John Frewen - The long years of peace

Running time
1 min 24 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When I went to RMC, I was very keen to go to the infantry, had always had my heart set on that. When I graduated, fortunately I went to the infantry. I had asked specifically to go up to Townsville, which was then the rapid deployment brigade or the ready deployment force, I think we were called back then. And I was then very focused on serving in those units up there. I served in 1RAR for a number of rotations. I also sought to be on the brigade headquarters up there to stay in the brigade because that was the brigade that was going to have the best opportunity to go anywhere if anything happened.

And of course they were what we sort of know as the long years of peace in that sort of post-Vietnam era, where there weren't very many operations at all. I left the battalion after my first stint there as a lieutenant and went down to being an instructor at the school of infantry. And it was in that time that 1RAR went to Somalia. So of course I was desperately trying to get back to the battalion and was devastated when the battalion went off to Somalia and I thought that that might be the one and only chance that I would ever have to go on a deployment. So I then returned up there onto the brigade headquarters. And I ended up in Rwanda off the brigade headquarters.

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