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Q&A with Officer Cadet Thomas Johnston

Name, age, rank, role, current unit?

Thomas Johnston, 21, Officer Cadet (OCDT), currently in final stages of officer training at Tasmania Platoon, Adelaide Universities Regiment (AUR).

Date you joined the Army (Regular or Reserve) and number of years at your current unit?

I enlisted on 17 June 2013.  I have been at Tasmania Platoon, AUR since then. I will be posted to The 12th/40th Battalion, The Royal Tasmania Regiment (12/40 RTR) on completion of my training, from July 2015.

What is your role in the 2nd Division Centenary Parade?

My role in the 2nd Division Centenary Parade is to be a part of the colour party representing 12/40 RTR.

What does that role mean to you personally and professionally?

To me, personally and professionally, this is a very exciting role.  As one of the newest members of 12/40 RTR, it is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to carry the colours of my new unit, which has a long and proud history of service.

What does the centenary of 2nd Division mean to you?

The centenary of 2nd Division marks a time to reflect on the proud history that we inherit as current members of the Division.  It also provides a chance to reflect on how the Division’s work today fits into that history.

What does it mean to you, being a serving member of 9 Brigade in the 2nd Division of the Australian Army today?

As a serving member of 9 Brigade in the 2nd Division, the centenary gives me the chance to reflect on the traditions and values of the organisation I have joined.  The stories of courage and selfless service of those members of the Division who have gone before me stand to provide an inspiration that I might follow their example of service.

Do you have a personal connection to the centenary commemorations?

I have no personal connections to the centenary of the 2nd Division; however, my late great-grandfather served in the British Army in the Second World War.

It is significant for me personally that I have joined a relatively small part of my family who have served in the armed forces, and I hope that others do not shy away from taking the opportunity to perform that service.

What does it mean to you to represent your local community and family as part of this national commemoration?

I am proud to represent my local community as part of this national commemoration.  The Tasmanian community has a proud history of military service to Australia, and it is an honour for me to be a part of that tradition of service.

What will be going through your mind when you parade outside the Australian War Memorial alongside Colour Parties from units across Australia?

When I parade outside the Australian War Memorial alongside Colour Parties from units across Australia, I shall be thinking about the proud tradition that I have joined, and the service of all those other members present at the parade as well as all of those who have gone before, serving Australia, and in many cases making the ultimate sacrifice.