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Army March 4, 2010
By Sgt Dave Morley
WHEN Maj Graham Docksey
received his Federation Star for
40 years' service in the mail six
years ago he was "terribly dis-
"As a former RSM I didn't
think that was the right way to
reward service," he said.
So when he was summoned
to Canberra to receive his sec-
ond Federation Star, for 45 years'
service, he was "very pleased the
CA had taken on presenting them
personally". With him was Maj
Chris Pyke, who received his 40-
year Federation Star.
Maj Docksey enlisted on his
17th birthday on May 23, 1964,
and served with 6RAR and 7RAR
in Vietnam in 1966-67.
He was also an instructor in
the Provost Corps (now Military
Police) at the Holsworthy Military
Corrective Establishment in 1968-
70 and later served in 5RAR.
Maj Docksey finished his
OR career as RSM of Logistic
Command from 1988 to 1991
then commissioned in 1992.
He is the OC of Army History
Unit at Bandiana and manager
of the Army Museum Bandiana.
His passion for military history
is such that he has conducted bat-
tlefield tours of Gallipoli for 13
He described his career as
"an absolute adventure and very
Maj Pyke, a QUR instructor,
joined the Citizen Military Force
on March 2, 1966, aged 16.
"In those days they didn't
check too hard and if your father
signed the form, you were right,"
"I joined 31RQR as a digger
and was commissioned as a 2Lt
in March 1969."
He felt honoured and privi-
leged to be presented with his
Federation Star by the CA.
"It was great that my wife
could be there with me because
she has been a great support to
me during most of my 44 years in
the Army," he said.
Maj Pyke's postings have
included instructional positions
at 11 Trg Gp, OCTU, LWC and
1 Trg Gp, as well as company
commander and battalion 2IC at
He said he was still interest-
ed in remaining in the Army and
would even consider an overseas
deployment if one was offered.
"I haven't considered retiring
and will stay on as long as I can
still contribute," he said.
IT wasn't just boot scooters and busk-
ers that attracted the attention of coun-
try music fans at this year's Tamworth
Country Music Festival.
A Bushmaster from 12/16 Hunter
River Lancers took part in the annual
Cavalcade on January 23 with special
guest James Blundell on board.
"It's nice to be accepted here when
I'm in town by the boys and the girls
from the unit," the musician said.
Before riding in the Bushmaster,
Blundell appeared on local radio and
played a shortened version of his song
Ride into Town, a tribute to the 800 Light
Horsemen who took part in the charge at
Beersheba in 1917.
The song was officially launched
at the 12/16HRL regimental dinner in
August last year.
Capt Shane Green, 2IC Spt Sqn,
12/16HRL, said Ride into Town and an
accompanying video were special to the
"The intent was to have a piece of
music and a visual representation that is
able to be a part of regimental history,
to be enjoyed by current and ex-serving
members and something the public can
make sense of," Capt Green said.
"If it inspires people to find out a lit-
tle more about the charge at Beersheba,
then we really achieved something."
Rewarded: Maj Chris Pyke, left, and Major Graham Docksey, right, have their photo taken with CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie after being
presented with the Federation Star.
ADF's equity lead
DEFENCE has become a founding member of a
ground-breaking program that aims to make workplaces
more responsive to the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT) people in the workforce. Pride
in Diversity is an initiative aimed at supporting organisa-
tions to provide LGBT employees with a framework of
policies and practices that specifically support them.
Former High Court judge Michael Kirby was the key-
note speaker at the launch of the initiative in Sydney on
February 10. The Australian Federal Police is one of the
other foundation members. For more information visit
Medal for Korea
THE Queen has approved the official regulations and
design for the award of the Australian General Service
Medal for Korea. The medal will be struck to recognise
personnel who completed 30 days' qualifying service on
operations in South Korea or any location within 161km
off the coast between July 28, 1953, to April 19, 1956.
Applications for the medal should be sent to: Directorate
of Honours and Awards, PO Box 7952, Canberra BC,
ACT 2610. For more details visit http://www.defence.gov.
VCs on tour
THE Australian War Memorial's collection of VCs from
Gallipoli will tour the nation for the first time to com-
memorate the 95th anniversary of the landing. From
this month the medals of Cpl Alexander Burton, Cpl
William Dunstan, Pte John Hamilton, LCpl Albert Jacka,
LCpl Leonard Keysor, Capt Alfred Shout, Lt William
Symons, 2Lt Hugo Throssell and Lt Frederick Tubb,
will travel to WA, NT, SA, Victoria and Queensland.
Seven of the nine VCs were awarded for bravery during
the battle of Lone Pine on August 6-7, 1915. For more
information visit www.awm.gov.au.
THE planner of the ADF's inaugural blood-donor chal-
lenge hopes to build on the event this year. Maj Gary
Schulz said many people "aren't lucky enough to be as
healthy as most service personnel and so therefore we
have the ability to provide our liquid gold to help other
people out". The Air Force won the 2009 challenge,
which attracted more than 1200 donors from Army, Navy
and Air Force. Commander Joint Health Maj-Gen Paul
Alexander said the ADF would stay involved and sup-
port the blood drive as well as continuing to ensure the
range of blood products available to deployed soldiers
Blundell said he was gratified "to get
so much positive support from the regi-
ment whose members have embraced me
as their own".
The musician has strong connec-
tions to the ADF as he has entertained
Australian troops in the Middle East, East
Timor and Solomon Islands.
Beersheba ballad: James Blundell
belts out Riding Into Town in the ABC
Radio New England studio as Capt
Shane Green watches and listens.
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