Home' Army News : October 11th 2012 Contents "
Specialising in Income Tax Returns for
Armed Forces Personnel for over 20 YEARS
INCOME TAX RETURNS
SYDNEY LEVEL 1, 23 OXFORD RD, INGLEBURN
PHONE 02 9829 4188
Army October 11, 2012
If you have an
to tell, get in touch
with Army and get
it in print.
by email to
'GONE to Queensland
droving, and we
don't know where
The quote from Banjo
Paterson's Clancy of the Overflow
embossed on a business card for
the highest ranking US officer
posted to the Australian Army
seems out of place at first.
Especially as Col John Mayer,
of USMC, is the Colonel of
Amphibious Development at HQ
1 Div, responsible for helping
develop the doctrine and stand-
ard operating procedures for
Australia's amphibious force.
But when you meet the laid-
back, lanky Texan with a combina-
tion of an Al Capone accent and a
Southern drawl -- which Col Mayer
attributes to a childhood spent
between Chicago and Texas -- it
starts to make sense.
"I grew up reading Louie
L'Amour westerns, watching John
Wayne movies and spent every
minute I could riding horses and
herding cows," he said.
"I love the lifestyle and I think
every American boy at some stage
of his life wants to be a cowboy.
"On weekends I enjoy my time
at a local horsemanship club where
I intend to learn campdrafting, the
Australian sport developed in out-
back Queensland using a horse and
rider to work cattle.
"Some of us just don't want to
grow out of it."
Enlisting as an infantry Marine
in 1981, Col Mayer served as a
scout-sniper with the 3rd Bn, 24th
Marine Regt until he received his
commission in 1984.
He has been a rifle platoon
commander, an instructor, a bat-
talion CO and has completed
two Marine Expeditionary Unit
(Special Operations Capable)
deployments among other postings.
He assumed command of 1st
Bn, 4th Marines in 2002 and
deployed by ship to lead his bat-
talion through two combat tours
in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom I and II.
During his first tour in Iraq,
Col Mayer served as the military
governor of Babylon province
and during his second tour, the
battalion served as the ground
At home in the outback
US Marine Col John Mayer is well at home in south Queensland,
where he's lending his experience to help develop Australia's
amphibious capability, Cpl Mark Doran reports.
combat element for the 11th
Marine Expeditionary Unit and
participated in the Battle of Najaf
in August 2004.
Col Mayer then commanded
the 31st Marine Expeditionary
Unit, stationed in Okinawa, Japan,
from 2006 to 2008. During this
time he was deployed throughout
the Pacific Ocean, including to
Australia during Exercise Talisman
Sabre in 2007.
"This was my first real trip
to Australia, which gave me an
opportunity to work with the sol-
diers, sailors and airmen of the
ADF in the amphibious role," he
"I was thoroughly impressed
by 3 Bde. They controlled the
air space, directed the ship-to-
shore movement of Marines and
Australian soldiers, and coordi-
nated combined operations in the
entire amphibious operating area.
"They did a remarkable job."
From June 2008 to June
2010, Col Mayer was the Deputy
Commander, Joint Task Force
North in Fort Bliss, Texas, pro-
viding military support to law
enforcement agencies to defeat
Most recently he was the com-
mander of the Marine Corps'
Wounded Warrior Regiment.
Col Mayer said his current role
in Australia was to use his experi-
ence to advise 1 Div on all things
"The hardest thing is not the
writing of doctrine, planning oper-
ations or developing the mission-
essential tasks," he said.
"Rather it's shifting the mind-
set from using ships as sealift to
conduct land operations ashore to
conducting land operations from
"I have met some incred-
ible people during my posting to
Australia -- hard-working and dedi-
cated members of the ADF who
have put their hearts and souls into
making the amphibious capability
When asked about a soldier's
life aboard an amphibious ship,
Col Mayer explained US ships
were at sea for six months at a time
moving from exercises or opera-
tions with port visits in between.
"From the amphibious base, the
ADF can respond to crises, ensure
access in the littorals, or conduct
engagement actions to help main-
tain stability in the primary operat-
ing area," he said.
"These LHDs are the perfect
addition to the ADF's operational
toolkit as they are a floating air-
field, well deck, hospital, troop
barracks, logistic base and com-
mand and control platform which
can manoeuvre freely on the sea to
a contingency or a crisis site.
"It's like a forward operating
base that moves -- the ADF can
rapidly project and sustain air,
land, and sea power from it and
just as quickly withdraw forces
from it if the situation dictates.
"Soldiers can do almost every-
thing on board they can do ashore;
they can do live-fire activities, rap-
pel from helicopters, do war gam-
ing below deck as well as main-
tenance, equipment cleaning and
Col Mayer said he always
encouraged marines to continue
their education, develop new hob-
bies, progress in martial arts and
physical fitness and learn new pro-
fessional skills by interacting with
marines and sailors from other spe-
"On one deployment, I had a
mortar man who learnt to navigate
the ship so well that the ship's cap-
tain let him con the ship into our
final liberty port," he said.
"It's just a little bit more con-
fined and the section commanders
need to have greater imagination
and be creative while being good at
using the space available.
"If soldiers use their time wise-
ly, set goals and have a training
schedule, they'll find they just
don't have time to be bored."
Soldiers can do
on board they can
do ashore ...
-- Col John Mayer, USMC
Southern son: Col John Mayer is the Colonel of Amphibious Development at
HQ 1 Div and a fan of horse riding, western movies and Australian bush poetry.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
Links Archive September 27th 2012 October 25th 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page