At the age of 60, Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Terry Lemmon is still passing on his extensive armoured vehicle knowledge to the next generation of mechanics and engineers.
The former British Army soldier, who currently is the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment’s (2/14LHR) C Squadron Artificer Sergeant Major [ASM), has more than 37 years’ experience repairing armoured vehicles.
That service will continue for another two years thanks to the regiment’s Unit Affiliation Program, allowing WO2 Lemmon to continue doing what he loves as well as mentor juniors.
“When you’ve been in the Service for nearly 40 years, it becomes a way of life, and to have that suddenly stop, which happened when I left the British Army, is horrible," he said.
“I enjoy the Army lifestyle, and you’re respected for your discipline and what you do.
“The Unit Affiliation Program allows me to carry on being reasonably physically fit, and have a purpose in life.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying life.”
WO2 Lemmon had served the maximum allowed time in the British Army when he came to Australia, aged in his early 40s, to serve in the Australian Army.
“After 22 years, I left the British Army as a Squadron ASM, and, not feeling fit for the scrap heap, I decided to come to Australia,” WO2 Lemmon said.
“I started my Australian Army career at the Army Logistic Training Centre as a fully trained mechanic and armoured vehicle specialist.
“I taught new tradesmen basic engineering.
"I then served in Darwin and Brisbane."
He served in seven regiments in the British Army and four in the Australian Army, and has been deployed to Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said he loved his current job at 2/14 LHR, still enjoying the sense of accomplishment he gets from repairing armoured vehicles.
“When the machine stops, it becomes a 70-tonne paperweight,” he said.
“My tradesmen and I turn up, we fix the problem, and, sometimes within a couple of hours, the vehicle is back in the fight.
“You get a big sense of achievement out of that.
“I don’t think I would have been doing the job this long if I didn’t get that sense of achievement.”
If you are a former Royal Australian Armoured Corps soldier and would like to serve on a flexible arrangement, the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment would like to hear from you.
For information on the Unit Affiliation Program, email Major Paula Vetter on paula.vetter [at] defence.gov.au.