Home' Army News : September 13th 2012 Contents Army September 13, 2012
2Five of our best and
Fallen soldiers farewelled from Afghanistan and returned to Australia in emotional ramp ceremonies
THREE soldiers killed in an attack
in Afghanistan on August 29 have
been returned home to mourning
family and comrades.
At RAAF Base Amberley, Spr
James Martin, LCpl Stjepan Milosevic
and Pte Robert Poate were received
by an honour guard and bearer party
formed by members of their respective
units -- 2CER, 2/14LHR (QMI) and
6RAR -- before their caskets were car-
ried from a C-17 Globemaster to their
loved ones on September 5.
The soldiers were serving with
the 3RAR Task Group in Afghanistan
when they were killed in an insider
attack at Patrol Base Wahab in the
Baluchi Valley region of Uruzgan
Earlier they were farewelled
by their comrades in Tarin Kot,
Afghanistan, where the poign-
ant refrain of a lone piper playing a
lament for the fallen set the solemn
tone as many of those assembled were
moved to tears. Speakers paid homage
and soldiers remembered fallen mates
with heartfelt words.
Paying his respects, CO 3RAR
Task Group Lt-Col Trent Scott
reached out to family and friends in
their time of loss.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out
to the families, loved ones and mates
of these three professional and com-
mitted soldiers who tragically died
doing the job that they loved," Lt-Col
"We will honour our fallen mates
through quiet professionalism and
commitment to our mission here in
Afghanistan and we will mourn them
in the traditional Australian way when
we get home."
Commander of Australian Forces
in the Middle East, Maj-Gen Stuart
Smith, said the loss was deeply felt by
all ranks in theatre.
"Today we farewelled our five
brave soldiers who were killed in
action while conducting security
operations in Afghanistan," Maj-Gen
"This ramp ceremony has been our
dignified salute to their service. We
grieve as a Defence family, but we
now place aside our pain to offer our
thoughts and prayers to the families of
each of these men."
Speaking at the RAAF Base
Amberley ramp ceremony, CA Lt-Gen
David Morrison expressed his condo-
lences to the families.
"Today Army mourns the loss of
fine soldiers, each of whom was out-
standing in their own right," he said.
"These men's commitment to their
chosen career as soldiers and to our
mission in Afghanistan was unwaver-
ing, as was their loyalty to their mates
and their love for their own families
and their Army family."
Five soldiers were hit in the burst
of automatic fire that killed Spr
Martin, LCpl Milosevic and Pte Poate.
Their comrades made every effort
to revive the three soldiers, but their
wounds were fatal.
One of the five soldiers was seri-
ously wounded in the attack while
another sustained minor wounds.
The soldiers were mentoring the
Afghan National Army 4th Brigade,
205 Corps, in Uruzgan province.
A security operation to apprehend
the perpetrator is underway.
As a result of this incident, all
Australian personnel, in cooperation
with Afghan commanders, have adopt-
ed enhanced force protection meas-
ures, including additional security,
while an initial investigation into the
shooting is underway.
ENGINEER Spr James Martin was
an intellectual soldier who was a
quick learner and adapted well to the
He was respected by his mates
and was considered a loyal friend
A musically talented individual, he
often played his base guitar for his
mates. He was also an avid follower
of Aussie rules.
Based in Brisbane, he was on his
first deployment as part of the 3RAR
He is survived by his mother
Suzanne Thomas, his younger
brother Angus and sister Holly, and
his grandparents Lucille and Ralph
"James was a very loving son,
brother and grandson... He was a
fantastic big brother and role model...
He had a witty sense of humour and
a great sense of fun. He was very
thoughtful, caring and considerate of
others," his family said in a statement.
"James was a great communica-
tor and he used every opportunity to
transfer new skills and facts on to his
family and friends. He never shied
away from an intellectual discussion
and when opinions were in conflict,
he ended up being right most of the
SPR JAMES THOMAS MARTIN
LCPL Milosevic, known as Rick
to his family and Milo to his com-
rades, was from 2/14LHR (QMI),
based in Brisbane, and deployed
to Afghanistan with the 3RAR Task
Group in June.
LCpl Milosevic is survived by his
partner Kelly, daughters Sarah, 8,
and Kate, 6, mother, brothers and
"Rick was a courageous, com-
mitted, immensely proud soldier. His
desire to serve his country and hon-
our his family saw him join the army
at 36," his family said in a statement.
"Rick was a typical Australian
bloke, friendly, with a dry sense of
humour and a natural charm. He had
a comfortable ease. He would show
respect to everyone he met."
LCpl Milosevic was born in
Penrith, NSW, in 1972. He enlisted in
the Army in 2008. He was posted as
a cavalryman to 2/14LHR (QMI) in
Brisbane in 2009 on completion of his
basic training and initial employment
His potential was quickly identified
LCPL STJEPAN MILOSEVIC
PTE Robert Poate had a reputation
for creating mischief without getting
caught and was proud of his family,
his military service, his Canberra ori-
gins and his red hair, which he vehe-
mently defended as being "strawberry
Pte Poate, of 6RAR, deployed
to Afghanistan with the 3RAR Task
Group in June.
He is survived by his parents
Hugh and Janny, and his sister
Pte Poate was born in Canberra
in 1988. He enlisted in the Army in
2009. On completion of his basic and
initial employment training, he was
posted as a rifleman to 6RAR. Pte
Poate was a highly qualified soldier,
having completed specialist training
as a Bushmaster driver in 2010 and
vehicle commander in 2011.
Pte Poate was known for having
PTE ROBERT HUGH FREDERICK POATE
outstanding leadership potential,
which led to him completing a pro-
motion course for corporal last year.
He will be fondly remembered by his
"brothers by choice" in 6RAR as a
larrikin and a professional soldier.
and he achieved outstanding course
results in a short period of time,
being promoted to lance corporal in
2011 and becoming an ASLAV crew
commander. He was a highly quali-
fied soldier with a strong future.
LCpl Milosevic was a much-liked
and respected member of the regi-
ment. His leadership and professional
abilities stood out in the unit, on the
rugby field and on operations. He
was also a devoted family man.
time. But he made you like him in the
"Once James had made his
decision to enlist in the Army as a
combat engineer, he remained very
determined and focused on this goal.
He researched his new job and the
training required meticulously."
Spr Martin, 21, was born in
Perth and enlisted in the Army last
year. After recruit training and initial
employment training he was posted
to 2CER's 7 Combat Engineer Sqn.
Spr Martin completed a number
of additional courses including high
threat search, communications and
Honour guard: Soldiers from 2CER, 2/14LHR (QMI) and 6RAR carry the caskets of Spr James Martin, LCpl
Stjepan Milosevic and Pte Robert Poate from the memorial service at RAAF Base Amberley.
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
Paying respects: Spr Benjamin McDonald presents arms as the national
anthem is played at the memorial service in Tarin Kot for the five Australian
soldiers killed on August 29 and 30 in Afghanistan. Photo by Maj Al Green
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