Glen Ferrarotto - Rifle Company Butterworth

Running time
2 min 7 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I'd gone over to Malaysia, I'd filled the spot of a section commander within a rifle company, and I volunteered for that because I really enjoyed soldiering. So I'd jumped into a rifle company as a section commander, so out of trade, out of the workshop environment and I was told by our command at the time that, "Pats on the back if you do that, Glen. When we go to Iraq, which is around the corner, you'll be the first one on the list and you'll be good to go," so I thought, “Well, that sounds like a fair deal”.

So we went off to Tully and we did some jungle warfare training there and then we went up to Malaysia for three months and did more... So it's Rifle Company Butterworth, which is a rotational program that's been on since the end of the war, World War II. And so you rotate through various training bases around Malaysia and Singapore and you work with Allied forces and it's arduous, it's all jungle warfare but it's really quite enjoyable.

Then when I came back to Darwin, the rest of the unit, the majority of them were walking around in desert fatigues, desert cams, all getting ready to go to Iraq and I thought "Oh shit, that's strange that we haven't heard about this yet because we're supposed to be going". So we were told that because we'd just been in Malaysia, we wouldn't be going to Iraq and that was a bit of a kick in the guts because Malaysia was really training and Iraq was the real deal at the time.

So I was a bit pissed off at that to be honest and I was contemplating my future in the Army at the time. And then I was given an opportunity to come down to Sydney to this new unit that they'd set up, SOC C, so I took that very quickly and my wife and I, we packed up living in Darwin and we moved down to Sydney quite quickly.

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