A desire to pursue travel and adventure shaped the decision of Warrant Officer Class Two Jason McLeish to join the Australian Army.

Warrant Officer McLeish said he was looking at the options of fulltime work and university after high school when he ran into Defence recruiting.

“I was keen to see more of the world and the Army looked like a perfect fit,” Warrant Officer McLeish said. 

“After 15 years, I’m still here, proud to serve as a career soldier.”

It’s a profession that has taken him on operations across Afghanistan, Iraq and now Egypt with the Australian Contingent supporting the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) under Operation Mazurka, where he undertakes two roles.

“My main role is the Future Operations Warrant Officer planning force-level operations within the MFO,” Warrant Officer McLeish said. 

“Secondary to this is my role as the Training Warrant Officer for the Australian Contingent where I plan and execute all training related matters for the Australians deployed in our location.”

He said his primary role was similar to his everyday job back in Australia as the Operations Warrant Officer at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion but working at force level was unlike anything he has done previously.

“In terms of operational deployments this is extremely different to my past experiences in the Middle East,” he said. 

“The role of Future Operations Warrant Officer is important because of the multinational aspects of the job and the workforce.

“The importance of accurate, timely and well-planned operations can be the difference between failure and mission success.”

Warrant Officer McLeish said the work was enjoyable but challenging. 

“The different work requirements and language barriers between 13 nations can be tricky, but it is a workforce of highly professional, motivated individuals that form the MFO team,” he said. 

“You build great friendships across the force and within your own contingent.”

The married father of two said the hardest part of the deployment was being away from family.

“Without a doubt you can put up without the conveniences that you have at home, but it is the time spent away from loved ones that is the most difficult adjustment,” Warrant Officer McLeish said. 

“It is the separation which makes you look forward to the little things like being able to interact face to face with the wife and kids.

“I’m relocating to Brisbane when I get back to Australia where I will undertake my next role as a Company Sergeant Major at the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, and I’ll be taking a well-earned rest to spend valuable catch-up time with my family.”