Gympie Army reserves march for the brave fallen
GYMPIE Army Reserve officers joined soldiers from Bundaberg, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast at Tin Can Bay's Camp Kerr to commemorate the Battle of Pozieres during a training camp on the weekend.
The bleak and sodden conditions were all part of the training for Lance Corporal Terry Cordell and Private Earl Hodges who, as long-serving members, are used to roughing it once a month with the reserves.
L. Cpl Cordell, an Imbil maintenance carpenter by trade, has learnt a lot in his 16 years in the reserves.
"A lot of things that you learn here, you can transfer to your civic job," he said.
"Whether you are a section commander, a second in charge or private soldier - everyone's a leader."
The role of army reserves is to fill positions in regular units when they fall short, which requires regular tactical and physical training.
L. Cpl Cordell, who was deployed to the Soloman Islands in 2006, said the practical and realistic training was definitely needed to help him prepare for such an intense experience.
Pt Hodges, a carpenter who joined the reserves 10 years ago, said its a challenge that makes you continue to push yourself.
They both have a huge appreciation for what soldiers went through 100 years ago.
"Even when you came out of the front line you were still living in terrible conditions - trench foot, minus 10 degrees and lack of food," L. Cpl Cordell said.
Both men are away from their wives and children during training or deployment, but they take comfort in knowing there is a strong support network for army families.
The Gympie Army Reserve meets on Tuesday nights at 27 Duke St, 7pm-10pm.