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Army December 10, 2009
Shock and awe of a true leader
Lt Freeman has demonstrated leadership of
the highest order in the most challenging of
tactical situations and operational environ-
ment, through his skilled command at the
platoon level. In numerous engagements with
the enemy Lt Freeman led from the front to
effectively command tactical actions and to
inspire his men through his personal example.
He demonstrated physical and moral courage
to ensure his platoon was successful, despite
the need to often regain the initiative from
HASSETT AWARD CITATION
By Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe
COURAGEOUS, skilled and professional
are the qualities that best describe a true
leader -- and this year's Hassett Award
winner, Lt Brad Freeman, 7RAR.
Recognised as the best junior leader in
the RAR, Lt Freeman received the award
from Chief of Joint Operations Lt-Gen Mark
Evans in Canberra on November 26.
Still in a state of shock, Lt Freeman said
it was a great honour to receive an award that
bears the name of Gen Sir Francis Hassett.
"Gen Hassett was arguably one of the fin-
est soldiers Australia has produced and I feel
greatly privileged to receive this award," Lt
"While it's an individual award it was
strongly, strongly underpinned by a group
effort of the men I served with overseas.
"Without the platoon and the support
of the exceptional junior commanders and
exceptional sergeants I certainly wouldn't
have been considered for this award."
Lt Freeman graduated from RMC
in December 2007 and completed the
Infantry Regimental Officer Basic Course
in April 2008.
On his return to 7RAR, he was assigned
as platoon commander of 1 Pl, Combat Team
Tusk, and deployed to Afghanistan with
MRTF 1 from October 2008 to July 2009.
Early in the deployment both Lt Freeman
and his platoon sergeant were wounded
by an IED, which knocked Lt Freeman
He quickly recovered and regained
control of the platoon, directing an aggres-
sive and effective follow-up action to
ensure the enemy could not exploit the
effects of the attack.
By WO2 Graham McBean
CDF ACM Angus Houston has
slammed media reports of widespread
illicit drug use by ADF personnel
deployed to Afghanistan.
The reports claimed soldiers were
"returning home as addicts" despite
Defence providing information that no
ADF member had tested drug positive in
Afghanistan since tests began in 2005.
The ADF has a no-drug policy and
has discharged 373 ADF members under
its drug-testing program and through
other means where drug use was found.
A Defence statement said a detailed
response was provided to the journalists
responsible and "deplores the fact they
chose to omit much of the information
provided to them in search of a headline".
"On the basis of these results [the
story] is completely baseless," ACM
Young Diggers president John Jarrett
was quoted widely throughout the article
syndicated in News Limited papers.
The ADF has invited Mr Jarrett to
provide details of soldiers allegedly expe-
riencing difficulties to enable Defence to
provide help as its fundamental duty of
care. To date, Mr Jarrett has refused to
More than 35,000 tests have been
conducted on ADF members in Australia
and overseas on operations, under the
drug-testing program between June 16,
2005, and August 31, 2009.
A recent review increased the testing
rate from 10 per cent to 25 per cent and
100 per cent of initial trainees, similar to
other Western armed forces.
The average rate of positive results
has been 1.54 per cent. That has dropped
to 0.98 per cent during this fiscal year.
Director General Public Affairs Brig
Brian Dawson highlighted the 2007
National Drug Strategy Household
Survey, where the Australian Institute
of Health reported 13.4 per cent of the
Australian population had used an illicit
drug in the previous 12 months.
In a formal response to newspapers
that published the article, Brig Dawson
said Defence had forwarded correct
and up-to-date statistics that had been
He said no evidence suggested mul-
tiple deployments might contribute to
drug use on Australian bases and preven-
tive measures were in place to reduce
the likelihood of an ADF member using
"The Department of Defence deplores
the selective use of facts, use of uncor-
roborated sources and poor journalistic
standards demonstrated by this article,"
Brig Dawson said.
After his deployment to Afghanistan, he
was nominated for the 2009 Hassett Award.
7RAR was also presented with a statu-
ette of a Bardia infantryman, which the bat-
talion will retain for a year as the perpetual
OPSO 7RAR Maj David McCammon
said it was a privilege to accept the award
on behalf of the CO, Lt-Col Shane Gabriel,
and the battalion.
"We are very proud of Lt Freeman
and very excited that he has received this
award," he said.
"It is an excellent reflection of the out-
standing work Lt Freeman and his platoon
conducted while on operations, despite fac-
ing significant challenges and dealing with
Lt Freeman will remain with 7RAR and
hopes to continue operational service.
The Hassett Award is funded by a dona-
tion from the late General and Lady Hassett
to the RAR Foundation, which supports the
regiment and serving soldiers of the RAR.
Outstanding work: Lt Brad Freeman accepts this year's Hassett Award from Lt-Gen Mark Evans at
a ceremony in Canberra.
Photo by Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe
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