The Australian Combat Engineer

What do you blokes do? … ‘Blow up shit’….. I suspect it’s much more than that…
body armour, Steyr, mine detector or dog, they are out the front, seldom at the back.

Young men from all walks, train and bond together, in the role of the Combat Engineer…
an essential job, often downplayed, one that would make the toughest bloke fear.

Out on patrol, at the leading edge, they search for the dreaded device…
sometimes simple, sometimes complex, explosive stuff, definitely not very nice.

They take on the task of disarming these things, often at great personal peril…
bloody good training, steady hands, cool composure, stops their minds going feral.

What man in his right mind would go out front, disarm bombs and patrol without fear?
The highly trained soldier, an exceptional bloke, the Australian Combat Engineer

Out on patrol when ‘contact’ is yelled and the shit hits the fan…
they take up the fight, go hard at the task, professional soldiers to a man.

In the midst of the battle their training kicks in, the enemy is in for a fight…
Engineers keep at it, until all is secure, through the long days and into the nights.

On Afghan hills and near creek beds, Engineers have lost too many good mates…
names now on the wall in Canberra, along with rank, unit and the fateful dates.

The loss of mates doesn’t deter them, but rather provides steely resolve…
to get the mission done, serve mates and country, go home and grow peacefully old.

What man in his right mind would go out front, disarm bombs and patrol without fear
A proud soldier, a great mate, a leader among equals, the Australian Combat Engineer.


By Michael Braithwaite
November 2012


FILE PHOTO: Sapper Lewis Coulter sweeps for mines during the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment Commanding Officers’ Challenge held at Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory. Photo by Private Rodrigo Villablanca.






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