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Army August 18, 2011
I WAS reading your article Protected
Mobility Milestone (Army, August 4).
Am I not correct in saying Al
Muthanna Task Group 1, which depart-
ed Australian shores around April-May
2005, was the first official deployment
of the Bushmaster vehicle, and not
Afghanistan as the article implies?
There was the deployment to
East Timor by the original three
Bushmasters, but as I understand it,
this was only a trial.
I deployed as a crew commander on
AMTG 1 and also on Overwatch Battle
Group 2 the next year.
I left the Defence Force some years
ago now, but always had a special
bond with the Bushmaster (I can still
remember the ARN of my vehicle:
203 282). It is an awesome piece of
kit, which I know will protect a lot of
servicemen and women for a long time
Former RACT corporal
John Wellfare, Acting Editor of Army,
THANKS for pointing out the earlier
Bushmaster deployments not men-
tioned in the original story.
Although the vehicle has definitely
come into its own since deploying to
Afghanistan, earlier deployments to
Iraq and even the East Timor deploy-
ment of the trial vehicles are worth
mentioning in relation to the 800-vehi-
Early deployments: Bushmasters are clearly visible in the background of this photo showing
the Overwatch Battle Group (West) in Iraq.
Photo by Cpl Michael Davis
With regard to the letter on replacement costs (Army,
August 4), I would like to offer this food for thought.
I propose a list of essential equipment/articles be
identified by this policy, which provides for a guaran-
teed replacement option.
Upon failure of an essential item, a family is thrown
into chaos until a solution can be achieved. During this
time, a family usually has children, pets and vehicles on
I believe the current policy is adequate for every-
thing else, but with regard to these items, I feel that
this policy leaves regularly moving families at risk
of unnecessary grief in the event of a fridge, washing
machine or microwave failing.
For example, my family and I posted from Brisbane
to Darwin in 2000. Our fridge broke down out of
the truck, and we lived out of an esky for two weeks
until we found a solution because of the repair fiasco
between "we think we can fix it" from the repairer and
the "we're not doing anything until the repairer sorts it
out" from DHA. Then add children, pets and return to
Sgt Colin Rout
Defence Plaza, Melbourne, Vic
Infantryman of the
the strange and
covering their med-
als with their hand,
called the "veter-
The story woven
around this practice
reads that it started
at the British 1920
Armistice Day Parade
and the internment of the Unknown Soldier.
Research has shown that there are no film, photo or
written records of this practice at that ceremony or from
1920 onwards until it was published in Veterans' Affairs
Newsletter in 2010.
The practice of the "veterans' remembrance salute"
by Australian ex-servicemen started about 2000-2001. I
am firmly convinced that this so-called salute is simply
a corruption of the American patriotic gesture of placing
their right hand over their heart at various ceremonies.
World War II and Korean War veterans do not
do this salute. If, as the story reads, this is a mark of
respect for fallen mates, why haven't they passed on
this practice to us?
I have not seen a serving soldier in uniform at cer-
emonies use this salute but what about a serving soldier
in civvies attending Anzac Day ceremonies -- does he
do the salute? What is the current Army doctrine or
regulations concerning the so-called "veterans' remem-
WO1 Brett Pates, RSM Ceremonial, responds:
ARMY does not have a policy covering methods of
salutes while wearing civilian attire with medals.
Current policy instructs military members wearing
uniform and attending official functions on the timing
and methods of saluting.
The Army is aware of the situation that you describe
and is aware that some organisations have their own
policy regarding salutes, however, Army has no author-
ity to direct civilian organisations on how they should
or should not act on these occasions.
The Army Protocol Manual, which covers this area,
is currently being rewritten. As part of this, methods of
salute and recognition for fallen soldiers will be con-
sidered, but a final determination has yet to be made
whether it will be formally addressed.
The release of the revised Army Protocol Manual is
not expected before the end of the year.
Origins of the
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