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Everyone is armed

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“ 7 <24

No. 36/ 4.9

Directorate of Public Relations, Army Headquarters, CANBERRA. A.G.T.


A group of pupils studying for the sub-intermediate

today make up a class with a difference - all the students

are armed.

. ' The students are members of 1st Battalion, Royal

Australian Regiment, on front line duty at Bien Hoa Airbase

in Vietnam.

They are currently attending classes in the battalion

area and carry weapons so they can respond immediately to

any alert.

The class of 20 soldiers marks the opening of a

new chapter in the history of the Royal Australian Army

Education Corps. ' '

It is the first time, since the Corps was formed in

1941, that Army Education Officers have conducted classes

within mortar range of the enemy.

' Tie 1st Battalion, RAR, Education Officer, Captain

Jerry Whelan of Woodside, South Australia:,, and his assistant

Warrant Officer Pat Cliffe-Hickling of Gaythorne, Queensland,

are living with the Battalion in the field and have a

continuous programme of courses to help the soldiers improve

their education.

• ''With modern technological advances and the

growing complexity of soldiering, there is a need for the

troops to have a higher education standard," Captain Whelan

said today.


"Apart from this aspect, the soldier who improves

his educational qualification earns more pay by moving into

a higher grouping for military skills, and he has much better

prospects for employment if ever he decides to leave the Army.1 1

There are fewer than 200 soldiers in the 1st

Battalion, RAP., who have not reached sub-intermediate/

junior certificate standard-,

According to Captain Whelan every man will have

reached this level before the Battalion leaves Vietnam.

The classes comprise three weeks of continuous

study, for six hours a day, seven days a week.

Subjects studied are English, arithmetic and social


To prepare the soldiers for decimal, currency when

they return home, Captain Whelan has converted all of his

arithmetic tables to the decimal system.

"We are getting through the lessons much quicker with

the new system and the students are learning a lot faster,"

said Captain Whelan.

For soldiers who want more advanced study up to and

beyond intermediate/Junior Certificate level, Captain'Whelan

is arranging special night classes.

The Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, RAR, Lieutenant

Colonel I.R.W. Brumfield, is giving the troops education

programme his full backing.

1 1 Once a soldier joins one of these classes he will stay

with it until it finishes, without interruption," he said.

"The men are keen and both they and the Army will

eventually benefit from such an education programme," said

Lieutenant Colonel Brumfield.

(Lists A, B , C) Further information:

CANBERRA: Major Barrie Gillman (61-2212)(QBN 1046)


1’ 0 August, 1 965»