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Army April 29, 2010
By Capt Marianne Phillips
FORTY-FIVE years ago and with four
years of cadet experience as a drum
major, John Balfour took what seemed
to be the next logical step in his life
and enlisted in the Royal Regiment of
As the son of a World War II search-
light lieutenant mother and artillery ser-
geant father, it seemed the Army was
destined to play a big part of his life.
In recognition of his valuable serv-
ice, Commander 2 Div Maj-Gen Craig
Williams presented WO1 Balfour with
the Artillery Pennant -- a replica of the
one that flies at the School of Artillery,
WO1 Balfour has many fond memo-
ries and has made countless friends since
joining 7 Fd Regt at Willoughby Depot
in February 1965.
"As a reservist, most of my years
were spent around Holsworthy and
Singleton, but on one occasion I remem-
ber sitting on top of a rocky hill on a
range in Cultana, South Australia, acting
as a forward observer while listening to
the America's Cup being won," he said.
He started as a bombadier before
becoming a signaller, a battery guide and
a battery sergeant major.
As BSM he enjoyed numerous cer-
emonial salutes -- organising digni-
tary arrivals at Mascot and on Queen's
After 20 years of service, WO1
Balfour was posted to the 7 Fd Regt
recruiting officer's position for a 10-year
period before being promoted to WO1 at
the ARes Recruiting Unit in Randwick.
"Recruiting has changed dramatically
over my time, from unit processing and
testing to the current arrangement with
Defence Force Recruiting and the bri-
gade recruiting cells that were introduced
throughout Australia when the new con-
tractors came on board in 2003," he said.
He has thoroughly enjoyed his 25
years in recruiting.
"Pulling this all together now at HQ 2
Div and operating on a national basis is
rewarding as it draws on all my previous
recruiting experience," he said.
"Communication is the key to recruit-
ment -- Defence Force Recruiting, Army
Personnel Agency and the brigades must
communicate to work most efficiently."
STAFF at Canungra went head-
to-head on March 31 in the annual
Kokoda Barracks challenge.
It came down to the wire for first
place, with the tug-of-war deciding
the eventual winner of the day. WO
& NCO Academy took out the title
with HQ LWC a close second.
The Kokoda Barracks Challenge
involved teams from all local units
and tested their teamwork, persever-
ance and initiative in a friendly and
Defence Intelligence Training
Centre (DIntTC) education officer
Capt Brett Powell said the challenge
was important as it was the only
event that brought the members of
all four units together.
"It's used to demonstrate the
nine core behaviours in an enjoyable
way, keeping in mind that DIntTC is
a tri-service unit," Capt Powell said.
"Due to the relay nature of the
event, there was only one team per
unit. Each unit would have had
around 20-30 members representing
their unit in the activities."
For DIntTC's Navy and Air
Force members, the event introduced
them to the lighter side of Army life,
and they soon threw themselves into
Commander LWC Col Mark
Frendin said the aim was to conduct
a range of physically and mentally
demanding events for all age groups
to foster esprit de corps within
45 years' service
Clash stirs passions
Cliffhanger: The Kokoda Barracks challenge goes down to the wire with a tug-of-war resolving it.
Photo by WO2 Wayne Ryan
Special occasion: Commander 2 Div Maj-Gen Craig Williams, left, presents
WO1 John Balfour with the Artillery Pennant.
Photo by Capt Marianne Phillips
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