CO's Report - November 2022



G’day Tigers, It is again my privilege to write to the Tiger community and provide you an update on life in the Tiger Battalion, particularly as we move to the end of a very successful 2022. Before I go any further, I must acknowledge the outstanding service that the outgoing RSM, WO1 Sean Casey has provided to the unit. As the RSM, WO1 Casey has been a resolute support and the quintessential senior soldier for the Tiger Battalion; it is a fact that Sean has put his heart and soul into the unit and his efforts will endure long after he departs.

WO1 Casey has been a driving force in reintroducing key initiatives, customs and traditions back into regimental life and he leaves the battalion better for his service in it. On behalf of the entire Tiger community, I would like to publically thank him for his service to the Battalion and wish him the best for his next appointment as the RSM of the 5th Brigade in Holsworthy. As much as Sean’s service has been exemplary, I must also acknowledge that he was not able to achieve this alone, and the support of Megan, Zara, Heath and Eden has equally had a lasting effect on the unit. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and know that you will always be a part of the tribe.

With WO1 Casey about to complete his handover, I would also like to welcome WO1 Brad Foster, OAM, CSM to the Battalion to commence his two-year appointment as RSM 5 RAR. WO1 Foster joins the battalion with a stellar reputation, and with his penchant for hard work and out of the box problem solving, I could not think of a better RSM to serve alongside as we continue to work towards the 1st Brigade evolution working in the littoral geography of Australia’s north. On behalf of all Tigers, I welcome you and your family to the team.

Since I last wrote to you, the Tiger Battalion has continued to train hard in the north of Australia, completing Exercise Tigers Run and Exercise Predators Run in the Northern Territory. For Exercise Predators Run, we formed Battle Group Tiger from across the 1st Brigade, including our friends from 103 Battery and the 1st Field Squadron. Importantly, we were able to incorporate a Rifle Company and two platoons from the Special Forces Ranger Battalion into the Battle Group from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The activity was a high water mark, travelling across the Beagle Gulf to conduct raid operations in the Tiwi Islands and across Dundee Beach, before transitioning to conventional operations at Mount Bundey alongside the 1st Armoured Regiment and the USMC.

Parallel to our foundation warfighting training, we have continued to reach out into our near region through Security Cooperation with our northern partners and friends. Bravo and Support Company have each contributed to training team missions in Timor Leste and Charlie Company have deployed twice to Baturaja Training area in Indonesia, participating in Exercise Garuda Shield and Wirra Jaya. In all of the above activities, the Tigers have performed to an outstanding level and have represented the Army with distinction. As importantly, and with very little preparation, the Tiger Battalion was crowned the 1 Bde champion sporting unit for 2022 following the Brigade sports week.

As I write to you now in November, we are currently completing our Support Company courses period and an Advanced Small Boat Operators Course. The conduct of these courses will set the battalion up to close out the year, assist us to reorganise for 2023 and get ready for what we know will be a busy, but fulfilling year next year. We will finish the year with end of year awards where we will get to recognise our best performers, including (but not limited to) our champion soldier, Section commander, Champion Platoon and the Endeavour Award. We will also finish the year with a sports week and a final Combatives Night in the Gary Holmes Club.

The support of the association this year has been tremendous, and I cannot thank Dave French for his efforts and personal support through 2022. I also would like to thank Gary Townsend for his continued effort in continuing to publish Tiger Tales – ours is by far the best association across the Regiment. With this, I would also like to offer a placeholder for Binh Ba Week in 2023. The commemoration of the battle and the battalion will occur on the week of 5-9 June 2023, and we will again hold a welcome, soldier and veteran dining in night, combatives night and a parade in Darwin followed by a reception. I hope to see as many of you there as possible, including any members of the 5/7 RAR Association who are able to attend.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the families that support our busy men and women. Without them, our Battalion could not have achieved what it has this year. Whilst service life is a privilege, none of us do this alone, and our loved ones often bear a greater share of the load for us to do what we do. I am forever grateful for the trust that our Tiger Tribe puts in me in my position. Lastly, I would like to wish all Tigers across the globe a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and prosperous 2023.

Duty First!

LTCOL Chris Gilmore

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