Special Operations Command personnel from across the country have rallied to Australian Red Cross Lifeblood donor centres to donate blood and plasma as part of the Defence Blood Challenge.

Special Operations Commander for Australia Major General Adam Findlay and Warrant Officer Class One John Letch, Command Sergeant Major, led the SOCOMD at the donor centre in Garran, Canberra, on September 24.

Major General Findlay encouraged all SOCOMD personnel to join the challenge.

“As a young Army officer in the Special Air Service Regiment, I really learned the importance of service to the Australian community and to take opportunities when we can to give back,” Major General Findlay said.

“Within Army and in SOCOMD we are always postured to support national security, and donating blood and plasma is another important way we can all support those Australians in need of blood products to treat injury or illness.”

Special Air Service Regiment personnel in Perth and all of SOCOMD’s east coast units have joined the queue to donate.

Warrant Officer Class One Letch said he first donated plasma after deploying to Afghanistan.

“On operations we all understand the importance of ensuring ‘golden hour’ medical support and looking after our mates when they’re wounded,” he said. 

“Each year a large number of Australians need donated blood and plasma and in Army we’re all fit and healthy so giving up a small amount of our time makes a big difference to those who need it.”

The Defence Blood Challenge is Australia’s longest running annual blood donation event in support of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. 

A single blood donation has the potential to save three lives and plasma can be used to create as many as18 life-giving treatments.

Special Operations Command’s mission is to prepare and employ special operations forces in the defence of Australia and its national interests.