Home' Army News : June 5th 2014 Contents Army June 5, 2014
Corporal worth his weight in gold at AASAM
TOP SHOTS ACROSS AASAM COMPETITIONS
SSgt Carson and Sgt Wattle
US Marine Corps
SFC Suzuki and SFC Isii JSDF 1467
Cpl Keating and Pte Barnes
Practice -- International
1SGT Widodo TNI
1SGT Susanto TNI
2SGT Misran TNI
Practice -- Australian 1.5 scope
Cpl Hughan 11/28RWAR 265
WO2 Plessey AKG
Practice -- Australian EOS
LCpl Woolston 10/27RSAR 278
Lt Fintelman 5/6RVR-A
WO2 Richards 6ESR
Service Rifle Individual
Aggregate -- ADF 1.5 scope
LAC Raddie 23 Sqn 826.012
Service Rifle Individual
Aggregate -- ADF EOS scope
WO2 Richards 6ESR 1019.026
Pte Claridge Norforce 985.018
Service Rifle Team
Championships -- ADF Teams
Sgt Brian Hartigan
ONE man at this year's Australian Army
Skill at Arms Meeting at Puckapunyal has
more military shooting medals than any
other Australian soldier alive.
Cpl Roger Aitken, an Army reservist
of 32-years' service from the little town of
Tarranyurk in western Victoria's Mallee coun-
try, is the man charged with ordering, 'building'
and engraving, then assisting to award the more
than 1200 medals handed out at AASAM each
"I started as a driver at AASAM, but then
they needed a hand to do the medals and to look
after all the trophies," Cpl Aitken said.
"It's a big job because when the medals
come in -- and assuming they are the right med-
als, not all gold as initially happened this year
-- we then have to engrave them and 'build'
them, that is, put ribbons and clasps on every
"I used to do all that myself and it usually
took 50 to 60 reserve days to finish.
"But this year we had some GDs (general
duties soldiers) here to help us, and with 37
extra pairs of hands, we knocked over about
800 medallions in the first night."
Cpl Aitken said on presentation nights there
was a lot of pressure to get things right, but it
was always worth it in the end.
"Before the presentation I audit the medals
at least three times to make absolutely sure they
get handed to the boss in the right sequence.
"Then, if there's a tied match or something
I'll have to go back and produce more med-
als and audit the whole lot three more times to
make sure everything runs smoothly on parade.
"There's definitely a lot of pressure and
sleepless nights before a big parade.
"At the end of the day it's all about the
shooters and putting on a good show for them
-- and they rarely see anything go wrong. In fact
we never get complaints, only pats on the back
and gifts for a job well done.
"Not many people actually know what we
do. There's no sign on the door to say where
we are -- in fact, the only sign on the door says
"So it is very nice to get recognised."
Cpl Aitken said that if he "got hit by a bus
tomorrow", his role at AASAM could be very
difficult for a new person, but, because of the
extra help he got this year, he had time to begin
writing down his standard operating procedures.
As a now-retired farmer, Cpl Aitken grew up
around weapons and still goes shooting vermin
with family most weeks -- that is, when he gets
time at home away from the 'part-time Army'.
After AASAM, he was looking forward to
a little time at home in the Mallee, where he
helps run 36 Arabian horses.
"I'll only get a week at home this time
before I have to head to Townsville for a major
Army exercise -- and then I'm back here to
Puckapunyal to help out with the training exer-
cise that will select the shooters who'll join the
Australian Army Combat Shooting Team for
next year's AASAM.
"I'll probably keep doing this until I retire --
if they'll have me.
"So far they keep asking me to come back
and keep trying to keep me happy, so I'll keep
doing it, because I really enjoy it -- I enjoy
seeing the smiling faces when the shooters get
"We all eat, sleep and breathe this job, to
give the guys a good shoot.
"For international participants to come to
Australia, to be able to shoot against each other
in a competition is a pretty big thing, not only
for our Army, but for our country too."
Service Rifle Team
Championships -- International
Machine Gun Match (7.62mm)
Cfn Brummell and Cfn Amos
Cpl Castray and Cpl Milnes
Pte Jones and Pte Appelbee
Military Biathlon -- Open
New Zealand 23.47
Cpl Horrell New Zealand 25.07
Cpl Harrison New Zealand 27.51
LCpl Hanby 8/9RAR
New Zealand 30.20
Capt Jones New Zealand 30.20
LCpl McCann New Zealand 30.31
Champion Shot of the Army
WO2 Richards 6ESR 1248.041
Pte Claridge Norforce 1215.031
Pte Mollison 5/6RVR 1202.041
Pte McMillan 8/7RVR 1198.029
Pte Gabbe 7CSSB 1168.034
Cpl Haycroft Norforce 1168.023
WO2 Bowermann HQ CATC 1163.031
Pte Waters 1RAR 1155.026
Medal man: Cpl Roger
Aitken displays some of
the medals and trophies
awarded at the Australian
Army Skill at Arms
Meeting. He is responsible
for all the behind-the-
scenes admin of the
awards presented at the
Photos by Sgt Brian Hartigan
Aiming for top gong: Soldiers from
4 Regt RAA get their weapons ready
to take on other teams at AASAM.
Links Archive May 22nd 2014 June 19th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page