Posted October 13, 2018 16:17:28 As the first batch of new recruits in Australia’s new Defence Force are deployed to Afghanistan, there’s one thing that everyone in the military has to do at the same time: learn to be a soldier.
And, as the first batches of recruits begin arriving in Australia, we asked soldiers how they’d handle the job.
1:22 Defence Force recruits face their first day in the field on October 7.
Defence Force recruit David Jones speaks with ABC Radio Melbourne’s Stephen Quinn about his experience in Afghanistan.
David Jones is the commander of the 1st Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment, which is deployed to northern Afghanistan.
He’s also the former commander of Parachute Regiment, the 1,200-strong Australian Special Forces unit that patrols the Helmand province.
I’m in my first month of training and I’m still a little bit rusty, and I have to keep getting better, Jones told Stephen Quinn.
It’s going to be challenging for me because the guys in my unit, I’ve got to train them, train them up and then get them back out on the battlefield, and the next thing I know, I’m back in the front line.
Jones has spent three years as a soldier, and he said that training was a big part of the job for him.
“The training has to be on top of what you’ve learned,” he said.
In a similar vein, Captain Andrew Larkin, who’s a former captain of the Royal Australian Navy, said he’d had to get used to having to take on a new job.
He said he and other sailors were surprised at how well the job had gone, with some even making it their job to be there at all times.
“[The training] is very, very good and it’s helped me grow into a much more experienced and able to deal more with the stress and the fatigue that I have,” Captain Larkin said.
2:23 Army recruiting officer David Jones, left, and a Marine recruit at the new barracks on September 20.
After working in the army for 20 years, Jones had no idea what he’d be doing when he came to Australia.
The military recruit says he had to learn to train soldiers, not just do their jobs.
‘It’s not just about me’ Jones said the Army recruit had to understand how to deal effectively with the challenges of training.
“”It’s a whole new thing for me,” he explained.
When he got into the Army, Jones said he expected to be given a short period of training, and then be given the chance to get back into the fray.
However, when he went into the army, he had a different expectation.
”I expected to just get back to work, go back to my desk and have a few beers and eat some burgers and go home,” Jones said.
3:07 The Army recruit said he had no clue what to expect in Afghanistan, but he’s been impressed by the training.
”It’s very much a part of my job to train the guys, to help them, to give them advice and help them deal with the stresses of being in the battlefield and the things that are going on in the country, which has been very, really stressful,” he said of his new job at the Army.
But while he’s enjoyed the military job, Jones isn’t completely sold on the military.
As a former marine, he said he was used to dealing with a lot of the same things in the service, but there were some things that he felt he didn’t quite understand.
This is the first time I’ve been in the armed forces, and it is a new experience for me, he told Stephen Quin.
So I don’t know how they’re going to deal in Afghanistan and how we’re going the right way.
We’re a bit different to them in a lot ways, he added.
What does that mean for you, Jones wondered.
Well, I don?t know, but I’ll be learning.
And I can only learn from what I’ve experienced, he replied.
My expectation is that I’m going to get a bit more involved with the war in Afghanistan as well.
How do you deal with being a soldier?
I think that’s a good question, he responded.
Do you take it in stride?
No, I really try not to.
I’m really proud of what I have done, and of what they’re doing.
That’s what they want from me, Jones concluded.
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