Spearheading efficiencies to Army driver training led to Warrant Officer Class 2 Lance Keighran receiving a Conspicuous Service Medal in this year’s Australia Day honours.

Warrant Officer Keighran developed the learning packages for Army’s new medium and heavy trucks that helped streamline initial enlistment training for drivers.

“We were able to make efficiencies by removing the duplication of training as the two truck variants are very similar,” he said.

“For example, we didn’t double up on how trainees were going to change a tyre or conduct an emergency tyre repair as they are the same, and we honed in on the differences between the variants.”

Ten days were shaved off the initial driver course that now includes flexibility in how and when modules are delivered.

Warrant Officer Keighran also drew on his experience as a transport manager and troop sergeant at combat support units to determine what he wanted from new drivers.

“I wanted a qualified and competent operator that could move straight into the role who also had a basic understanding of tactics and processes,” he said.

His idea for more efficient driver training came in the early 2010s when Warrant Officer Keighran was at the School of Transport.

Unfortunately, his role didn’t allow him to make sweeping reforms.

“I worked hard and shaped my career to enable me to have an opportunity to promote and come back to a position where I could make changes,” he said.

His chance came when he became the training design warrant officer for driver specialists at the Army Logistic Training Centre in 2018.

Now a wing sergeant major at the School of Transport, Warrant Officer Keighran said he felt fulfilled watching courses being conducted.

“I see what I helped put in place being run every day of the week,” he said.

“I’m really glad I had the opportunity to do it, but I’m not in the Army for accolades.”

The school further reduced the time required for driver training from 64 days to 50 after additional efficiencies were found last year.

With Army set to receive a large fleet of infantry fighting vehicles in the coming years, Warrant Officer Keighran said he could see driver roles shifting to heavy trucks and trailers.

“We probably won’t have permissions to drive infantry fighting vehicles on roads, so we’re going to have to transport them,” he said.

“We’re going to struggle if we don’t find more efficiencies to move that fleet.”