When Brisbane-based soldier Corporal Joshua Border joined the Australian Army in 2010, he certainly didn’t imagine that two of his big firsts in life would happen at the same time.
Corporal Border will spend his first Father’s Day not with his seven-month-old daughter, Harriet, but rather in the expansive Taji Military Complex near Baghdad, Iraq, while on his first overseas deployment as a signals detachment commander with Task Group Taji 9.
"It’s a bit difficult because being a new father; I would like to be home and having the chance to watch my daughter grow up at such a young age," he said.
"From when I left until now, she has grown up a lot, but my partner sends photos and videos of her regularly and it makes the time here go a bit quicker.
"Becoming a father puts everything into perspective. Little things that I thought mattered before definitely take a back seat now."
“But the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is hold my daughter close and probably be amazed by how much she has grown up.
"Corporal Border, who resides with his young family in Beaudesert, was told his fiancée, Danielle, was expecting when he was sat atop Mount Princhester in Rockhampton as part of Exercise Hamel 2018 – around about the same time he learned he was headed for Iraq this year.
"The culmination of my career goals and personal life goals all just happened at the same time," he said.
"It really couldn’t have happened at a better time in our lives. Both Danielle’s and my own family networks are in Brisbane and the support they’ve been able to offer has made my time in Iraq easier for both of us.”
Corporal Border has taken on a dual-hatted role in Taji – not only is he the detachment commander of the task group’s small yet busy team of signallers, but he has also acted recently as watchkeeper in the coalition’s Combined Tactical Operations Centre.
“I’m really enjoying the experience of my first deployment and having the chance to work on operations with Coalition partners has been great,” he said.
“But the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is hold my daughter close and probably be amazed by how much she has grown up.”