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Andy and the military.
Specific details have been changed in this story for obvious reasons.
Andy (not his real name) was the sort of person who had been keen on the military from his early high school days. He had been in the school cadets and then joined the Army Reserve on leaving high school and whilst waiting for the next intake.
Whilst in the Reserves, he and others were offered the chance to do a paratroop course and had a few weeks to decide whether to put their names down or not. They duly decided to do so and were given a course allocation, which was then cancelled a week before it was due to take place and was not subsequently re-offered.
They were rather disillusioned as they had psyched themselves up for what is to most people a rather daunting adventure.
Subsequently he achieved his life goal and was accepted into the Australian Army. He did his recruit training and his friends in his home town received graduation photos in due course. These are not included with this article as they readily identify people concerned.
He was then posted to Perth (W.A.) to a survey unit and loved it. Revelling in army life and all things army.
When the time came around for his first major leave he applied and was approved for a specific time period.
With this approval in hand he then organised with some mates, booked and advance paid for his first overseas holiday. An all inclusive package centred on Bali in Indonesia and its surrounding attractions. His superiors were aware of what he was planning.
3 weeks before he was due to leave he was told he was being sent to Canberra (on the other side of Australia) for 2 weeks on loan to help clear a 6 month backlog of work, this posting came into effect 1 week before his holiday. He reminded his superiors of his holiday and his inability to change the date or get a refund. He was told to follow orders and that the posting was of an "urgent operational requirement" (which meant he really had no grounds to protest as there is a clause giving the military the right to cancel leave etc). He told me about this and I told him to complain, he said there was no point due to the above and also the fact that it was his C.O. who had cut the orders. "Go over his head", I was told this was a quick way to misery and that I didn't understand how the military worked.
Upon arrival in Canberra he reported and was met with a blank look. The C.O. there stated there was no backlog of work and he hadn't asked for anyone and had no idea why Andy was sent. A check back into the system just drew blanks and in the end it was decided that he would have to comply and stay for the 2 weeks.
After much searching they found some work for him to do, which took him 2 hours. After that he had nothing so eventually started helping others do their work, but this created the problem that they soon ran out of work too.
Upon returning to his regular posting he had one object in mind - to leave the military as soon as his enlistment period expired.
How to treat a person like cannon fodder!
Andy went to work in the mechanical field and within a couple of years owned his own business and was an employer.
Makes you wonder what he could have contributed to to this country as a member of our armed forces and what level he could have attained had he been treated decently, doesn't it?
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