Home' Army News : September 17th 2009 Contents ON BEHALF of Army, I wish to congratulate
the Army newspaper for 50 years of service.
The role of Army is an important one with-
in our organisation. It keeps us all informed
about the good work completed by men and
women of the Army all around the world. This
is an essential support function for our serving
men and women who provide outstanding
service to our nation on a daily basis, be they
deployed on operations or training at home in
The ongoing success of our newspaper is
dependent on the commitment and dedication
of the staff and soldiers who work diligently
to ensure Army remains relevant to Army
The first edition came out on September
10, 1959. The newspaper, carrying the banner
Australian Army -- the Soldiers' Newspaper,
included a story about the response from sol-
diers to find a name for the Army's newspaper.
Some of the suggested names were Army
Review, Army Bulletin, Army Bugle, Our Army
and of course Army.
As was stated in the first edition by the
Chief of the General Staff, Lt-Gen Sir Ragnar
Garrett, "Army will keep us in touch individu-
ally and keep us abreast of Service affairs
affecting us at home and abroad."
Fifty years later, the mission for Army
remains the same. However flexibility will be
a key asset as we move into the realm of new
media and social networking. While the medi-
um by which it will come to you may evolve
with technology in the next few years, it will
remain a primary tool for keeping Army per-
sonnel, our families and the Australian public
informed about the activities of our fellow
members are undertaking around the world.
Having been an avid reader of the 42 of
the 50 years, I want to thank Army for their
valuable contribution to the Australian Army.
Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie
Chief of Army
50 YEARS O
2 -- ARMY NEWSPAPER, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009
contribution AN UNNAMED digger pictured on the
front page of Army's first issue went
on to become one of the Army's best-
known soldiers with a long and distinguished
A framed copy of the newspaper's first front
page hangs above the editor's desk, with a photo
of "a 3RAR jungle fighter" looking over the
paper's ever-conscientious workers.
Recent enquiries located the soldier, former
WO1 Noel Smith, in Adelaide.
Noel said the photo was taken just before he
headed out from Lasah, Malaya, on a 10-day
patrol in 1959.
"We didn't look that flash when we got back
and didn't smell too good either," he said. "We
carried 10 days' rations and had no resupply."
Noel said he copped a lot of ribbing from his
mates over the picture but the tradition of hav-
ing to buy them beers for appearing in the paper
was not around in 1959.
"The battalion PR people in Malaya gave me
a copy of the photo -- I still have it," he said.
When the newspaper celebrated its eighth
birthday in September 1967, then Sgt Smith
again appeared on the front page, billed as
"Army's oldest pin-up". This time he'd swapped
his SLR for an M16.
He said he always kept up to date with the
newspaper and there were always issues out on
"I still try to dig up a copy now whenever I
visit Keswick Barracks, except all the modern
uniforms and equipment have left me behind."
A70-YEAR-OLD former national
serviceman from Perth reckons
national service was the turning
point in his life.
Max Kiernan, whose photograph featured
in the sports pages of Army's first edition (at
left), says he could have finished up in jail
without the discipline it taught him.
"I didn't enjoy it, but it did me the world
of good," he said. "It was the best thing that
ever happened to me."
The then Pte Max Kiernan and Pte Les
Martin were pictured standing in the surf
cooling their feet after a mile run on hot bitu-
men as part of a relay race from Swanbourne
to Trigg Island.
They were among 120 runners in the 17th
National Service Training Company relay
Mr Kiernan says he was unaware his pic-
ture was in the newspaper.
He said once he finished his National
Service he did not maintain any ties with the
"But national service influenced my deci-
sion to join the West Australian Police," he
said. "It was a natural transition."
Mr Kiernan completed 32½ with the
Western Australia Police, including a posting
to the police anti-terrorist unit.
Now retired, he helps out at his son's
printing works in Perth.
serve the ve
BACK IN THE
Sgt Dave Morley tracks down some of the soldiers who fea
No small beer for a
paper's pin-up boy
Noel served overseas with 3RAR in Malaya,
4 RAR in Malaysia and Borneo, and with the
training team in Vietnam.
"My promotion to RSM of Adelaide
University Regiment in 1976 was one of many
highlights of my career," he said.
"They were wonderful young people. I
regarded the Adelaide University Regiment as
"I don't remember ever having a bad time in
any unit I served in."
Noel is 4RAR's representative to the South
Australian RAR Association, and was located
for the newspaper by Lex Grant of the 3RAR-
Up to date: Noel Smith appeared on Army's
first front page.
Staying out of jail
Determined: Ray Evans
achieved his goal.
IN THIS edition we begin a series of special
liftouts to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of Army, the Soldiers' Newspaper. The main
focus of our first liftout is on some of the peo-
ple who appeared in the first issue. Sgt Dave
Morley has done a tremendous job to find
the former soldiers and tell their engaging
stories. Also of interest are the recollections of
former staff member Pete Kelly, who spent
21 years at the paper in every position from
private to major. Read his account on Page 4
of this supplement. Future liftouts will look
at the stories we have covered in the past
50 years, more memories of former staff, the
paper's impressive photographic range and its
rich cartooning history.
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