Dog training a good fit with new workforce model

Corporal Jeremy Wikner has had many roles in his Army career, but it’s man’s best friend that features prominently in his current path.

CAPTION: Corporal Jeremy Wikner with his Belgian malinois, Charlie.

Having had a varied career that has included deployments, a ceremonial posting and reserve service across multiple SERCATs (Service Categories), Corporal Wikner now balances work in the Future Ready Workforce (FRW) portfolio management office with his flourishing dog training business.

Through Ascension Dog Training, Corporal Wikner develops young pups into highly trained working dogs, selling them to canine units across state and federal governments.

It’s a labour of love. Corporal Wikner said more than 1000 hours of training goes into every dog he works with.

“My first dog I sold had more than 1550 individual training sessions across every skill he needed,” Corporal Wikner said.

“I keep every video and have more than six terabytes of footage on hard drives sitting on my desk.

“I remember an old Army poster that said something like ‘someone, somewhere is training to be better than you. What are you doing?’

“I put in the work, the hours, the after-training reviews, the endless writing of notes, to be better.”

Being better is a mindset that has driven Corporal Wikner throughout his career and continues to do so.

It took him to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2017, where he had roles in regional and personnel security, then to a role in AHQ Secretariat and now to the FRW portfolio.

“Although I have used the Total Workforce System functionally to shape my career, on a deeper level, it gives me confidence that Army recognises the skills I’ve gained outside of service,” Corporal Wikner said.

“Implementing Army’s Future Ready Workforce requires a significant change in our thinking. It won’t happen overnight, but gradually, over time.”

The Future Ready Workforce Portfolio is responsible for delivering Army’s modernisation transformation program to 2028 and beyond.





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