RARA QLD – eNews 2/2019 April

RARA Queensland’s eNews replaces the previously printed Newsletter “The Spirit”. This is the second quarterly edition.

Enjoy the Read

Vale – Brave Warrior – Ron Perkins 3RAR, Korea, AATTV and Vietnam

It is easy to write of an old soldier such as Ron Perkins who demonstrated strong qualities of life including leadership and love of country. Ron left the army after a very distinguished career including operational service in both Korea and Vietnam.

Even in retirement, supported and encouraged by his ever wonderful and devoted wife, June, he was very much involved in pursuing the interests of fellow veterans. Always to the fore was welfare, promoting pride and camaraderie.  No easy task, given that the aging veterans were scattered over vast distances.

As a soldier of the Third Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, his baptism of fire was in the early days of the Korean War. The many bloody encounters included the historic Battle of Kapyong where his battalion, despite incredible odds, defied the might of an advancing communist army. For this outstanding and seemingly impossible delaying action, the battalion was awarded the most prestigious United States Presidential Unit Citation.

Years later, he was among those few, selected for service in Vietnam with a recently formed unit, the Australian Army Training Team. (AATTV)  Given that this unit received many awards during operations, the term ‘Training’ became very much a misnomer. AATTV was awarded two foreign unit citations, thus Ron became one of a very few at that time to be wearing three foreign unit citations along with his impressive array of other military awards.

Join me as I picture him and his mates, mostly young, and perhaps distant from the front line, camped on reverse slopes, and around a small campfire. There would be laughing, joking and often singing of their favourite songs which included “The wild colonial boy” and another where in loud voice, they claimed they were all illegitimate and preferred vice and sin to fighting for their country. Such was their wry humour.

Then in the morning, these warriors from the land down under, went forward, exposed to winter’s freezing icy winds and snow or summers hot and relentless heat. Always they were heavily laden with weapons, equipment and a blackened tea billy used by the sub unit, dangling from someone’s haversack. Many of them were wearing American boots, combat smocks and balaclavas they had “borrowed” from their American allies. They tramped along unnamed narrow dirt roads toward the fog of war and the unknowns of their tomorrow; always with a sense of purpose and trust in each other as well as confidence in their leaders. Always evident from the commanding officer to the most junior soldier was the immense pride in their unit. They knew who they were and what they were about to do.  

Ron was part of all of this and clearly showed his love of country and a firm belief in our precious way of life.  His pride and affection for his old units never faltered throughout his life.  Years ago, I became aware that when the time came, he would want to bid farewell to each and all of his surviving old comrades on Planet Earth who would still be answering “Present” at roll call and thus this note. 

Have no doubt that he is now part of the growing ghost column which follows behind today’s youngsters who serve in the battalion, who march proudly with their unit’s Colours held high. As he passes the cheering crowds, the Spirit of one of Australia’s best, Ron Perkins, marching with old comrades one more, and will salute his beloved wife and family watching from afar.

Ron’s military history is recorded in this interview in 2003 

                   Vale Brave Warrior

Go seek glory with your deeds from a distant past 
Rest with old comrades at long, long last 
Feel the glowing, peaceful warmth of the campfire 
Singing, laughing and then restful sleep; gone forever any ire 
 

Those fields of war now washed clean of blood, sweat and tears
Yet still the faint cry ‘‘Duty First’’ can be heard each and every year While on Planet Earth, a new generation firmly holds the sacred flame
Brave deeds stitched on sacred cloth, proudly carried high, again and again  

George Mansford April 2019

Vale – Ron Perkins

3

Maurie Pears has advised that sadly Ron Perkins, our distinguished Korean War Veteran comrade and pioneer member of 3 RAR passed away after a long illness at 1900 last night 14th April 2019.

“I have conveyed our condolences to June through Ray Deed, who will notify us of funeral arrangements as soon as available.

He will be sadly missed by all who shared the pleasure of his company.

The members of the Korean War Association are devastated.

Ron was with us at the opening night at Beenleigh RSL and has been a constant attendance each year at Cascade since 2009.

Duty Done. “


Ron’s military history is recorded in this interview in 2003

NEWS PAPER REPORTING – FLOODS IN THE NORTH

This is the front page of the Courier Mail in Queensland on Saturday 9th February.  

Makes you feel very proud of the team. This is “second to none” in any language. Well done!

Gordon Hurford
Secretary
2 RAR Association

Report on the RARA’s 2018 AGM and National Council Meeting

The RAR Association’s AGM and the annual National Council Meeting were conducted in Townsville on 7 and 8 October. All State and Battalion Associations were present. It is interesting to note that the Associations which represent the Battalions no longer on the Order of Battle are generally still strong (2/4 RAR, 4RAR, 5/7RAR, 8 RAR and 9 RAR).

Mike von Berg is the Chair of the National Board and the Directors are Ted Chitham, who is also our hard working secretary, Hori Howard, Pat McIntosh, Trevor Dixon, who is our web master and Phil Thompson who represents our young volunteers. Mike and Phil were re-elected for a further three year term.

It was noted that the RAR Association is highly regarded in national circles. Mike is a member of the Ex Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) which advises the Federal Government on veterans’ policy. He is also the ESORT’s representative on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and has recently been appointed to the Strategic Governance Board of the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) .Phil Thompson represents us on the DVA’s Younger Veterans – Contemporary Needs Forum (YVF) and Clem Russell, our national pensions and compensation advisor, is a member of the DVA Operations Working Party.

Guest speakers were The Hon Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC and deputy leader of the House, Major General Mark Kelly, who is the Repatriation Commissioner as well as the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Australian Regiment and Ms Liz Cosson, the new Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. They updated us on what is occurring at national level within the Government, DVA and the Regiment.

Some significant items were:

  • A veteran is now someone who has served for one day.
  • A White Card medical treatment card for mental health issues is now available to anyone who has had one day’s full-time military service.
  • DVA now has details of all those who have served. This will permit quicker responses to claims.
  • 40 medical conditions have been added to the list which requires no additional evidence during the disability claims process.
  • VVCS will be renamed “Open Arms” which is expected to emphasise that it is open to all.

All Associations presented their reports. The main theme was the need to attract younger veterans to our associations. It was reaffirmed that our policy is that those leaving the service should as a matter of priority join their Battalion Associations, but if there happens not to be an active Association in their home state, they should join the State Association so that they can still continue to be members of the RAR family. It was also confirmed that those Associations which had close links with the serving Battalions were the strongest. This is seen as the best way to get through to those leaving the service. RARA support is available to all who have served in the Regiment and their families.

The Queensland Branch of the RAR National Association which manages the RAR National Memorial Walk, presented their report on the RAR Memorial. The Walk, which is located within Enoggera Barracks, is an outstanding tribute to our fallen. It is maintained by RAR volunteers, the Queensland Branch of our Association and serving units from 7 Brigade . The Walk is well worth a visit to anyone who is in Brisbane but patience is required to gain entry to Enoggera Barracks due to the current security level.

There were many items on the RARA’s NCM agenda including the following:

  • Suicide and self-harm – critical group assessment and assistance.
  • Homeless veterans – solutions.
  • Future of the National Memorial Walk.
  • The future of advocacy including delivery.
  • The Productivity Commission inquiry into DVA.
  • Indexation of pensions and superannuation.
  • Incarcerated veterans. Statistics and support.
  • Defence or partnership hub test for those leaving the ADF.
  • Soldier Recovery Program.
  • Transition of ADF families.
  • Conditions of Service including the Workplace Remuneration Arrangements.
  • The need for a Military Covenant between the Government and the ADF.

Issues which were reported on and  discussed included the following:

  • The status and future of the upgrading service at RCB to warlike service.
  • RAR MIAs from the Korean War.
  • The need for a day to commemorate the service of contemporary  veterans.
  • The award of a medal for those wounded in action.
  • The need for our Associations and members to provide feedback on matters requiring advocacy.
  • The need for Associations to be active in the social media space.
  • Mental Health- transition – suicide – employment.
  • Well-being.
  • Veterans Support Organisations “fostered” by the RARA

With the Federal election not too far away we will be working to put together a short list of key issues which we alone and with The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) will put forward to the major parties. We will engage with our Associations in this task and we will ask that they will join us in putting them before their local candidates.

Just some of the contemporary issues are:

  • The exclusion of  the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (trustees of our military superannuation schemes) from the Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial services industry.
  • The fact that TPI and Special Rate disability compensation payments have not kept up with the cost of living.
  • Superannuation matters including Fair Indexation for all military superannuation payments, MSBS portability and access to employer benefits, removal of MSBS Maximum Benefit Limits and DFRDB Commutation
  • Mental health and Veterans’ suicide.
  • Transition including employment post military service.
  • Support and care for members and former members of the ADF who were involved in the Quinoline anti-malarial drug ‘trial’

The importance of communications in achieving our strategic directions (outlined in our Road Map) was a major topic for discussion. The key priorities determined were to open up membership to all former and current members of the RAR and their families and to enable a simplified, seamless, digital communications network that will allow us to engage with our members.

The weekend was rounded off by a visit to 1 RAR where we witnessed an imaginative program designed to improve marksmanship and urban warfare tactics.

The 2019 meeting is planned for Adelaide.

 

 

The RAR Foundation Bulletin – Issue No 36 – October 2018

From the Chairman Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC

2018 has been a big year for the Foundation. The New Direction for the Foundation was launched with its emphasis on supporting the development of the Regiment and its serving members.
READ THE BULLETIN

The Royal Australian Regiment 70 years Young – Happy Birthday Greetings

To the RAR Family of current and past serving soldiers and their families greetings from the RAR Colonel Commandant Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC  and the Regimental Colonel Brigadier Jason Blain DSC CSC  on our 70th Anniversary.

 

Read Mark Kelly’s Message    Download

Read Jason Blain’s Message   Download

RAR Association (WA Branch) Regimental Dinner, Saturday the 24th November 2018 – Perth

The Secretary of the RAR Association WA Branch, Jack Babbage  extends an invitation to all RAR present and past serving persons to attend the RAR Regimental Dinner (70th Anniversary), to be celebrated commencing at 6 pm on Saturday the 24th November 2018, at the Grosvenor Hotel, Perth.

This is a great opportunity to keep the Regimental spirit alive  in WA with friends and fellow warriors.
“The spirit, which grows up in a Battalion (Regiment) when it has been welded together into a true fighting unit, is a comradeship almost spiritual in its strength and intensity. It springs from hardships shared equally, risks run by all in common and its power exceeds most of the emotions that an ordinary man will ever know. The care of soldiers for one another, their sure and calm dependence on each other are hard to understand by anyone who has not known it.”       Osmar White Australian War Correspondent

For details contact Jack Babbage on (08) 9349 0826 or by email [email protected]

Duty First

 

Royal Australian Regiment 70th Anniversary Events: 23rd November 2018

The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) will celebrate its 70th anniversary with events in Canberra on 23 November 2018, including a parade open to the public to be conducted at the Australian War Memorial.
All serving and ex-serving members of the RAR, their family and friends, as well as ADF members and the public are warmly invited to attend these events :
70th Anniversary Parade.
A parade featuring the Queen’s and Regimental Colours of all Battalions of the RAR and a Guard from the 8/9th Battalion RAR supported by RAR Pipes and Drums and the RMC Band will be conducted on the Australian War Memorial parade ground commencing at 1530 h. His Excellency the Governor General of Australia, will be the Reviewing Officer for the Parade. For those wishing to attend in uniform, dress is Dress 1B (Ceremonial Service Dress)
Last Post Ceremony.
In acknowledging those members of the RAR who died during their service, the Last Post Ceremony will remember the life and sacrifice of Corporal Kevin Cooper from 2 RAR, who was Killed In Action on 26 July 1953 during the Battle of Samichon in the Korean War.

All serving and ex-serving members of the RAR and their families and friends are invited to attend the Ceremony commencing at 1700 h. Please be in place by 1650 h.

Jason Blain
Brigadier
Head of Corps
Royal Australian Infantry
Contact officer: BRIG Simon Gould
RAR 70th Lead Coordinator
Telephone: 0437 715 642
Email: [email protected]

Vale – Colonel Wayne John Lynch

We are saddened to report the passing of  Wayne Lynch

He enlisted into the Regular Army in 1971 and served initially as a rifleman in 1 RAR. He was selected for and attended the Officer Cadet School Portsea, graduating in December 1972. From rifleman, Wayne rose in rank to Colonel over his 38 years’ service in the Regular Army and the Army Reserve.

Wayne had a wide range of appointments over the years, including company command in 3 RAR and 6 RAR, CO RURQ, CO QUR, and Commandant of LWC SQ.

On his transfer into the Army Reserve in 1994, Wayne took up a public service appointment with DVA where he was employed in the Rehabilitation and Compensation area in the Brisbane office.

He retired from DVA in March 2013 and was later appointed as a Member of the Veterans` Review Board located in Brisbane.

Wayne’s life will be celebrated at the Lakeview Chapel, Albany Creek Memorial Park at 11 am on Monday the 17th of September 2018. Ex-service members are requested to wear medals. In lieu of flowers, the Lynch family request a donation is made to Legacy Australia. Following the service, the family will be hosting a wake at the the Lynch family home in Everton Park.

Rest in Peace Wayne

Your Duty is Done