1 RAR flying the flag under fire
1 January 1970
Items of historic significance are inspiring personnel of B Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, (1 RAR), on their current mission in Afghanistan as Force Protection Element Three (FPE-3).
The members of B Company deployed in support of the Resolute Support Mission are the custodians of the original 1 RAR flag and a bible from the battalion’s service in South Vietnam in 1965/66.
The bible contains the names of the soldiers and officers of B Company, a chronological history of all operations and a record of the names of the three personnel killed and 13 wounded in action.
It has accompanied B Company on operations since Vietnam and is a source of pride for the company.
The current custodian of the bible, Private Adam Seaman, a rifleman with B Company, said he was given the honour as a reward for his dedication to service.
“I was given the bible to look after because I was performing well,” he said.
“It’s a great honour and I’m proud to be the one looking after it on operations”.
FPE-3 deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Highroad to provide protection and security to Australian and Coalition mentors and advisers supporting the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. FPE-3 has elements located in Kandahar, Kabul and Qargha.
The 1 RAR flag has been loaned to B Company for safekeeping in Afghanistan by Mr David Vogele, a member of the Charters Towers RSL and Vietnam veteran infantry signaller with B Company.
Mr Vogele said the flag would have been flown on overseas deployment 50 years apart.
“All the living members feel a great deal of pride knowing that it would have spent two Anzac days 50 years apart on operations,” he said.
“This is not the only 1 RAR flag that we had in Vietnam but it’s the only one we know that still exists.”
Private Damien Jaundrell, an infantry signaller, has been tasked with keeping the flag while performing his duties supporting mentoring and training the Afghanistan National Security Forces.
The flag will be raised and the bible will be read from as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations at Camp Baker, Kandahar.