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

Duty First Magazine goes Digital

A PDF version of the First 2019 edition of Duty First is available if you click here, You can also access the flipbook link for the interactive online version here.

Uber offers war veterans and their spouses the chance to drive for uberX commission free for three months

Article by Ian McPhedran


RENEGADE ride sharing firm Uber will partner with military veterans under a unique deal to be unveiled today.


Veterans or their spouses who sign up as drivers on the uberX platform before December 31 this year will pay no commission for the first three months.

That would save a person driving for 50 hours-a-week hundreds of dollars in fees each week.

Uber charges drivers a 20 per cent commission on all fares booked using its apps.

The deal is supported by the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) Association, Australia’s largest defence discounts directory APOD and Enabled Employment.

Ride sharing is seen by many veterans as an ideal way to integrate into the civilian workforce following a military career.

President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg said the Uber deal was an excellent employment opportunity for ex-members of the ADF who might be having difficulties.

Good option ... President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg supports the move. Picture: Dean Martin

Good option … President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg supports the move. Picture: Dean MartinSource:News Corp Australia

“It will allow them to be independent, operate as a sole trader and work the hours they want with less pressure than other jobs,” Mr von Berg said.

He said employment was vital in the process of rehabilitating veterans with mental health issues as well.

Queensland mum Claire Ashman has been driving for Uber for eight months and she has two sons in the military.

“I love it and I think it would be fabulous for veterans. They need all the help they can get to adjust and to have something like Uber is wonderful,” she said.

Ms Ashman drives part-time for about 18 hours a week and has been rated Uber’s top Brisbane driver.

“You work in your own time at your own pace and go on and off line when you want.”

Former RAAF airfield defence guard and flight attendant Clint (he did not want his surname published) has been driving for Uber for eight months after trying six jobs in five years following his 10-year military career.

He works between eight and 10-hours-a-day and earns about $1300-a-week (pre-tax) after paying his 20-per cent commission to Uber.

Uber Driver and ex-RAAF airman Clint, who has been with the company for some time.

Uber Driver and ex-RAAF airman Clint, who has been with the company for some time.Source:News Corp Australia

“I love the flexibility of it and I work when I want to and meeting new people is fun. I haven’t set an alarm clock for seven months,” Clint said.

He said the nil commission idea to attract veterans as drivers was a terrific initiative.

That would mean an extra $300-a-week for 50 hours work and it would allow veterans to see how they liked the work.

Uber spokesman Mal Chia said the company wanted to help veterans to move smoothly into civilian life especially the thousands suffering from mental or physical injury.

“Unfortunately while many of these men and women have risked everything for our country, transitioning from military to civilian life can be equally challenging,” he said.

“We’re proud to be able to partner with such incredible individuals, who help make Uber a service that over one million Australians choose in cities across the country.”

More information is available at

6th Battalion to Exercise Freedom of the City

6th Battalion to Exercise Freedom of the City

The 6th Battalion will conduct an Exercising of the Freedom of Entry to the City of Brisbane commencing at 0930 on Saturday 5th December 2015. The Battalion will commence from the vicinity of the Treasury Casino and march to King George Square, after having been ‘Challenged’ on Adelaide Street, to receive the Brigade Commander, The Chief of Army, The Governor of Queensland and the Brisbane Lord Mayor. Afterwards the Battalion will be hosted by the Brisbane Lord Mayor at a Civic Reception.

Note: This reception IS NOT open to members of the 6 RAR Association. We will be represented by our President, Mr Ben McDevitt AM

The Battalion Ball is to be conducted at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre that evening.  The Presidents of 6 RAR and LTVA associations have been invited and twenty tickets only have been set aside for members of those associations due to capacity restrictions. The cost of these tickets is approx $120.00 and will be released in the coming days via the Associations. If you wish to attend, please email the [email protected] to put your name forward. You are not guaranteed a seat as it will be first in, best dressed

6 RAR Association members are encouraged to attend this march and show our enduring support for the Battalion.

6 RAR Association Members Get-together:

Following the march, association members can meet at The Grand Central Hotel, 270 Anne St., under Central Station. Easy to get to and away from, no parking fees. See you there!

The ANZAC Spirit Still Lives

Not so long ago I was privileged to observe young soldiers of the space age training for war.  They impressed me, not because of their military skills, (there was little time to assess) but clearly evident were the characteristics so essential for soldiers.

Although weary and desperate for sleep, without exception they still have that familiar grin seen so many times under a battered slouch hat in even the most harshest and challenging circumstances.

Their officer is still boss or skipper. They speak with confidence and with sense of purpose. Most evident even in such a short visit was the strong bond between them; pride in who they were and the regimental badge they wore.

Today’s military has more challenges than ever before and given  instant media reporting, all ranks require an exceptional high standard of tolerance and self- discipline.

Soldiers have enlisted from an ever increasing soft and spoilt society yet must be capable of confronting the trials and terrible demands of war which remain constant regardless of time. Thus there is a need for each progressive generation to be trained even harder in mental and physical toughness to endure all. Such needs are not helped by ever increasing political correctness and Occupation Health and Safety. 

They still have the familiar nicknames for each other, as did their great grandfathers and some, although not complimentary and which would fail today’s political correctness test are meant with immense affection.  

No matter be it peace or war, the basic essentials of soldiering do not change including discipline, loyalty, love of country and devotion to duty. They possess all of such qualities as well as their great grandfathers’ mischief, sense of purpose and respect for each other and above all, the strongest asset of all, mate-ship.

It’s London to a Brick that the ANZAC spirit is very much alive.

George Mansford

He Still Lives

Gone you say

How can this be?

Such a man as he

This brave warrior from yesterday


He’s there wherever memories roam

Laughing, caring, sharing

Risking all for others and ever daring

So many dreams of the land he calls home


He often tested authorities with mischief abound  

Never excited by Generals and other red hats

Called his officer, boss or skipper and that was that

Yet in the field, battle discipline always to be found 


How often a crumpled letter read, so precious, so dear

Studying a faded photo of loved ones as we waited the call  

Then as the order was given to rise and enter Mars Hall

His humour with familiar grin calmed doubts and fear


His name on many a proud history page

Brave duty and love of country for all to read

So rich with honour are his deeds

He still stands tall and proud on life’s stage


Gone you say

How can this be?

His strong seeds now grown for all to see

He still lives this very day.

George Mansford © November 2015

Royal Commission Into The DVA


Hi my name is Angus Sim and by now I am sure most of you who come across this fund raiser know that I’m an honest and fair person that represents the APPVA as the National President of the RLS ignored all my emails and phone calls regarding younger Veterans issues and a submission for a Royal Commission can not come from me.  It has to be a National body.  I will be using the most credible fund raising company called GoFundMe .

To make a donation click here

Initialy I started this crowd funding to raise $10,000 as this is the figure that the lawyers need to start the proceedings and prepare documents for a potential Royal Commission into the DVA.  Everyone who has donated so far has done a great job because it has started.

We have received the 10K needed for the lawyer and had a meeting with him on the 15/10/2015 which went really well therefore, we will continue to have meetings and this is going ahead.  The lawyer is taking it on.  This will now involve flying APPVA members to Brisbane from all over Australia and other small direct costs.  We have decided unanimously in the meeting to keep the fund open for extra cash for these incidentals.

Any remaining funds at the end of the proceedings of the submission that aren’t used will be donated back to a charity/group of some description.  Maybe we can have a vote on it.  Just a suggestion.

An article  ‌that was covered recently by Ian McPhedran exposes some shocking information regarding younger Vets not being cared for and this is mainly due to the Act that has now been in place since 2004 (MRCA Act).  The SRCA Act has major flaws also.

As most of you are aware, there are quite a few serious issues that need rectifying within the department and we have been advised that a Royal Commission is the most cost effective way for making positive change.

We are seeing in the papers, on the news far too many reports of veterans not being looked after by the DVA.

The results of a survey ‌that I conducted  totally contradicted the results of the DVA satisfaction survey  and the many veterans that I have come across have serious issues with the department.  This will be a great achievement because a Royal Commission will rectify these issues.  I literally have hundreds of young Veterans statements that are so disturbing it makes me want to stop reading them.  There are too many suicides contributing to the department’s lack of time wasting and bureaucratic processes on decisions pending especially veterans with mental health issues, this also causes severe undue stress on veterans and their families. It is all too common that veterans with accepted conditions (and are unemployable due to the fact) are left without any help or income from the DVA and some of these veterans live on the streets.

The system is clearly failing our veterans and in particular our younger Vets who commonly come under the MRCA Act and SRCA Act that is under performing.  The sad thing is we have military personnel in the Middle East on operations that may come home with injuries or illnesses, adding to the number that the DVA can’t even control now. Changes need to be made now not tomorrow but it’s not too late.

Any donations are welcomed by vets and the public.  A few bucks from everyone will reach our goal.

You can stay anonymous when donating but I would appreciate if people with credibility release their name to give the fund raising peace of mind for other potential donors but it’s totally up to the individual.

Please share far and wide so we can get these donations flowing in.  Every $ counts.

On behalf of the APPVA and the Veteran community, I personally thank each and every one of you.

Kind regards,

Angus Sim

The Search For Tactical Success in Vietnam


The study of military history forms a critical part of the Army’s learning cycle. A gv publishing the work of the nation’s pre-eminent military historians, the Australian Army and Cambridge University Press aim to promote, to a worldwide audience, our country’s proud military heritage. Detailing the history of the Army, its people and its contribution to Australia’s development, the series presents readers with contemporary perspectives and authoritative accounts of the key issues in the Army’s past. The Australian Army is pleased to collaborate with Cambridge University Press to deliver the official Australian Army History series. Lieutenant General Dauid Morrison CHIEF OF ARMY

For full article click here

To purchase a copy click here

James Cook University and army reach agreement over education

James Cook University will become part of the Army Tertiary Education Program, enabling Australian Defence Force personnel’s Royal Military College studies to count toward a business degree at the university.

Commander of the 3rd Brigade, Brigadier Roger Noble, said the Australian Army made education a priority and said the arrangement would benefit applicants from around Australia and those on deployment.

“It is not just Townsville, so when they get posted or they move away they can continue to study online.”

Image result for army education australia

Brigadier Noble said the business degree was a good fit for the army, and he expected the agreement would expand to include other disciplines in future.

“I think it is an immediate fit because the army is a big business,” he said.

James Cook University and Lavarack Barracks were both officially opened on July 29, 1966, with prime minster Holt in attendance.

At the opening of the army barracks, Mr Holt remarked that Townsville was fortunate to have Australia’s first university in the tropics and an “outstanding military establishment”.

“It is said the pen is mightier than the sword and I suppose that argument still continues,” Mr Holt said at the time.

“Well, Townsville has both, and Australia needs both.”

Brigadier Noble said Mr Holt’s hopes for the university and army base and how they could interact and facilitate growth in the region had been visionary.

“He clearly understood that putting a major army base and a major educational facility in the north would help grow Townsville,” he said.

“I would hope the relationship goes beyond just formal courses and study, so what should happen here is we should be part of the dialogue that goes on in the community.”

A tribute to John Deighton (JPA) from all his Comrades in Arms

Absent at Roll Call

There was no answer when his name was called at roll today

A comrade who was with us in thick and thin has faded away

Now there’s a gap in our ranks where he used to be

Oh how he will be missed by the likes of you and me

Never reluctant to speak his mind, no matter where

Yet was always there when time for warriors to dare

If the chips were down and the day looked grim

He stood fast, shoulder to shoulder with him and him

Who could forget the familiar grin and “gidday mate” to all

Love of country and Duty First whenever the bugle did call

His special comforting cloak of mate ship no longer to be found

How will it ever be the same without such a comrade around?


Soldier, patriot and a true blue cobber to you and me

His spirt is with us and always will be

Such fond and proud memories of him forever so strong

As we that are left march forward with song

George Mansford October 2015

A Fond Salute to Lieutenant Colonel Jim Bourke (RL) AM, MG

Jimmy Bourke, True Blue (RAR-AATTV)


Did you ever meet a bloke so full of life?

Always with a huge grin, even in strife

Would often share his last smoke and tucker too

Never hesitant to speak up for the likes of me and you

In peace and war for causes he led many a band

Defeat and failure he never did understand

“Cannot be done” was never part of his game

Always challenging the system gave him justified fame

Above all, he was to you and me, true blue

A mate to be trusted to see any danger through

Already we are missing you, JB

Yet always will be those proud treasured memories

So many dawns and sunsets you shared with others

Such a great honour to have called you our brother

Luv ya mate