Townsville Army Commander Brigadier Kahlil Fegan reflects on ANZAC Day
Ahead of ANZAC Day, Townsville’s top serviceman reflected on a life lived in uniform and Australia’s lasting relationships forged in the conflict.
After more than 30 years of service, every time I put on a ceremonial uniform it conjures up a deep sense of pride, but never more so than on Anzac Day.
This pride is reinforced by the solemn sense of respect and remembrance for all who warned the khaki green before me, and those who continue to serve our nation today.
From the shores of Gallipoli where the first 16,000 of our Anzacs landed and fought with great bravery, to modern conflicts, peacekeeping and disaster relief missions around the world, we pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who choose a life of service.
On this Anzac Day, as I reflect, I will remember our soldiers and peaceful partners who became brothers and sisters in arms as they fought side by side in Papua New Guinea during World War II. world.
Just two weeks ago I visited ADF and PNGDF soldiers in barracks across Papua New Guinea and stopped in Wewak, a small coastal town surrounded by mountains and home to some of the most intense battles of the campaign.
As I gazed down the steep mountain face from an enemy gun pit on Mission Hill, breathing in the thick humidity and gazing at a dense jungle wall, I thought of those soldiers attacking and defending that hill. I wondered how they felt, who they could have left behind and how I, as an infantryman, could have behaved under such difficult conditions.
It was incredibly humbling to stand on this hallowed ground and reflect on the momentous feet that these soldiers performed with unwavering courage, determination and self-sacrifice, just as the Anzac did.
Back at the barracks, it was truly heartwarming to see the new generation of ADF and PNGDF soldiers working, joking and playing sports together, upholding the legacy of those who came before them.
This relationship was forged on the battlefields of conflict and nurtured in the barracks and in the culture. It represents a deep and lasting partnership based on the values of respect and camaraderie that form the cornerstone of Australia’s history.
Here in Townsville, it is always special to attend the Cenotaph Dawn Service, surrounded by military families, veterans and the garrison community who support us wholeheartedly.
As we come together to commemorate this Anzac Day, I hope we will also take a moment to
recognize and strive to uphold those values, relationships, and freedoms that our service men and women have displayed and ultimately sacrificed to protect.
Originally published as Brig Kahlil Fegan reflects on ANZAC Day