Home' Army News : October 13th 2011 Contents 2 NEWS
Army October 13, 2011
Cultural exchange: Capt Julie Williams,
from Combined Team -- Uruzgan's Female
Engagement Team, meets with Nili District
Mayor Azra Jafari in Afghanistan.
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
David Edlington: (02) 6265 4650
John Wellfare: (02) 6266 7609
Sharon Palmer: (02) 6266 7615
Chief of Staff
Graham McBean: (02) 6265 1161
Sgt Andrew Hetherington: (02) 6266 7614
Cpl Zenith King: (02) 6265 2151
LCpl Mark Doran: (02) 6265 1304
Cpl Melanie Schinkel: (02) 6265 2427
Spr Nick Wiseman: (02) 6265 4140
Cfn Max Bree: Sydney (02) 9359 2498
Bill Cunneen: 0402 155 220
NOTE: The best person to contact if you
have a story idea is the Chief of Staff
Fax: (02) 6265 6690
Mail: The Editor, Army, R8-LG-044, PO Box
7909, Department of Defence, ACT, 2600
Tim Asher: (07) 3332 7651 or 0414 552 667
Phone: (02) 6266 7607
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Face of Army
The Soldiers' Newspaper
FIVE soldiers were wounded
in two separate IED blasts in
Uruzgan Province on September
23 and 25.
Three MTF 3 soldiers were
wounded when their Bushmaster
hit an IED during a resupply mis-
sion with the Afghan National
Army (ANA) in the Karmisan
Valley on September 23.
The wounded soldiers received
immediate first aid and were
evacuated by helicopter to the role
2 medical facility at Tarin Kot.
They were since deemed to be
in a satisfactory condition and are
now on restricted duties.
An IED blast also wounded
two MTF 3 soldiers on a joint
foot patrol with the ANA in the
Mirabad Valley on September 25.
Both soldiers were evacuated
to Tarin Kot where one was dis-
charged from the medical facil-
ity and the other was transferred
to the role 3 medical facility at
Kandahar for further assessment.
Both soldiers have been medi-
cally assessed as being in a satis-
The soldiers have notified
their next of kin and the casualty
announcement was delayed until
both operations had finished.
Two more MTF 3 soldiers were
wounded in separate incidents on
September 27 and September 28.
The first soldier sustained
minor wounds when he fell down
an embankment while enroute to
conduct a dismounted patrol and
has since returned to restricted
In a separate incident, a second
soldier fell down an embankment
on September 28 and was aero-
medically evacuated to the Role 2
medical facility in Tarin Kot.
Thirty-six Australians have
been wounded in Afghanistan this
year and 201 soldiers have been
wounded since 2001.
IEDs and hard falls cause casualties
By Cpl Zenith King
AFTER 45 years, the Army's
longest serving female will retire
on November 12.
WO1 Diane Lawlor, HQ
Forcomd, has come a long way
since her mother and aunty saw her
off at Sydney's central railway sta-
tion when she boarded a bus to the
Women's Royal Australian Army
Corps (WRAAC) School in 1964.
It has been 47 years since that
day and the time has come for WO1
Lawlor to hang up her hat.
When asked if today's Army
compares to her early days WO1
Lawlor responds with a resounding
"The Army of today is so liber-
ated in what people can do. Women
were originally off to one side and
didn't get a full wage or recognition,
where as today males and females
stand side by side," she said.
"It was just announced that
women can go to the front line.
But when I first joined the Army
women weren't allowed anywhere
near weapons, now they are fully
proficient in all weapons and soon to
be allowed to join frontline combat
"There have been a lot of chang-
es but I'm just pleased I was able to
live through them."
When WO1 Lawlor began her
career at seventeen she never expect-
ed to become the longest serving
female in the Australian Army.
"My father said I wouldn't finish
my first three years," she said.
"I thought I would only do three
years and leave, however I've now
reached the ceiling age limit and it's
time to leave. But I feel like I have
done my bit and I am ready to go."
Some of WO1 Lawlor's fond-
est memories are of her time in the
"All women who joined the
Army joined the WRAAC," she said.
"We had our own school at
Mosman in Sydney called WRAAC
School and we did all of our training
there from recruit courses to promo-
"A lot of women back then
joined the Army to find a husband,
they thought of it as a supermar-
ket or smorgasbord full of meat to
"A lot of women did marry sol-
diers. If you chose to get married,
you had to discharge as women
could only be single in the Army.
It wasn't until the late 60s they
changed the rule."
Since enlistment WO1 Lawlor
has served in WRAAC, RASigs,
RAAMC and RAAOC, but her
career began during the Vietnam
War when she conducted her trade
training in Morse code.
"In 1965, after my trade training,
I posted to 6 Sig Regt and worked as
"Everything from Vietnam came
in through Watsonia so we took all
the communication from Vietnam
and transmitted it out to all the
states of Australia. We saw a lot of
the notices come in before anyone
Due to her cipher training WO1
Lawlor was chosen to deploy to
Singapore in 1969.
"As a corporal I travelled to
Singapore and worked as a keyboard
and cipher operator," she said.
"At the time women could go to
Vietnam but they were mainly nurs-
es. We had three choices for over-
seas postings; Vietnam, New Guinea
or Singapore. I said I would go to
Vietnam and they said 'no, you're
going to Singapore'.
"At the time there were some
conflicts over there but they were
only internal issues. The British
occupied Singapore and they were
withdrawing and Australia were tak-
ing over where they were pulling
"It was not until 1985 when
the corps was disbanded and they
said I couldn't go to signals any-
more because I had been out of the
loop doing non-corps training, so
I chose to go to the medical corps
and ended up serving for about eight
WO1 Lawlor said that although
she would miss the camaraderie, it
was the training she would miss the
"I have worked in training since
I did my corporals course in the 60s
and ever since then I have loved
training," she said.
"To sit back and say I helped
that person learn something is a
great feeling and an achievement
that I'm extremely proud of."
WO1 Lawlor served 45 years
in the Australian Army, with a one
year and 10 months break between
full-time and reserve service.
Different: The Army's longest serving
female, WO1 Diane Lawlor, has seen
a lot of changes since joining the
Women's Royal Australian Army Corps
in 1964 (inset).
Emergency: An MTF 3 soldier is loaded onto a Coalition Black Hawk for aeromedical evacuation after
an IED strike in Afghanistan.
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
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