From designer fashion to a baggy camouflage uniform, Western Sydney local Lance Corporal Rachel Jordan is deployed on Operation Accordion, overseeing cargo moving across the Middle East region.

Employed as an Army transport air dispatcher, this is LCPL Jordan’s first operational deployment since joining the Army in 2014.  

“My role is essential to a lot of missions. Without the management and timely movement of mission-critical cargo, certain missions cannot be achieved,” LCPL Jordan said.

“I am responsible for ensuring cargo such as dangerous goods, weapons and weapon parts moving into country are packed, manifested and diplomatically cleared correctly. I work closely with the aircraft assets and air load teams that are deployed to ensure success.  

“It’s good to be able to make a difference in the operations that are conducted throughout the Middle East.

“The best thing is the crew I work with. We all work well together and have a laugh.”

LCPL Jordan joined for experiences that weren't possible in civilian life.

“I studied fashion design before I joined the Army so it was a big career change,” LCPL Jordan said.

“After finishing at FBI Fashion College, I conducted work experience at a fashion label in Sydney and continued to create my own designs. I enjoy making clothes but fashion design felt like it was more a hobby for me than a career.

“The allure of a stable job that gave me experiences like this is why I joined. I would highly recommend a career in the military.”

Being deployed and life in the military, like any job, has its challenges.

“We effectively work seven days a week and odd hours sometimes to ensure cargo is mission-ready,” LCPL Jordan said.

“It can also be challenging being away from my family and partner so it is important to stay connected to them and find a routine to keep busy or maximise any down time we get by working out and keeping fit.

“I will admit I am looking forward to returning to Australia to have a break and enjoy a glass of wine and a few cheese platters.”  

Operation Accordion is the ADF’s overarching support mission to Operations Highroad, Okra, Manitou and other activities in the Middle East region.