Veteran Ford Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Word of warning; Army Reserves (LONG)
Well, here's a bit of a story.
About 3 years ago, I first walked into the army recruiting office. I went in with a mate from cadets, we were both set on full time infantry. Walked away from my apptitude test with the highest possible mark. I was told I could do anything. Didn't have year 12 so no officer. Nothing else really apealed to me, so I stuck with infantry, despite the fact I was well over the intelligence quota for infantry.
Next hurdle; I wasn't medically up to it. Bit of an out back and my hearing was a tad funny. Got my hearing fixed, waited around a few months doing exercise to fix my back up. March of last year I got the medical all clear. I get put on the full time infantry waiting list.
My mate, who I walked into the recruiting office on the same day and sat all the tests at the same time, FINALLY got off to basic training in July last year. He'd had his file bumped up the list by a friend. I thought, bugger this, I'm not waiting another 2 years, I'll go reserves for a while.
Well no sooner had I said that, I was on the bus to Kapooka for basic. Hmmmm that seems alright! I'd have to do my infantry training part time, but I could put my full time application in and do reserves until they let me in.
Whilst at Kapooka I changed my mind. Full time wasn't for me just yet. I was 17 for all but a week of Kapooka, there's no way I'm ready to just up from family and friends and get moved interstate. No way, maybe in a few years.
Got out of Kapooka October last year. I was told 6 months and I'd be fully qualified. I'd have to go on 2 2 week courses and all the weekends in that 6 months, but I'd get there by April. Sweet I thought.
Oh how wrong I was. We were told of a course in February. The first of the 2. Come late November that had been canceled, the next one was in June.
Broke up for 6 weeks over christmas. No chance of any weekend then (I actually hadn't even been on one yet). Get back in the last week of January to be told the June course has too been canceled. No idea on when the next one it.
It's been 5 months now and I have got NO WHERE. Not a single weekend. Our one night a week usually consisted of watching the qualified guys do their stuff. Every so often we'd go for a run. A few times we had crash courses in stuff we'd already learnt at Kapooka.
I'm fed up with it. Last week I call it quits. Call the depot up, put in a request for discharge. No way is this going anywhere. There's a guy at the unit who got out of Kapooka over 12 months ago and still has to go away for one of the courses.
So today I handed back all my gear (minus my ID card, meaning I can still get into most military bases in the country. Makes me feel safe with the latest attacks in Spain). I'm a civi again.
Where now? I just wasted 2 years of my life on a dream I had for years. A dream fueled by my patriotism (the Aussie flag on the wall remains and shall do), my grand fathers (both served during WW2, one giving his life) and 4 years of Army Cadets I had a ball with and NEVER missed a parade night or weekend.
My resume has a 2 year period of nothing but the one casual job. It looks so crap it's not funny. I'm applying for a TAFE pre-apprenticeship course now, if I don't get it I'm really stuffed. To say I'm annoyed is an understatment.
It probably looks like I dug this hole myself. To an extent, maybe. But the number of broken promises I've had from ADF recruiting (civis BTW) is amazing.
Ok I've dragged this on long enough.