Home' Army News : March 4th 2010 Contents "THEY'RE KEEPING THEIR PROMISE TO MY DAD."
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I HAVE had the pleasure of being asso-
ciated with the Army since 1968.
In that time I spent 28 years in the
green skin and the remainder with the
Defence Public Service.
Reading in the media over the past
couple of weeks about how some of
our members are ashamed of the Army
because of a drinking problem has
prompted me to write to Army.
I have never and never will be
ashamed of the Australian Army.
Disappointed sometimes, yes, but never
Why is it that we always have to
concentrate on the small percentage
who do the wrong thing? Why can't
we tell the 98.5 per cent who do the
right thing 'well done and keep up the
good work'? Why don't we mention
the soldiers who do stop their mates
from driving drunk?
I think the answer is simple: it's not
in the media (as it will not sell papers),
and it's not often that senior people are
in a place to see it happen.
I would like to say to all soldiers
and officers: well done and keep up the
Charles Tournoff (ex-WO2)
Steps being taken
to update boot list
Dave's tale a
LETTERS AND VIEWPOINTS 21
Army March 4, 2010
THE page 2 story of WO2 'Dave' -- a
man who has survived some of the
worst of his own excesses and rescued
his life and career -- will, we hope,
make literally sobering reading.
His drunken antics, violence and lies
will no doubt strike a chord with those
soldiers who have seen this kind of
behaviour up close.
The sad thing is that most of us
know a 'Dave'.
Problem drinkers have avenues of
approach to assistance, through the
Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education
Program and similar programs, but the
hardest thing can be to take that first
step and actually ask for help.
Not everyone hits the booze like
Dave did, but there are many soldiers
who drink heavily on occasions and
have a few beers a week as a matter of
routine. The danger of trying to address
problem drinking in the Army is that
there is no clear line to draw between
It would be stupid to expect soldiers
never to have a drink, or never to have
a few too many on the off chance that
they will become alcoholics, but there
is clearly a problem with drunk soldiers
doing stupid and dangerous things.
So where to draw the line? And
what about the medical guidelines that
refer to safe levels? Not many of us
actually know what they are.
Each of us will have our own views
on the issue, but the Chief of Army is
right to be concerned about the kind
of irresponsible and somethime lethal
drinking that causes so many personal
and disciplinary problems on a daily
basis across the Army.
Perhaps our culture of valuing mate-
ship above so much else, and which
works so well on operations where
we all know that someone's got our
back, needs to be better translated into
We need to look after our mates and
ourselves in barracks too.
Q: We now have nine pairs of author-
ised boots that can be worn. Where is
the list of these boots?
A: The RSM-Ceremonial is in the proc-
ess of adding this list of boots to the
DRN (possibly linked to ASOD). There
will be photos of the boots, the brand
type and the current policy on where
they can be worn. It is anticipated that
this task will be completed by the end
of March when the rewrite of ASOD is
posted on the DRN.
Q: Will operational deployments
remain at eight months?
A: At this stage deployments will remain
at eight months. The eight-month brigade
rotation model is giving Army the oppor-
tunity to rebuild its essential warfighting
skills. The model also allows more time
for soldiers and officers to take leave, to
complete their professional development
courses and to spend some time at home.
There are some specialist trades that are
on shorter rotations due to personnel sus-
Q: Will three-year posting cycles mean
that there will be the opportunity to
develop professional skills by spending
more time in the same rank?
A: Yes, it is anticipated that the knock-on
effect of the three-year posting cycle will
allow junior and senior NCOs to spend
more time in rank so that their profes-
sional skills are allowed to fully develop
before moving to the next rank. There are
currently 758 corporal, 496 sergeant and
156 WO2 vacancies in the Army. It will
take us a number of years to fill these
vacancies. As a result, some corps will
continue to move corporals and sergeants
through the promotion system relatively
quickly. Once the majority of these posi-
tions are filled, a steady state will allow
longer postings to one location for fam-
ily stability and a chance for individuals
to professionally develop in their core
jobs during that posting. The three-year
posting cycle is to be the normal posting
time for all personnel. Any shorter post-
ing time is to be by exception.
-- RSM-A WO Stephen Ward
IN RESPONSE to Spr
Wagner's contribution to the
great flat or curved slouch
hat debate (Army, February
4), check ASOD Vol 2, Pt 3,
Ch 1, Par 1.32: "When worn
down, the brim is to be flat,
not curved downwards."
Having a "nice curve"
would be contrary to ASOD,
thus an offence.
If people want this changed
then they should provide a
submission to CA as varia-
tions to ASOD are approved
I have not ironed my
slouch hat since my IET days
many moons ago. When I get
home from work I place it on
a flat surface, such as a desk,
and by doing this the brim
Cpl Steve Houldsworth
I AM writing about the untimely financial
recovery process that occurs between Defence
Housing and Defence members.
I received a recovery bill for $118.05 for
carpet cleaning from my removal eight months
Although this is not a princely sum, it still rep-
resents a decent unexpected deduction from my
living expenses (one income with two adults and
I find it hard to believe that Defence, with
all its rhetoric about keeping soldiers keen, still
finds that billing soldiers for removal costs eight
months down the track is acceptable.
This lack of administrative prioritisation is just
one of the things that sticks in people's throat.
How hard can it be to process the applicable
paperwork within a reasonable period that allows
Defence members clarity on the timeframe for
I took my own action to rectify the situation
through ADF Pay, but the question remains:
does a junior soldier feel confident enough to
tackle this or is he/she going to get hosed in this
Sgt Colin Rout
Land Systems Division
Defence Plaza - Melbourne
Mr Tony Job, Senior Contract Manager Directorate of
Relocations and Housing, responds:
DHA has recently reviewed the carpet clean-
ing services provided to members of the ADF
occupying a service residence, which is not
provided to members on RA.
In this regard, DHA has recognised there are
issues around the initial invoicing process and
has implemented an improved on-line system with
their contractors. Taking into account the time for
the invoice to be submitted by the contractor to
DHA and the need for all charges to be properly
validated, the standard time for the recovery of the
carpet cleaning charges can be up to two to three
months after vacation from the service residence.
However, it is acknowledged that extended
delays may occur because of a number of factors.
These may include the contractor not submitting
the invoice to DHA in a timely manner, missing
the cut-off for the next pay-cycle, the high vol-
ume of activity during the peak posting period
(December-February) and staff availability.
With respect to Sgt Rout's circumstances, there
was a lengthy delay by the contractor in forward-
ing an invoice to DHA for processing and there
were staff absences during the validation process.
DHA has also advised that during the pre-
vacation inspection, members are informed of the
tenant recovery process and that lengthy delays
may be expected for the recovery process to be
Foaming at carpet bill delay
Not ashamed of Army Curved slouch hat
against dress rules
HAVE YOUR SAY
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