RAR Nominal Roll
AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS RECEIVE DECORATIONS FOR
Governor General His Excellency MAJ GEN Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, joined
Prime Minister of Australia the Hon John Howard, MP, the Hon Dr. Brendan Nelson,
MP and the
Chief of the Defence Force ACM Angus Houston AO, AFC, to welcome home Eastern
based members of the Afghanistan Special Forces Task Group (SFTG) in a ceremony
at Tobruk Lines,
Holsworthy Barracks on 26 November 2006.
The soldiers, predominantly from
the Sydneybased Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
(Commando) (4RAR(Cdo)), formed part of the 200personnel strong SFTG operating in
Afghanistan since late last year.
During the ceremony the
GovernorGeneral and Prime Minister praised the professionalism and
courage of the SFTG who were involved in some of the most ferocious fighting
since the Vietnam War
during their 12month deployment to Afghanistan.
The dangers faced by the SFTG were
highlighted by the presentation of Australias first
Star of Gallantry and a Medal for Gallantry to 4RAR(Cdo) members by the Governor
Commando Sergeant A and Commando Corporal B were decorated for gallantry in
of their outstanding actions, leadership and bravery in Afghanistan.
During the awards presentation the
GovernorGeneral praised the actions of the two soldiers and
described them as being in the highest traditions of the Special Operations
the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
The GovernorGeneral also announced
the awarding of a Unit Citation for Gallantry to combat
elements of the SFTG, whilst the Task Group as a whole has been awarded the
These awards will be formally presented at a later date. This means that 4RAR (Cdo)
awarded two unit citations for the one campaign.
Dear Members ,
I am saddened to report that
due to severe medical problems, Bob Yogi Pearson has been forced to stand
down as President/ Treasurer of the Association. Bob was our President from
2000 to 2006 and his wife Jan was
of course Mrs President. Jan however preferred to be the quiet achiever,
Bob was a president who like
his predecessors, had one aim in life and that was to make a difference in
the way that the 4RAR Association, Queensland presented itself and achieved
for its members. Wearing his
treasurers hat he was always concerned about accounting for the
Associations assets, spending money only
if it benefited the members or the Association as a whole. I was always
appreciative of his concern and loyalty
to the Association. Although Bob has stood down as President/Treasurer his
legacy can be displayed in the
achievements attained by the Association in the past few years.
The 4RAR Assoc, Qld is in
fact a misnomer. Because this association as well as being responsible for
members is also responsible for members in Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern
Territory and overseas. Bob hasnt
left us completely as he is still on the new committee and his advice will
be eagerly sought by those who
now attempt to fill his shoes. The Association has done some great things
over the past six years under Bobs
guidance and it is with some trepidation that the new committee works to
maintain and improve that level
of accomplishment. Bob, on behalf of all the members of the 4RAR
Associations Australia wide, thank you.
You did make a difference. Well done!
We have had the great
fortune to have elected to the committee, unanimously Don Zerner as Vice
Ross McGregor as the new Secretary, Noel Fairley as the new Treasurer, Bob
Spin Woodbury as our Hospital
Visiting Officer and Bob Yogi Pearson, Derek Firth and Noel Kelly
remaining as committee members. I was
fortunate to be voted in as President and will continue as Editor. This is a
good team who only have the
interests of the Association and the Battalion at heart and I welcome them
to the committee and thank you all
for your confidence.
The Presidents and Committee
members of years gone by have steadily worked for the benefit of members
and in assisting the Battalion. In recognition of the efforts of those who
unselfishly gave of their time, efforts,
knowledge and application, 6 members were made Life Members of the
Association at the recent Nui Le Dinner
held on 23 September. Those elevated to Life Member with the privilege of
the post nominal (LM) were:
Noel Huish OAM, (LM):
President 19871996; Allan Blue McLean (LM): President 19962000; Bob Yogi
(LM): President 200006; Max Yogi Upton (LM) posthumous: Secretary
19872002; and Alan Price (LM): President
198587 and Secretary 20022006;
It also must be taken into
consideration that they continue, to contribute and without them, the
not continue to improve.
The winners of the last
raffle were Bob Dunn who took out first prize of the statuette donated by
Hughes just prior to his death and second prize as well. (Bob could have
bought the prizes with the number of
tickets that he bought.). Alan Deeth took out third prize. Please support
our next raffle which is featured in
Emu Bob on page 4.
It was pleasing to see an
excellent attendance at the Nui Le Dinner on 23 September. It was a full
addresses elections, and presentation of Life Memberships, but that didnt
seem to upset many members who
stayed until Lights Out and some even until Stand Down the following day.
Our next major function is
the commemorative service and birthday celebration at the RAR National
Walk, Enoggera on Saturday 03 February 2007. See page 11.
The 4RAR Association will be
presenting the Dawn Service address at the RARNMW, Enoggera in 2007 and will
leading the RAR in the Brisbane ANZAC Day march. We would really appreciate
it if all available members could
attend on that day. Ladies and children have been requested to march behind
the men next year.
Please, when you change your
street and email address, let us know. A lot of information is not passed on
we cant find you!
I am particularly pleased
that the 4RAR Honour Contingent and Project Commando have been accepted by
On the day prior to going to
print we heard of the gallantry a w a r d s t o t h e B at t a l i o n . As
Curleys Diary will reappear in the next issue. May we, on behalf of all our
members including those in Tas,
Vic, the NT and overseas, congratulate the Battalion We wish you all a very
merry Christmas and of course a
happy, and prosperous New Year. Duty First, Alan
The Brisbane ANZAC
THE STAR OF GALLANTRY
For conspicuous gallantry in
action and leadership as a Commando Section Commander in the Special Forces
Task Group, whilst deployed on Operation SLIPPER in Afghanistan, 2006.
During the conduct of an
operation in Southern Afghanistan in 2006, a combined Coalition Force
Direct Action mission against a target in the Oruzgan Province. Upon
insertion, the assault force, provided by
another Coalition partner, was soon surrounded and suffered two soldiers
wounded and one soldier killed in action.
A Commando Reaction Force
was deployed and tasked to assist the extraction of the assault force by
the helicopter landing zone and covering their withdrawal. As Sergeant As
section was the lead element of
the Commando Reaction Force, he received the most intense weight of fire
from the Anti-Coalition Militia.
Upon arrival at the landing
zone the Commando Reaction Force immediately came under a heavy weight of
rocket and small arms fire from multiple flanks. Due to the requirement to
secure the extraction site, the
Commando Reaction Force held the position for over an hour. Sergeant A was
responsible for securing the
northern flank, repelling a number of assaults whilst being engaged from
ranges as close as 50 metres.
Once the extraction was
complete, the Commando Reaction Force began its return to base. The
Militia had anticipated the Commando Reaction Forces extraction route and
had prepared a series of
ambushes to prevent their safe return. As the lead vehicle commander,
Sergeant A led his section with
distinction and courage. Critically, he was the first to be engaged at each
of the ambush locations. In each
instance, Sergeant A led his section to assault and clear opposition from
the route in a rapid and aggressive
manner, despite the frequent heavy and effective fire. On one occasion, with
absolute disregard for his own
safety, Sergeant A personally conducted an assault on a machinegun
position not more than 30 metres to
his front. This action resulted in the neutralising of the threat from the
AntiCoalition Militia allowing the
Commando Reaction Force to continue their manoeuvre.
On at least two other
occasions, whilst being engaged from positions as close as five metres and
multiple bullet strikes on his vehicles, Sergeant A was forced to fight
his way through ambushes by driving
directly through the killing ground, which he did without hesitation. These
positions were neutralised through
the use of small arms fire and fragmentation grenades. Through his
outstanding leadership and composure
under fire, he successfully manoeuvred his section and led the Commando
Reaction Force through several ambush
locations, returning them to base without injury.
During the operation,
Sergeant A led his section with distinction, displaying multiple acts of
gallantry whilst in combat with the AntiCoalition Militia over a protracted
period of time. His actions directly
contributed to the success of the mission and ultimately the safe return of
the Commando Reaction Force.
His conspicuous gallantry in action was of the highest order and is in
keeping with the finest traditions of Special
Operations CommandAustralia, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence
The Star of Gallantry with
the post nominal SG, was introduced on 15 January 1991 and prior to the
Sergeant A had not been awarded previously. It is awarded for acts of
great heroism or gallantry in action.
It is second only to the Victoria Cross. This award is another first in
the proud history of 4RAR.
MEDAL FOR GALLANTRY
For gallantry and leadership in
action as a Commando Team Commander, of the Special Forces Task Group whilst
deployed on Operation SLIPPER, in Afghanistan in 2006.
During the conduct of an
operation, Corporal Bs commando platoon was tasked to carry out the
of an AntiCoalition Militia sanctuary in the Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
The platoon was partnered in support
of a Coalition infantry company. At approximately 1pm the infantry company
came under heavy rocket propelled
grenade and small arms fire on multiple flanks resulting in six wounded and
one soldier killed in action, effectively
halting their advance. Through thick vegetation, facing large numbers of
dispersed AntiCoalition Militia and
under heavy fire, the commando platoon commenced manoeuvring to provide
assistance to the element
which was pinned down. During this move, the commando platoon received a
volley of four rockets which
impacted in the centre of the platoons position resulting in six Australian
soldiers wounded in action. Unknown
to the Commander at the time, Corporal B had also been wounded in the foot
by fragmentation from the rocket
propelled grenade barrage.
In order to regain the
initiative, Corporal Bs team was tasked by the Commando Platoon Commander
assault forward and clear a group of compounds from which they were
receiving AntiCoalition Militia fire.
Under these daunting conditions Corporal B commenced this task without
hesitation, completing a rapid and
aggressive clearance of numerous threat compounds. Once achieved, Coalition
elements were free to continue
with the battle providing the necessary time to effect the back loading of
the wounded by helicopter to the
Forward Operating Base.
Throughout the afternoon,
numerous and relentless probing attacks by a determined opponent followed.
Corporal B displayed extraordinary leadership and courage, inspiring his
team and the remainder of the
commando platoon to repel the continued attacks. He then successfully led a
team to infiltrate the AntiCoalition
Militia held territory killing several AntiCoalition Militia. Only after the
engagement had been completed and the
threat to the platoon subsided did Corporal B inform his Commander of the
fragmentation wound that he had
sustained during the original contact earlier that day. Corporal B was
then evacuated to the Casualty Collection
Point where he was provided with medical treatment and later extracted.
Corporal Bs actions as a
Commando Team Commander were testament to his leadership, fortitude and
duty to his team and the platoon. His determination to continue to lead
his team during the battle in
extremely hazardous circumstances despite being wounded ensured that the
commando platoon regained the
initiative and contributed significantly to a decisive victory. His
gallantry and leadership in the face of the
enemy has been of the highest order and in keeping with the finest
traditions of Special Operations Command
Australia, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
The Medal for Gallantry with
the post nominal MG, was introduced on 15 January 1991. It is awarded for
acts of gallantry
in action and ranks third after the Victoria Cross. This award is another
first in the proud history of 4RAR.
Introduction to the 4RAR Association, Qld
Honour Contingent project. Other state associations and members of
4RAR (Cdo) and their families are invited to participate. Thirty
families so far have joined Introduction.
The 4RAR Association, Qld Honour Contingent
is dedicated to keeping alive the names, memories, deeds and
histories of those of the battalion who have fallen in battle or who
have since died of any cause. This is done by
a family member, descendent, representative or volunteer wearing a 4RAR
Honour Plaque in memory and honour
of, a 4RAR deceased veteran.
The Project encourages families, especially
children, to develop an interest in their own family history, the
of the Battalion and the history of our nation. The project enables
descendents and friends of our fallen and
departed to participate in community, school and Battalion remembrance
and commemorative services as a
personal representative of a 4RAR war or service veteran who has sadly
passed away. Activities include, but are
not restricted to, ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, 4RAR Association
activities and other commemorative services.
How much does it cost? The total cost for
each plaque is $8.00 including postage.
What if we do not have a relative or friend
who served in 4RAR, but would still like our family to honour a veteran
and participate? Easy
.You may select a member by name, by campaign, or
period of service or, have a veteran
allocated for you by the committee. You will still be required to
purchase an Honour Plaque. You may not know of
the veteran but it is the representation itself that is important. A
resume of the veterans service and a description
of his displayed medal ribbons will accompany each plaque.
Can all members of my family including my
children, wear an Honour Plaque for the same veteran? Yes, it is
common for several people to wear an Honour Plaque for the same veteran,
but you must order multiple copies
and pay the calculated costs.
Can one person represent more than one
veteran? No, only one Honour Plaque may be worn at any one time.
My children and I have friends who would
like to honour a 4RAR veteran; may they do this and march on
ANZAC Day? Yes,
May we, representing a 4RAR veteran, march
with the 4RAR Association contingent on ANZAC Day? Yes,
participating 4RAR associations in capital cities will organise this but
prior approval may need to be granted by
local representatives or ANZAC Day organising committees such as RSL or
local councils in other areas.
What happens to the Honour Plaques when
they are not in use? They are kept by you.
Must I attend meetings or pay annual fees?
No, but you do become an Associate Member, if not already a member
and you will be invited to attend 4RAR Association conducted activities
and where appropriate, child members
May I purchase additional Honour Plagues to
complement a family tree, photo album or to use as a keepsake? Yes,
it is common for families to do this.
If I wish to participate in the 4RAR Honour
Project, what do I do next? Simply contact Maureen Price at :
4RAR Assoc, Qld Honour Contingent 11
Dellforest Drive Calamvale Qld 4116 Tel: (07) 3273 7973
I did not write the
following but I wish that I had because it
epitomises what our Battalion has forever been and
what every member of 4RAR, present and past has been attempting
to say about our Battalion.
An Infantry battalion at
battle strength is made up of about six
hundred men, but six hundred men do not make a battalion. The
six hundred men have to learn the soldiers trades and disciplines.
Even then they are not a battalion. An effective
battalion in being ready to fight implies a state of mind I am not
if it is not a state of grace. It implies a
giving and a taking, a sharing of almost everything; possessions,
affection, trust, confidence and interest. It implies a certain
restriction, and at the same time a certain enriching and widening of
human spirit. It implies doing a hundred things together: marching to
the band, marching all night long; being hungry, thirsty, exhausted,
filthy; being near but never quite mutinous.
It involves not the weakening but the deferment of other bonds and
interests; the acceptance that life and home are now with the battalion.
In the end it is possible to say, the battalion thinks or, the
battalion feels and this is not an exaggeration.
(Gullet, Henry, Not as Duty
Only: An Infantrymans War, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne,
The inaugural Nui Le Dinner
conducted at the 6RAR Long Tan Sergeants Mess at Enoggera was a total
success and in turn characteristic of the quotation by Henry Gullet.
Over eighty members attended representing all service and campaigns of
Guests included the OC D Coy 4RAR (Cdo) and his lovely wife, The
President of the RAR Association, Qld Branch,
Lt Col Ted Chitham MC and the now Mrs Karyn Chitham. Ted and Karyn were
married on 11 November and we
all wish you both a very happy life together. Our Association later
presented Karyn and Ted with a family crested
matching pair of tea spoons. Also in attendance as guestswere Mrs Mary
Anne White, the Helensvale State
Primary School Liaison Officer for Project Commando and Mr White, Mrs
Trish Hansen, the wonderful lady who
sends ANZAC biscuits and Christmas cakes to our 4RAR (Cdo) warriors
overseas and SGT Frank N. Stein.
Addresses were presented by Noel Huish OAM on the origin of SSGT Frank
N. Stein, by OC D Coy 4RAR (Cdo)
on the Battalions efforts in East Timor and by Gary McKay MC on the
battle of Nui Le. Presentations of a
4RAR (Cdo) plaque were made to Mrs Trish Hansen and to the Helensvale
State Primary School. Bob Pearson
was also presented with a statuette as thanks for his service as
President and Jan received some beautiful red
roses in appreciation of her service.
Please thank the committee
for a wonderful and informative newsletter. I consistently look forward
receiving the Fighting Fourth as it keeps me updated on all valuable
information on the best battalion. I express
my sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones. I also
hope that Jock Richardson and John
McGhee are feeling better because we will all be looking forward to Jock
buying us a beer. Many thanks to you
all and keep up the good and happy work.
Anne Green (Sister of Sammy
Grahame KIA SVN 31 Jan 69)
It was great to talk to you
after 31 years since Sammy was KIA. Thank you very much for the
had a lovely day in Batemans Bay on Vietnam Veterans Day. I led the
march and the MC read a few details
about Samuel. It was a hard day for me but I felt so proud. I am going
to try and make the 2008 reunion. Many
thanks for everything.
Thank you for the
newsletter. I did not know that 4RAR existed. Its good to know that
they do and are
Commandowell done! I was a forward scout in 11 Platoon and fought in
the battle of Nui Le. It was bigger
than Ben Hur yet it never gets a mention. Its beyond me! (It does now
Bob; Ed) Look forward to the next
Anne and I are propped on
the Murchison River for two months playing golf and bowls. Heading for
9RAR reunion at Perth mid Nov 96 and will be back home around Easter 07.
Special gday to Don Zerner whom I havent seen since relieving him as
Chief Clerk 8/9RAR in 86. Kindest regards to all.
John is still not coping
too well . He is in Greenslopes at the moment but may be moved to a new
home shortly. Bob Pearson, Bob Still, Rusty Reeves, Steve Young, Scobie
Beasley and Peter Webber have been in contact with him and he is in good
Brian had a hip replacement
operation in the first week in November and he is recovering quite well.
Remember Paddy Muir, our first pay
sergeant? His daughter Kathy is still desirous of finding out all she
her father who passed away in 1990. Kathy would be grateful for any
photos, information, or anecdotes about
her father, good and bad. Please contact: Kathy Murray on (07) 3807 2787
Thanks for the Newsletter, a great read. Am
going to WA in a few weeks to meet up with Toad Fletcher.
Mrs Lisa Mountney
My children attend
Helensvale Primary School and I must congratulate you on your project
involving the children
with your soldiers serving overseas. My children are grandchildren of a
4RAR soldier and I cannot think of a
nicer way to show our appreciation for our soldiers. Keep up the good
work, you are a credit to our soldiers
and you make me proud to be an Australian.
2008 Melbourne reunion is gaining momentum with the Victorian Reunion
hard to ensure that this reunion will be the best of all. Over 600
hundred members and wives have registered so
far. A non refundable registration fee of $30 is required. To request a
registration form please contact :
The Secretary, Joe Tite
(03) 9435 5726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The agenda for the reunion is:
Monday 28 January 2008 Registration Tuesday
29 January 2008 Tours Wednesday 30 January 2008 Photographs and
BBQ at the Shrine of Remembrance Thursday 31 January 2008 Tours Friday
01 February 2008 Battalion Birthday
Parade, church service and
Battalion Dinner at the Carlton Crest Hotel.
(Formal dress, miniatures)
The team has access to some well
priced hotels, motels and caravan parks. Contact Joe as soon as possible
to: www.zunta.com then, Useful Links then, 4RAR Reunion 2008 (Melb)
Have you received your AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE
MEDAL or PINJAT JASA MALAYSIA ? If so, you will need to have
them mounted. Who better to mount them for you properly and in the
correct order than Alan Deeth? Alan is a
qualified tailor and was our unit tailor during our first tour of South
Vietnam. You must remember Alan, he was
the first Army tailor ordered to cut the cuffs off JG shirts so that
the folded sleeves could be ironed flat
(an offence both civil and military). He was lucky that the RSM didnt
find out!!! He was also the one who
made our medal ribbons in South Vietnam so that we could wear them as
soon as we got home.
Please contact Alan:
Mr Alan Deeth 38 Delaney Circuit CARINDALE
THE FOURTH BATTALION, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN
REGIMENT ASSOCIATION, QUEENSLAND
PLEASE ADDRESS ALL
The Secretary 4RAR Assoc, Qld PO Box 802
Aspley Qld 4034 Email: email@example.com
President/Editor Vice President Secretary
3264 3939 ......Don Zerner
3882 2678 ......Ross McGregor
3856 2490 .....Noel Fairley
3341 5404 .....Derek Firth
3275 2589 .....Noel Kelly
3312 4884 .....Bob Pearson
3344 3229 ....Bob Woodbury
6395 6288 ....Allan Wood (Tas)
- 3273 7973 ........Alan Price
If undeliverable return to:
4RAR Assoc, Qld PO BOX 802 ASPLEY QLD 4034
The Fighting Fourth 20 November 2006
Please Notify Us Of Change of Address and
.. Spouse Name