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Army March 17, 2011
Traditional roles were reversed when a father
started recruit training at Kapooka, where his son
was an instructor.
RECRUIT instructor Cpl Rob
Serafin looked on proudly
as his 58-year-old father, Pte
Rick Serafin, graduated from
3 Pl, A Coy, after completing the four-
week ARes recruit course at Kapooka.
"To this day I'm not sure what moti-
vated him to join the Reserve at this
stage in his life," Cpl Serafin said.
"It took Dad a long time to settle
into civilian life after the Navy. I think
he always missed the structure that the
services provided, so maybe that was
part of it."
Pte Rick Serafin joined the Navy at
age 15 and was sent to Perth to train
until he was 16, which was the required
age to go on board a ship. He retired on
DFRDB at the age of 36 as a chief petty
officer (WO2) after 20 years of service.
"When he told me he was joining the
Army it was a bit of a shock, because he
kept it pretty quiet," Cpl Serafin said.
"I thought he was crazy -- I know
what the recruits go through and for him
to attempt it at his age, I had my reser-
vations. I knew he was fit enough and
capable but still I wanted him to recon-
"I made sure I did not interfere or
prepare him too much for the course,
as I wanted the Kapooka experience to
be all his own, but I was allocated to
his platoon for some coaching on the
range and ended up coaching Dad on the
finer points of firing the F88. Like most
recruits, he didn't listen at first.
"I knew his staff, and quite often they
asked if I would make a guest appear-
ance for a bit of fault correction to pay
back some of the corrections Dad may
have done as I was growing up, but I
declined the opportunity."
Pte Serafin's civilian life also
revolves around the Army as he works
at Bandiana on the M113A3 production
"I have joined the Royal Australian
Corps of Transport, so I think it will go
hand in hand with what I do in civilian
life," he said.
"I think some of Rob's mates
took particular interest in my being at
Kapooka and thought it was a good idea
for a dressing down, but I quickly caught
on when I spotted the grins. Afterwards
they would introduce themselves and
shake my hand.
"I enjoyed Kapooka and the variety
of training involved, and how much is
taught in such a short period.
"I certainly have more of an appreci-
ation of what Rob and his fellow instruc-
tors go through and the work that they
put in to each recruit, but I am sure glad
it is over."
Family reunion: Cpl Rob Serafin congratulates his father, Pte Rick Serafin, who recently graduated from
Kapooka, where Cpl Serafin is a recruit instructor.
Rob Serafin had
about his father,
Pte Rick Serafin,
by recruits.Photos by
LCpl Mark Doran
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