber-warfare.


The Big Dry – Dig Deep Diggers

At the moment our farmers, graziers and their families and communities are doing it tough in this drought. They need our help.

As a defence community we know the importance of the moral support Australians give to us. So its time for us to show our support to those who need it.

How can you help? These are the charities helping our farmers.

When the going gets tough the tough get going. So dig deep diggers and donate.

My Country – Dorothea Mackellar

Some Advice

Beside that track in jungle green
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.).
Sweat-soaked, dirty, thus unseen
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.).
These young men who crouch so still
Are poised to pounce, to make their kill,
In doing so they’ll do your will; if you
Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.

Platoon or Company, Section strong
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.),
Led by those who can’t do wrong
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.),
Trained by the same consummate skill,
Focused thus to do your will,
But – yours to pay is the butchers’ bill; if you
Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.

And when they stop too old to serve
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.),
Ensure they get what they deserve
(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.);
For at that time they must not find
That you and yours have changed your mind.
So, if you’ll then feel less than kind, don’t
Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.

Mick Shave

Vale – Colonel Phillip Gould

We are saddened to advise that Phil Gould died suddenly of a cardiac arrest at home last Monday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Joanne, daughter Rebecca and family.

Phil’s military service included 2 RAR, 9 RAR (Vietnam), SASR and 2 Commando Regiment.

He was a noble warrior, popular and greatly respected for his leadership.

The Funeral Service is to be a private gathering of the immediate family at the Funeral Chapel.

After the Funeral Service, Joanne and family extends an invitation to friends and fellow warriors to join them in a Celebration of Phil’s Life at the Southport Yacht Club, 1 Macarthur Parade, Main Beach Qld 4217 from 2.30 pm on Thursday 10 October 2019

Dress – Relaxed Gold Coast informal – No military accouterments, coat or tie


Opinion – Soldiers, justice suffer as war probes drag on

THE investigation into alleged war crimes by Australian special forces soldiers in Afghanistan has taken an interminable time with no conclusion in sight.



A Warriors passing…

Do you remember the place where we lay our heads upon bed of root, so finely twined, a mattress made?

Where buttress root giant must have spoken with Jesus when young? Where words were spoken in hushed whisper?

Light shafts so bright they startled eyes, and made caution grow for fear of what lay beyond in such darkness?

Where mind wandered to fairy-tale where creatures ran through such place, making merry, or encroach heart with fear?

Yet, our warring no tale, just fearsome task, with moment’s respite for such gentle rest and meandering thoughts.

Making no path, moving as shadow through the dark. Lined and waiting in morning mist, the day the clouds wept their thunderous pain.

Loosed with such violence that trees groaned and wailed in sadness. The ground tried to swallow the pain, dragging all down;

Onward, step by torturous step, another taken by angry metal and mire. The wind not ours to hold but foretold of doom.

Trees and men shedding their skin and soul in violent frenzy of menacing metal and conflagration, scents of wood, battle, ordure, and blood.

Rivulets of muddy water tinged red, sweeping downhill and swallowed by jungle, a fern lay over one as blanket, while awaiting the final journey.

Night swallows all, but streaks of fire red, green and flash, screams of the unknown haunting the night, tentative motions to bring them in.

Morning breaks to find once again we are alone, fleeing in the night, leaving predator and rodent in their wake, feasting on such carrion.

Leaving you to be carried home on rotary wings, the steady beat lost in minutes, never to be seen again, salt water on stone the final farewell.

Craig Hannan 03/04/2018…

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