Home' Army News : November 21st 2013 Contents 5 December 2013.
Army November 21, 2013
Champions of 7RAR
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
SOLDIERS from 7RAR have faced off
against each other during the battal-
ion's champion section, soldier and pla-
toon competitions held at RAAF Base
Edinburgh, Kersbrook state forest and
Troops were put through tests of gener-
al military knowledge, navigation, fitness,
radio communications, observation, all
arms call for fire, military flotation, a 6km
endurance march, a run and shoot stand,
prisoner of war handling and an obstacle
Section commander LCpl Stratos
Pantazis, A section, 2 Pl, A Coy, was the
commander of the champion section.
"We only had about a week to pre-
pare as a group before the competition
and we performed well, winning the run
and shoot, military flotation, pack march
and obstacle course events. The standout
aspects of their performance were their
fitness, stamina, motivation and drive," he
said.A Coy member Pte Simon Lancaster
won the champion soldier competition.
"I was already training hard with two
sessions of cardio endurance a day to pre-
pare for a sniper course I was hoping to go
on," Pte Lancaster said.
"As a section we did training on
the radios and brushed up on our
"I was happy to have locked in the
prize for winning as it was a place on a
course of your choice so I can go on the
Winning platoon commander Lt Mark
Hudson, of 8 Pl, C Coy, said the champion
platoon competition began with 24 hours
of navigation in the Kersbrook state forest
before moving to Cultana Training Area.
"When we arrived we loaded up with
ammunition and moved into a platoon
advance to contact," he said.
"We then completed an endurance
16km route pack march, which finished
with a defensive shoot and a platoon
ambush to complete the three-day com-
Many soldiers in the competition had
just returned from Afghanistan.
"We went back to practising platoon
formations and harbour drills, which is
vastly different to operating overseas," Lt
"It was interesting for us to switch
back from Afghanistan-oriented opera-
tions, where on patrols we'd be looking
for IEDs, to more conventional infantry
Lt Hudson said the biggest challenge
for his men during the competition was the
16km endurance pack march.
"As we didn't do much pack marching
in Afghanistan, we had to focus on pack
work again," he said.
Top spot: Left, Pte Alex Southby confirms 2 Pl A Coy's arcs of fire to Sgt
Robert Matheson during a platoon ambush during the 7RAR Champion
Photo by Capt Owan Davies
Making it count
SOME people think donating blood
is something that someone else does.
They won't be that one out of three
people who will need blood products,
right? One in 30 people is enough to
meet the demand, right?
Wrong. It is often not until a per-
sonal experience of needing blood, or
knowing someone who is alive because
someone gave their blood, that people
stop to think about its importance.
But for regular donors like Army
blood ambassador WO2 Graeme
Reynolds, donations for those in need
always provide enough satisfaction.
Meeting Australian Public Service
blood ambassador Joe Guarnieri
cemented WO2 Reynolds' belief in the
life-saving gift of donation.
"What Joe explained knocked the
wind from my sails," he said.
"As a regular donor each fortnight,
it completely took me by surprise to
learn that Joe and others with serious
medical conditions are totally reliant on
the product of donations such as mine.
"Joe informed me that he has to
self-inject on a daily basis and the
product of plasma donations like mine
literally keep him alive."
WO2 Reynolds said he hoped shar-
ing their stories would encourage oth-
ers to roll up their sleeves.
"I'm sure the Australian Red Cross
A day without donated blood product is a life of pain and disability for some users
Worthy cause: WO2
prepares to make
a donation for the
2013 Defence Blood
Challenge. Inset, Joe
Guarnieri's story has
given WO2 Reynolds
insight into the use of
his regular donations.
Photos by David McClenaghan
RISING TO THE CALL
Leut Andrew Ragless
PERSONNEL have engaged in a bloody battle
at JTF HQ Norcomd in Darwin to see who could
achieve the largest donation in the Defence
In mid-October, five members representing
each service "took up arms" and went head to
head in filling the first 470ml bag of life-saving
LCpl Kylie Pezdirc gave blood on the day
and was proud of her efforts.
"I have given blood four times before," she
"I believe it is important to give blood
because you never know who needs it. A family
member might need it or you might need it
yourself. It saves lives."
A single blood donation can help at least
three different patients and make up to 22
different blood products. Red cells can last 42
days and plasma donations have a shelf life of
up to 12 months.
Darwin's Red Cross Blood Service
spokesperson, Ernie Rondot, said it was
encouraging to witness the enthusiasm and
generosity by top end Defence personnel.
"Only one in 30 Australians donate blood,
but the chances are if you don't need it yourself,
then a member of your family or a close friend
will need it," Mr Rondot said.
"For those in the military, deployed on
operations, this need might be even more
Mr Rondot said the demand for blood and
plasma donations was constant.
"With that in mind, people can donate every
12 weeks," he said.
"For plasma it as often as every two weeks.
"That's all we ask for -- just four hours a year.
"I think most of us would make that time for
a cocktail on a Friday or a round of golf on the
weekend. So why not put that time into saving
Blood Service would be over-
whelmed with donations if others
were exposed to this level of need
and appreciation," he said.
Mr Guarnieri said he hoped his
story helped the public to under-
stand how blood products were
"The most difficult time of my
life was the period between the
ages of seven and 23 when clotting
factor concentrates were not avail-
able to me," he said.
"Spontaneous internal bleeds
into my hips, elbows, knees,
ankles, shoulders, wrists, fingers
and toes were very painful and reg-
ular internal bleeding left perma-
nent joint damage, which has lim-
ited my ability to do certain things.
"I rely on the generosity of
blood donors like Graeme to obtain
the necessary treatment I need to
live a life free from pain and dis-
"I have spoken to many people
who have expressed their willing-
ness to do something positively
life-changing for others -- giving
blood is so easy to do and will
most definitely change a person's
life for the better."
Make your donation count towards
the Defence Blood Challenge before
November 30 by registering after you
donate. To make an appointment call
13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.
Links Archive November 7th 2013 December 5th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page