WHEN Harry Ramsay was the bass guitarist in the Bundaberg Christian College band he dreamed of one day joining the army.
To allay the concerns of his parents he joined the Army Reserve just to see what it was like. The experience has made up his mind to pursue the military as a full-time career.
Private Ramsay, currently with Delta Company 9th Battalion Royal Queensland Regiment, said he wanted to join the Corps of Transport and train as a cargo specialist.
"It's been pretty cool and I have enjoyed the experience so far but I want to train with cranes and all the good toys army has,” he said.
"Army is really good for getting all the tickets and experience you need to get a great job once you actually finish your service.”
This July Pvt Ramsay and the rest of his unit will head off to Shoal Water Bay on Exercise Hamel.
He said he was looking forward to the exercise and was enjoying the lead-up training and the opportunity it offered to use and train on the most up-to-date infantry weapons systems.
"This weekend I've been firing rocket launchers and throwing grenades and it's just been awesome,” he said.
"The boys and I are really looking forward to getting out into the field with the full-time guys and showing them we have what it takes to mix it.”
Exercise Hamel is the culminating exercise for the Certification of the 3rd Brigade as Australia's "Ready Brigade”, with the 11th and 13th Brigades forming the Brigade's Reinforcing Battle Group, Battle Group Cannan.
The 11th Brigade consists of soldiers from Queensland army depots and the 13th Brigade hails from Western Australia with the role of the Reinforcing Battle Group to support the Ready Brigade as required.
Battle Group Cannan is named in honour of Major General James Cannan, from Townsville, who commanded the 11th Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Broodseinde, and during the Hundred Days Offensive, becoming Quartermaster General of the Australian Army during the Second World War.
On Exercise Hamel soldiers will be trained in a range of scenarios including security and humanitarian assistance operations.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Smith, Commander of the Reinforcing Battle Group, said the challenges faced by the soldiers on Exercise Hamel would be as close as possible to the conditions on a real operation.
"This will be as realistic as it gets and it will be a great opportunity for the soldiers to work in partnership with full-time soldiers and develop some real experience and skills,” he said.
"This exercise brings together all the army's capability into the same space, with air and naval assets in support, and gives soldiers a real taste of combined arms manoeuvre warfare.”
Pvt Ramsay said he was looking forward to the experience.
"I know I am probably going to be hating life at some points on the exercise but you only really remember the good stuff,” he said.
"You look back and you remember how you really enjoyed the training because the boys and girls you were with made it alright.”