Dominic graduated from Kapooka training

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As the Kapooka Army Recruit Training Center celebrated its 70th anniversary, a graduation parade for 60 of Australia’s last soldiers was held on November 12.

One of them was Private Dominic Burke of Narara, who is on his way to becoming a soldier in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to join the services,” said Burke, 23.

“As a child, I was fascinated by the military and it built up as I grew up.

“Enlisting is a decision that I had been considering for a long time and when a position of specialized driver arose, I enlisted. “

Burke said the job involved a lot of movement of cargo and personnel and off-road drills, with the possibility of overseas assignments very real.

“I’m excited about this,” he said.

“I am the first in my family to join the armed forces and I think my parents are quite proud. “

Burke’s 80-day training at Kapooka involved learning basic soldier skills such as field techniques, navigation and communication.

He has now moved on to vocational training where he will learn all about vehicles and driving before embarking on his specialist driver’s course in February next year.

“After that I will be posted to a unit and that could take me anywhere in Australia,” he said.

“This thought is also exciting.”

Born and raised on the coast, Burke attended Our Lady of the Rosary School, Gosford Public School and Narara Valley High School.

“My friends are all quite upset that I am leaving the area, but they have been very supportive of me,” he said.

Around 350,000 Australians have now passed through the training center.

Veterans Affairs and Defense Minister Andrew Gee said the quality of our soldiers and the international consideration in which they are held is testament to the training received at Kapooka.

“The standards of training, mentoring and leadership demonstrated by Kapooka personnel over the past 70 years have enabled our nation to be protected by soldiers of the highest caliber,” said Gee.

“Generations of soldiers graduating from Kapooka have proven themselves in every conflict and emergency the nation has faced since the Korean War.

“The ‘Soldier’s House’ is a unique Australian asset that contributes to both our national security and our national character, through the standards and loyalty instilled in every recruit.”

Training for soldiers at Kapooka includes physical fitness, gun handling, combat skills, first aid, teamwork, and self-organization skills.

Terry collins


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