RVR Association News Letters
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Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20
5/6RVR pers on callout to support fires. MAJ Ed Harris, SGT Brad Costello
As you may be aware the Reserve forces of Victoria have been called out to support the community in the current Fire situation. The association believes the initial call out is for 28 days and the indications are the units will be required to provide ongoing support for months ahead. The RVRA along with the 8/7 & 2 RVR Association has contacted the units and are offering support to the deployed members families. As we know being away from families is hard, and as it is also school holidays and the usual time families spend time on holidays it makes it a greater burden on the family unit.
The associations have already contacted various venues for support to the families with positive feedback from numerous organisations. Our support effort to the families will be co-ordinated by the unit welfare staff and any request they have for our assistance will be relayed to you. We are aware some of our members are in fire affected areas and trust you are all safe. Please advise the association if you require any assistance or advise.
National Welfare Co-Ordination Centre number – 1800 801 026 https://www.defence.gov.au/NWCC/
Defence Community Organisation - 1800 624 608 https://www.defence.gov.au/dco/
The following avenues of assistance have been provided by the RSL.
If you are a veteran caught up in these fires and need hardship assistance in the coming days please contact your local RSL Sub-Branch or RSL Victoria on 9655 5555.
The RSL is aiding veterans and their families who have been affected by the bushfires and have grants of up to $1,500 available to those who have lost their belongings or suffered damage to their homes as a result of the fires. Food and fuel vouchers are also available. We can also help connect veterans and their families with emergency accommodation.
Other resources available
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – provides one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the bushfires.
For more information on eligibility, and how to claim, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Defence Service Homes Insurance – To lodge a claim or for assistance please contact 1300 552 662 or visit the Defence Service HomesInsurance website.
Open Arms counselling support (24/7) – veterans and their families requiring emergency counselling support can call 1800 011 046.
Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Crisis payments – a one-off payment to financially assist eligible people following a range of defined circumstances. For information about the
crisis payments and eligibility please read Factsheet IS121 - Crisis Payments.
Other assistance – DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) can be contacted on 1800 555 254 to assist with a wide range of issues, including replacement of aids and appliances, ensuring the availability of pharmaceuticals, and arranging transportation to medical appointments.
Monetary donations to the bushfire relief effort are an effective way to help support communities affected by the bushfires. If you have money to give, please consider donating to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
Anyone in need of help can also call the Victorian Government Contact Centre on 1300 366 356 or email BushFireRecoveryVictoria@dpc.vic.gov.au.
For information on the bushfires please refer to emergency.vic.gov.au or call 1800 226 226.
If you are looking for a way to assist and can help the following is a veteran run group who are currently assisting in the Gippsland area with recovery from the fires.
Operation Veteran Assist
A veteran-led disaster response to the bushfire disasters, Operation Veteran Assist is a veteran-led response to the bushfires that have ravaged Australia over the 2019/2020 summer. Veterans are a natural fit to lead disaster response operations. We are used to, comfortable with and experienced at dealing with extreme adversity. Veterans are natural leaders in the community and are trained for disasters like this.
At this stage, Operation Veteran Assist is relying purely on the generosity of veterans and their families to fund their operation. Their chainsaws will eventually need more fuel/chains/oil, and will need more food/water/supplies and those communities impacted already need all the support they can give them.
They ask that you consider donating to this veteran community so that we can support as many of the communities that have been impacted by these devastating bushfires as possible. Every little bit counts and your donation will directly benefit the communities impacted and the veterans who will be working alongside them.
All donations to Operation Veteran Assist will be via the Hawthorn RSL Sub-Branch who have generously provided Operation Veteran Assist with a $750 donation to get them going. They will ensure that 100% of your donation is spent on veterans, veteran families and in communities impacted by these bushfires.
For more information follow his link
To assist with wildlife rescue and support
Last Monthly Lunch for 2019
On Friday 6 December we had 14 people attended the last Kelvin Lunch for the year.
Around the table we have:
L/H/S, Val, John, Laurie, Rod, Chris, Mark, H, Mark L, Alistair, Tony, Bob, Martin, Sean, Lea and Maureen
2019 Infantry Dinner
The Infantry dinner was an enjoyable evening and those who attended were able to meet the Commander 2 Division MAJGEN Kathryn Campbell AO ASC, Brigade Commander (4 Brigade) Doug Laidlaw and the Commanding Officer of the 5th/6th Battalion LTCOL Dan Strack and the Commanding Officer of the 8th/7th Battalion LTCOL David Cadogan-Cowper. RSM of 2 Division, WO1 Kim Felmingham NSC OAM, RSM 4 Brigade WO1 Robert Jericevich, State President Victorian RSL Dr Robert Webster OAM, and deputy Liberal leader Cindy McLeish M.P..
During the evening, both C. O’s gave a presentation on the respective Battalion activities during the year and Neil Leckie had a book of pictures on the presentation of the colours to the battalions.
The guest speaker, Mr. John Cullen OAM, a Vietnam war Veteran and Honorary Treasurer of the Victorian RSL, gave us an insight into his time spent in Vietnam during the war and the battle of Binh Ba.
At the dinner, MAJGEN Kathryn Campbell promoted LTCOL David Cadogan-Cowper to Colonel. Congratulations David on a well-deserved promotion.
To view pictures of the night, go to our facebook page "RVR association" (if not a member join the group) and view the pictures.
The Commemorative DVD set of the Pipes and Drums deployment to the 2018 Tattoo, Aberdeen, Belgium and London is about to commence production. Including over an hour of video and nearly 700 images it provides a comprehensive account of their participation in the Tattoo and the other key performances at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Menin Gate, Ypres and the Tower of London! If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit these sites, then it is also serves as a great travelogue too!
Price for the 2 DVD pack is $20- incl postage, or $22- for an optional USB flash drive .
Note: Much of the motion and still imagery is by the P&D members and friends, and whilst not at a “commercial” standard of production, it serves as a remarkable record of their achievements.
To obtain your Commemorative DVD set please mail or email your order to Ben Tosetto at the address below with the payment details and we will arrange dispatch at the first opportunity!
RVR Association Pipes & Drums
C/- P.O. Box 72
Watsonia VIC 3085
Mob: 0418 380 038 or E:
Payment can be by cheque to” RVRA Pipes and Drums” or direct credit to the RVRA Pipes and Drums account;
BSB - 633 108
Number -1640 03923
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR)
Major Andrew Leong has recently returned from his deployment on OP OKRA working as the lead planner for the CJ39 Information Operations Cell as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). Major Leong’ role was as an embedded staff officer and deployed from Feb to Sep 2019. The CJTF-OIR mission is the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. CJTF-OIR is a task force comprising of 81 nations with over a thousand personnel in this 3 star headquarters which is located between Baghdad and Kuwait. CJTF-OIR are working with the Iraqi Security Forces as well as recently with the Coalition Aligned Security Forces in Syria. This follows Major Leong’ recent deployment on OP HIGHROAD to Afghanistan from May 2017 to Feb 2018 in the NATO train, advise and assist role for the Afghan National Defense Security Forces within the Kabul Garrison General Command – Australian Advisory Team 3. 5/6 Royal Victoria Regiment soldiers and officers are continuing to proudly support the Australian Defence Forces on operations.
Major Leong recently caught up with the Regimental Sergeant Major of 8/7 Royal Victoria Regiment, Warrant Officer Class One – Mick Carroll in Baghdad, Iraq. Pictured in front of an Iraqi flag in front of the former Ba’ath Party Headquarters, this photo proves that The Royal Victoria Regiment spirit of mateship remains strong wherever we may be.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
RVR Association ANZAC Day 2018
2018 Edinburgh Tattoo News
RVR Association Pipes and Drums
After the “Tattoo”, most of the band stayed on for the following two weeks to take part in some other important activities. From Edinburgh they headed to Aberdeen where they played at the Gordon Highlanders Museum. After that some moved on to Ypres, as the Duty Band at Menin Gate for the Centenary of the Battle of MontSt Quentin on the 3rd of September. Then on the 5th of September they represented 5/6 RVR in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Centenary Freedom of the City parade!
These were all very significant for the unit and Associations and it is due to the support we have received from everyone that we were able to take part in these historic events, and all in the P&D’s wish to express their thanks!
The Tattoo throughout the years
The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950 and there were eight items in the programme.
The Tattoo today
More than 14 million people have attended the Tattoo since it began. The annual audience is around 220,000.
Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on international television. Approximately 70 per cent of each audience is from out with Scotland. Half of these are from out with the UK.
Around 35 miles of cabling (the distance from Edinburgh to Glasgow) is required.
The Tattoo has sold out for eighteen consecutive years.
The Tattoo has always been staged at Edinburgh Castle. Rehearsals take place at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
48 countries from across six continents have been represented at the Tattoo.
The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).
New £16 million spectator stands and hospitality facilities were put in place at the Castle Esplanade for the summer of 2011. This innovative new amphitheatre replaced the 37 year old, award winning stands which were based on the pioneering Mero system used for Germany’s 1972 Munich Olympics.
Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
The Tattoo’s Contribution
The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £8 million to service and civilian organisations.
At the last official independent count, visitors to the Tattoo contributed an estimated £77 million to the Scottish economy.
Ballarat Ranger Military Museum
When in Ballarat organise a trip to the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum! You will find it worthwhile as there is an extensive collection from country Victorian infantry units. The Ranger Museum, at 8/7 RVR’s Ranger Barracks, is run by a small band of dedicated volunteers who wish to preserve the military heritage of Ballarat and District and the history of the volunteers/militia/Citizens Military Force/Army Reserve members who have trained with the units which form the rich history of the current Ballarat Army Reserve unit the 8th/7th Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment.
The museum’s manager Major Neil Leckie, RFD (Ret'd), commenced his military service in 1968 as a National Serviceman at the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion at Puckapunyal, followed by officer training at the Officer Training Unit at Scheyville, NSW. Commissioned into the Infantry Corps, he saw more than 33 years of service with the Corps. Neil Leckie is an avid military historian with publications to his credit including The Bushmen’s Rifles, a History of 22 RVR (1999), Country Victoria’s Own, The 150-Year history of the 8/7 RVR (2008) and Creswick’s War Through the War Letters of Driver Gordon Spittle MM (2019). Neil served 10 years as the Executive Officer of 8/7 RVR and Museum Manager before retiring in 2011. After retirement he has maintained the position of Manager of the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum.
Location: 1812 Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Directions: Drive two kilometres along Sturt Street from the Arch of Victory, turn right into Ring Road and right into the carpark. Enter the Museum through the pedestrian gate from the car park.
Neil Leckie Manager BRMM
What is an Infantryman?
In war, the Infantryman is part of that indispensable element of armies who decide all battles by their final presence; who are often maligned or praised with equal fervour by those who have little idea of what they are or the essentials of their trade.
As a soldier, he is self sufficient as a fighting unit until his support fails or he becomes a casualty. He carries the tools of his trade on his back, needs little individual support and is expected to function efficiently in his assigned role until told otherwise. He must possess initiative, determination, team spirit and must unstintingly give of himself to those chosen to lead him and to his mates.
As a leader, he is expected to carry lightly the burden of personally directing men in battle to accomplish tasks often of great physical difficulty, over all terrain and in all weather. He must train his men in all things concerning his complicated art and ensure, by the sheer force of his personal and intimate leadership, he retains their motivation, loyalty, cooperation, sustained effort and humour.
He must possess singleness of purpose, endurance, sound judgment, obedience, flexibility and compassion. His senses must be finely attuned to the fear, worry, emotions and well being of his men. He must replace all the influences which previously guided them and become their master, mentor, father, mother, priest, confessor and marriage counsellor. Above all else, he must understand men.
In peace he must suffer the brunt of retrenchments, cost cutting schemes and devices, which make defence spending more palatable to a Budget minded public. He must overcome these obstacles to keep alive his art learned mainly from experience in war. He is difficult to move, house, feed and administer in large numbers and is often resented because he is the rationale of the rest of the army.
He is expected to uncomplainingly move himself and his family to a wide variety of locations and undertake tasks for which his formal training did not equip him. He is expected to educate himself in his profession and all related subjects concerning other arms and services, which support him in peace and war. He must show a great deal of common sense, maturity and manliness in all he does. He is constantly judged by his superiors and subordinates in his performance and too often he must look for his well earned praise in belated histories of wars in which he fought. He is mostly taken for granted.
In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, he can possess an unquenchable spirit in the most trying circumstances. It is mostly for him alone to see death on a large scale, destruction and human misery, which can tax him beyond normal limits. It is his ability to rise above the baseness that haunts his profession and emerge as a man, that sets him apart; that makes him an Infantryman.
18251 Captain Kevin John McTAGGART
Australian Infantry June 1981
Kevin served in Vietnam with the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment 19/05/1967 to 26/06/1968
and the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam 14/07/1971 to 31/08/1972
Request for a Review of an Honour or Award
Army has strict rules governing what and how it will manage requests for reviews of honours and awards.The following guidance and website links are provided to assist those wishing to make a submission to Army for a review.
Army Guidance to Applicants on Preparing a Submission for a Review of Honours and Awards
National Archives of Australia
Australian War Memorial
Unit War Diaries and Commander's Diaries (AWM)
Honours and Awards Historical Search (AWM)
The Gazette (London)
Nominal Rolls (Department of Veterans' Affairs)
Obtaining Copies of Service Records
Nine Core Values
Every soldier is an expert in close combat
Every soldier is a leader
Every soldier is physically tough
Every soldier is mentally prepared
Every soldier is committed to continuous learning and self development
Every soldier is courageous
Every soldier takes the initiative
Every soldier works for a team
Every soldier demonstrates compassion
GET IN TOUCH
Two groups on hand to help out soldiers
and their families
Defence Community Organisation
1800 624 608
Defence Families of Australia
1800 100 509
RVR - OPERATION RESOLUTE - TSE72, TSE73 and TSE74
2nd Division’s Contribution to Operation Sovereign Boarder
2 Platoon on board HMAS Perth FFH15
Two groups on hand to help out soldiers and their families
DEFENCE Community Organisation (DCO) and Defence Families of Australia (DFA) both assist military families, but what’s the difference between the two agencies? DCO is a support agency for members and their families and is part of the Department of Defence, while DFA is a ministerially appointed
advisory group. DCO offers a range of programs and services that
help Defence families manage the military lifestyle, particularly
during times of deployment and relocation.
Services include the provision of family support, assistance for
partners’ education and employment, help with childcare and
assistance for dependants with special needs.
Director-General DCO Ray Bromwich said the organisation also
offered support for community groups that assisted Defence families,
education support for childrenand assistance for members leaving
the military through transition support services.
“Families and members can also call our all-hours Defence Family
Helpline for advice, assessment and support, and connection with
local community-led services,” Mr Bromwich said.
“We are staffed by experienced human services professionals who
can help military families access DCO programs and services, which
are delivered in 22 sites across Australia.”
DFA is a ministerially appointed group of partners of current members
who represent the views of Defence families. National Convenor Robyn Ritchie said the group’s main aim was to inform government and Defence of the needs of Defence families. “We provide a recognised forum for families’ views and we make recommendations and influence the policies that affect military families,” Ms Ritchie said.
“DFA national delegates are located around Australia and come from all services and ranks, which ensures we represent families adequately and understand the issues at all levels. We meet regularly with local command and stakeholders to discuss issues brought to them by families.
“Sometimes an individual family may have circumstances that are a little outside the box and we can help them navigate their way. We can also advocate an issue concerning many families.”
New video promotes support for all personnel
A VIDEO by Defence and Veterans’ Affairs has been released to remind ADF members that support is available no matter what stage of their career they are at.
The central message of the video is that while you may not need help now, you might need it down the track such as if you’re injured due to military service. Narrated by RSM-Army WO1 David Ashley, the video is part of a wider campaign to inform Defence members and veterans about services and support available, and flows from the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements recommendations.
The review was conducted to establish how well the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (2004) was meeting the needs of current and former ADF members and their families. After a thorough public consultation process, the review made 108 recommendations, of which 96 were accepted by government.
The implementation of the recommendations is ongoing, but the majority of those actioned have resulted in significant positive outcomes for serving members, veterans and their families. This includes expanded eligibility to access support, health care and rehabilitation, increased compensation and a better delivery of these entitlements.
To view the video, visit
or DVA’s YouTube channel at
For more information on the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements visit
Operational Service Badge
Before the establishment of the Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM), those who received the Australian Active Service Medal were also issued with the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB). Because the AOSM recognises all declared operational service, an Operational Service Badge (OSB) has been established to be issued on the first award of the AOSM.
The OSB has two versions - military and civilian, to be issued with the respective medal types. The RASB will continue to be issued with the AASM for current warlike operations. In contrast with the RASB, the OSB may also be issued to the next-of-kin of deceased members to complement the award of the OSM.
Australian Operational Service Medal (OSM)
The AOSM was established to provide recognition to Defence personnel involved in declared operations or other service that the Chief of the Defence Force deems to be worthy of recognition.
The Australian Operational Service Medal (OSM) recognises Defence people, both Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and Defence Civilians, who willingly and ably perform their work as part of an operation or within other specific hazardous environments and conditions that has been recommended by the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and approved by the Governor General for declaration as an operation warranting recognition through a medal.
The OSM will replace the Australian Active Service Medal and the Australian Service Medal for future operations. For ADF members the OSM will be awarded as the standard medal with a unique ribbon for each operation, similar to the practice in place for the United Nations Medal. Provision also exists for the award of an accumulated service device to denote those who undertake multiple tours on a particular operation. Those operations currently recognised by the AASM or ASM will continue to be recognised with those medals while the operations are active, for example Operation SLIPPER.
Her Majesty the Queen approved the OSM on 22 May 2012.
ADF members who undertake operational service will receive an OSM with a unique ribbon for each new operation. ADF members who undertake additional periods of qualifying service on the same operation will, where appropriate, receive an accumulated service device - in the form of a numeral similar to those issued by the United Nations.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, and the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, publicly announced the OSM on Thursday 19 July 2012.
The OSM also includes a variant that will be available to recognise those Defence Civilians and other classes of civilian who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982. No recognition of civilians has been given since the end of the INTERFET operation in 2000, accordingly those who have been employed on operations since that time may be entitled to receive the civilian OSM. The Civilian OSM is in the form of the standard medal with a unique civilian service ribbon. Each operation will be denoted by a clasp to the medal.
Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
The first service declared for the OSM is the range of border protection operations conducted since 1997. The basic qualifying criteria for the OSM - Border Protection require members of the ADF to have been deployed or force assigned for duty as a member of a declared operation:
a. for a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days; or
b. completed 30 sorties from a unit assigned to a declared operation, provided that those sorties were
conducted over a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days at a rate of one sortie per day.
The Toast to The Infantry Corps, was delivered this year by former Commanding Officer of the
5th/6th Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Grimes RFD.
“THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY CORPS!!!”
Dear Comrades and Friends, November is a busy time for me . Between the R.S.L., ARMY, Shrine, and sheepdog trials I’m running around like a headless chook . One of the highlights of the ARMY year, particularly for crusty Old Diggers like me, is the Infantry Victoria Dinner , held annually at the Kelvin Club.
For 160 years, since 1854 has the Infantry been at the centre of Australia’s military capability.
"The role of the Infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground and repel attack, by day or by night, regardless of season weather or terrain"
There are seven regular Infantry Battalions, deployable by air, sea and land, motorised and mechanised and parachute. Special Forces Commandos and the SAS, Regional Force Surveillance Units, and the State Regiment Battalions such as our own 5/6RVR and 8/7RVR.
Our riflemen are skilled soldiers who fight the enemy at close quarters in all phases of warfare using a multitude of weapons. Apart from being talented Riflemen, Infantry soldiers are trained as Scout, Machine-Gunner, Combat Communicator, combat first aiders, linguist, snipers, mortarmen, signallers, Direct Fire Support Weapon Crew Member, anti-amour, Reconnaissance Patrolman, Surveillance Operator, planner, negotiator, peacemaker and peacekeeper, driver, piper, drummer and in many other roles. Whatever and wherever!
We locate the enemy, we patrol and do the surveillance and develop the intelligence picture. We provide security for other units and agencies. We control tanks, air support, artillery and naval bombardment, and fight the enemy at close quarters with rifle, machine gun, grenades, anti-armour weapons, and, our favourite the bayonet and our bare hands. We hold ground when tasked and dominate our AO, wether supported by other elements of the Defence Force or on our own.
Our battle honours for the RVR go back more than 100 years
Boer War - South Africa 1899–1902
World War I - Landing at Anzac Cove, Somme 1916-18, Ypres 1917, Bullecourt, Pozieres, Polygon Wood, Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin, Hindenburg Line, plus Krithia, Villers-Brettoneaux and Lone Pine (remember 4 VC’s were won that day).
World War II - Bardia 1941, Capture of Tobruk , El Alamein, Greece 1941, South West Pacific 1942–1945, Bobdubi, Bobdubi II, Finisterres, Lae–Nadzab, Hari River, Borneo
And since then, there is Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, Iraq, East Timor, Afghanistan, Sudan, and for our own Army reserve battalions, Olympic Games, Timor Leste, 2006 Commonwealth games, 2007-2013 Solomon Islands, Vic Fires Assist, Vic Flood assist and whatever the next call will be.
The Infantry Corps is the backbone of the Australian Army - Long may it be so.
"The Royal Australian Infantry Corps"