Army Cadets from north Queensland and NSW were on a knife-edge when they tied for equal first in this year’s ‘State-of-Origin’ Australian RSM-A Drill Competition.
By Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Holcroft
The eight-member team from 14 ACU in Blackwater, in Queensland’s far north-west, saw the re-match against NSW’s 22 AAC BN – Sydney North, as a re-run of the NRL’s State of Origin series where the Maroons from Queensland took the title.
In the cadet-drill competition, the Blackwater crew had bested their NSW rivals last year and the year before that.
ABC Radio 612 in Brisbane, hailed their State’s team: “Blackwater army cadet drill team best in Australia.”
The radio station further claimed on its website:
“The Army Cadet Unit in Blackwater may be smaller than many units in Australia – but their drill team can rightfully claim to be the best in Australia.”
Blackwater is 825kms north-west of Brisbane, Queensland.
The town is west of Rockhampton in the Capricorn region and has six major open-cut and one underground coal mines.
The claim by ABC Radio 612 later faltered when the Australian Army Cadets’ Regimental Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class One Peter Brown, separately assessed both teams in action.
“Both teams were excellent in their drill and individually were worthy of taking out the competition,” RSM Brown said.
“The problem was in the dress and bearing of the Cadets when they performed their drill – who looked the best and had prepared their clothes best and the way they presented themselves on parade.
“The trophy went to NSW’s 22 AAC Battalion in a clear-cut decision.”
The winning NSW team:
- CUO Ashlie WILKIE HQ 22 AAC BN
- CDTWO2 (Now WO1) Liam TURNER HQ 22 AAC BN
- CDTCPL (Now CDTSGT) Jack WADE Guard Commander 201ACU
- CDTCPL James COCHRANE Reserve Sentry 202ACU
- CDTLCPL Jennifer HORNE Flag Orderly 201ACU
- CDT Chak Lam KAN Sentry 201ACU
- CDT Charlie MACLENNAN Sentry 201ACU
- CDT Blake BANO Sentry 202ACU
- CDT Brayden TII-TII Sentry 202ACU
Commanding Officer of the outright winning team of 22 AAC Battalion (NSW) Major (AAC) Barbara Boss, said she was ecstatic by her team’s win.
“The whole team, Cadets and their Officers of Cadets, put so much effort into ensuring they won,” MAJ (AAC) Boss said.
“We even got down to the point of ensuring all the Cadets’ clothes matched so they looked perfect as they performed the Catafalque party for the assessment.”
MAJ (AAC) Boss said she had a real bugler play during the ceremony rather than play recorded music – for authenticity.
The original assessment for the NSW Team took place at Timor Barracks on Monday 16 May 2016.
The 2016 competition went down to a ‘Drill Off’ against the 14ACU team from NQLD.
The NSW final assessment was conducted by AAC WO1 Peter Brown on 30 June and following a tense wait, 22 AAC BN were informed of their success on 22 August.
RSM – Army, Warrant Officer Don Spinks, presented the coveted RSM-A trophy to members of 22 ACU at Timor Barracks on 11 December.
WO Spinks praised the commitment of the winning team and the other Cadets within the battalion along with support staff who were there in the background ready to step up..