Recruit Course 11/16
THE day many have been waiting for is here. We arrived at the RAAF Base at 10am as instructed. The same as yesterday everyone was issued Visitor’s passes. Then the shuffle by bus to the parade ground started. It was to be another 45 minutes before the formal Graduation Parade started. We could hear the Kapooka Army Band and the tramp of feet as the Graduation Parade commenced. There followed a series of formal ceremonies. After the official handings over and inspections, we were treated to marches past in slow and quick time. In the above photo Marc is in the middle – the shortest one in the back row.
The Badge and Motto of No 1 Recruit Training Unit depicts the two headed JANUS, the Greek god of gateways and the protector of all beginnings, surmounting the words ‘Across the Threshold’ a motto considered appropriate to the function of 1 RTU.
We had been told yesterday that the Governor General’s Banner would be presented during this event. It is not often seen in public. Presented to the No 1 RTU in October 1989 for 25 years of service as a non-operational unit of the RAAF, it is of blue silk with wattle and is fringed and tasseled with gold and blue. The Banner is mounted on a staff surmounted by an eagle and features the Unit Badge whilst the top left corner features the General’s flag. It was indeed presented with due military precision and honour and formed an important part of the ceremonies, having it’s own bearer and four guards – the Banner Colour Party. Unfortunately I was unable to get any good photos of this.
The above photo is of the 4 Ground Defence Instructors.
This was followed by a General Salute. Presentation of Awards gave recognition to recruits for their personal qualities of team work, integrity, respect for others, professionalism, commitment and effort. The Army Band played this stirring, upbeat song as the course of newly graduated recruits marched in precision format leaving the parade grounds at the end of the Graduation Parade and Presentations
We were once again shuffled by bus to the Middleton VC Club for a light lunch. Available for purchase were various RAAF memorabilia and formal photograph packages. Needless to say dollars were spent.
After lunch recruits were awarded Graduation certificates.
Several other awards were also presented, the most impressive sounding being the PanicTrain award. In order to earn this recruits had to perform an impossible sounding feat of physical exercises which included 100 push ups and a host of other things I can’t recall in less than an hour. Two recruits had managed to earn this recognition of their physical prowess.
After all the formalities were over, we were given a guided tour of the room in which Marc had spent the last 3 months of his life. Neat as pin. Everything in perfect alignment. 5cm space between pencils and items of cutlery. Lockers in perfect order ready for surprise inspections. Beds made with proper hospital corners and wrinkle free covers. Shoes lined toes facing out under the beds.
We departed to wash our bug infested car while Marc stayed on base to do whatever mysterious things were on the agenda. He then called us to pick him up for overnight leave. TRH (The Retired Husband) will be up at the crack of dawn to return him to base for 0630. Tomorrow and Friday he has more free time. Unfortunately the powers that be saw it fit to only allow one night of overnight leave. On Friday they fly off to their various destinations for the next phase of their training. Marc is off to Melbourne to complete electronics communication after which he will be posted. It was a good and very proud day for us.
© Raili Tanska