Glen Ferrarotto - A second deployment

Running time
4 min 13 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So the first deployment I got home from and I was training to do a commando selection course at the time and I was home no more than, I think a couple of weeks, maybe a month from memory and I was due to go onto what they call CTC and that was about a month later and I was back into all my training and looking forward to that.

And then I walked down the corridor, this is back in Sydney and the adjutant walked past and he said, "How's your training going, Glen?" And I said, "It's going pretty well," and I lied a bit because I was pretty sore because I'd overdone it a bit. And he said, "Well, you've got a decision to make. You either do your course or you go back over with Bravo Company 4 RAR on the next rotation," which was literally the next rotation.

So Alpha Company was in and Bravo was going in after that and they were only leaving not even a month after that. So I think I was home for two months at the most and I was bags packed and heading back over to Afghanistan again. And that decision was interesting for me to be honest. The reason I wanted to do my commando selection course was because I wanted to go outside the wire and actually do soldiering, right? And I figured the only way that I'd achieve that was if I became qualified as a commando, stayed in my trade but qualified as a commando. And that seemed to be the general consensus, that the only way they'd take a mechanic out would be if he was a qualified commando. So I had my heart set on that but there was one company sergeant major with Alpha Company called Rufus, I don't know what his full name is but he was determined to take mechanics out with him on patrol, he saw the value in it.

The commando patrols would go out with up to 30 vehicles and to not have a mechanic with them seemed a bit crazy and he was the first guy to really push this need for a mechanic. So he influenced the unit to send me back in because I had conversations with him whilst he was there and whilst I was there with the Alpha Company at that time.

So I had this decision to make, do I press forward with this commando selection or do I just go back to Afghanistan? I vaguely remember talking to my wife about it, I can't remember what the outcome of the discussion was or how we had it but I can imagine that it was a tough conversation that I would have had to have with her, to say, "I'm going back and this time, I'll be gone for four or five months," and it was a very selfish decision to make too but for me, it was the only decision that I could make.

So going back in there was interesting and it's not uncommon, plenty of guys went back there. Some guys rotated six, seven, even more times but going back knowing what you're going into is very different to going there for the first time. And I understand why guys rotated in and out so often because it is a bit of a drug in a way.

The environment becomes addictive and you miss it and so it's not hard for me to understand why guys were going in and out so often, particularly within Special Operations. You really do become addicted to the... Lifestyle's a bad term but just to the adrenaline I guess of being there. So it was interesting. So going back in a second time, vastly different, the tour with Bravo Company was vastly different to being there the first time.

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