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Skills in Reserve
Army April 26, 2012
Cpl Nick Wiseman
COINCIDING with the lead up to Anzac
Day this year will be five stamps available
from Australia Post featuring the iconic
Rising Sun badge and its changes over the
Each stamp will feature one of five badg-
es worn by the Australian Army including
the first, third, sixth and current designs.
Victoria Cross recipient Keith Payne said
he was 14 years old when he received his
first badge and immediately felt like part of
the Australian Army.
"We are a proud and patriotic bunch
and the badge is instantly identifiable as
Australian," Mr Payne said.
The individual stamps, as well as limited
edition collector's packs, have been available
from Australia Post outlets and online since
To order, go to auspost.com.au/stamps
New stamp series worth
adding to the collection A symbol
THE slouch hat has been worn by Australian soldiers
serving in the Middle East for almost 100 years. In 2005
the iconic symbol of Australia was brought back to the
region by soldiers of the Al Muthanna Task Group.
CO Brig Roger Noble (then a lieutenant colonel) said
he gave the order for slouch hats to be worn on their first
public engagement patrol in As Samawah to make them
easily identifiable as Australian.
"We wanted to make a connection with the people,"
he said. "We were surprised how many people knew
what it was and who was underneath it."
The soldiers found that wearing the slouch hat was a
great conversation starter -- "an operational tool all of its
own", Brig Noble said.
As the task group consisted primarily of cavalry
members, many of the slouch hats worn featured the dis-
hat back to the
Known in the Middle East: Al Muthanna Task Group CO then-Lt-Col Roger
Noble and adjutant Capt Angus Hindmarsh proudly wear the slouch hat during
a visit to the As Samawah souk in 2005.
Photo by Sgt Neil Ruskin
tinctive emu plume.
Constantly questioned by the locals, Brig Noble said
they loved hearing the story behind the plumes.
"We told them how the Light Horse would ride down
an emu and pluck their own plumes to wear," he said.
"They loved hearing the stories, especially when you
explained what an emu was."
Currently posted to ISAF HQ in Kabul, Brig Noble
proudly wears his slouch hat instantly identifying him as
an Australian soldier in a sea of coalition headdress.
Being a significant and prize-worthy piece of
Australian military tradition, he said everyone wanted
one and he needed to keep a close eye on it.
"With kepis, large-style mountain troop berets, Dutch
gold tassels and 'jarhead' marine caps -- the slouch hat
wins the prize every time," he said.
"You don't get to wear it unless you are one of the
special Australian soldier brother or sisterhood."
We were surprised how
many people knew what
it was and who was
-- Brig Roger Noble, former CO
Al Muthanna Task Group
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