IED victim led Aussie Coronation contingent

From being the victim of an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan to leading the Australian Defence Force’s Coronation contingent in London, the story of Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown has been nothing if not remarkable and consequential.

CAPTION: Australia’s Federation Guard members, led by Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown, march past Old College during a rehearsal for the Coronation of King Charles III, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Story by Lieutenant Commander John Thompson. Photo by Sergeant Andrew Sleeman.

The 35-year-old marched in last weekend’s Coronation Procession in London with his 38 fellow members of Australia’s Federation Guard (AFG) ahead of the newly crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

AFG, made up of ADF soldiers, sailors and aviators, formed part of the 600-strong Commonwealth contingent that led the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

“The experience of marching down the Mall and being able to give three cheers to the King when he came out the back of Buckingham Palace is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

“But the biggest highlight was the opportunity to lead this magnificent group of soldiers, sailors and aviators who make up Australia’s Federation Guard at such an important and historic event,” Squadron Leader Brown said.

Up until a few years ago, Squadron Leader Brown’s career was headed in an entirely different direction.

“I originally enlisted in the Army in 2007 as a combat engineer and completed a tour of Afghanistan for Mentoring Task Force One as part of Operation Slipper.”

Then, in 2010, everything changed.

“We were on patrol in Uruzgan Province in March 2010 when one of the rear wheels of our vehicle hit a 40kg improvised explosive device,” he said.

Several soldiers in the vehicle were injured, including Brown, who suffered a spinal injury.

Instead of leaving Defence, the then 25-year-old transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force a year later.

“Defence had looked after me so well, so I wanted to stay in,” he said.

“I’d done my time in the Army, I didn’t want to join Navy and I knew I wanted to be an officer, so I signed up as a maritime patrol response officer,” Squadron Leader Brown said.

Since then, he hasn’t looked back.

Now he commands the AFG and led the Coronation contingent as they marched more than 70km, training for one of the most significant events in a generation.

“This week has been outstanding.

“It’s been a great privilege to lead Australia’s Federation Guard here.

“An event like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will never forget,” Squadron Leader Brown said.

Head of Australian Defence Force staff in London Brigadier Grant Mason paid tribute to the efforts of Squadron Leader Brown and the AFG.

“Mitchell and his team were a key part of the Coronation Procession,” Brigadier Mason said.

“He ensured that they rose to the occasion – and they did.

“All Australians should be very proud of the way they conducted themselves before the eyes of the world.”






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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One thought on “IED victim led Aussie Coronation contingent

  • 14/05/2023 at 1:34 pm

    Y’all looked outstanding!


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