Private Zed Barrett had a variety of jobs in the civilian world before finding his calling in the Australian Army, which is providing the 23-year-old just as much variety.

He has gone from working in the family business to being deployed on two operations.

Growing up in Brisbane, Private Barrett joined his father’s courier and delivery company after finishing school.

He also dabbled as a bartender, a sign-writer and scaffolder.

He joined the Army in February 2019, looking for an exciting career.

“I joined the ADF to help people and to learn new skills,” Private Barrett said. 

“I have family in the Navy and Air Force. 

“They told me about all the amazing experiences and the relationships you build being part of the ADF – it inspired me to join.”

Private Barrett is a storeman in the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion at Townsville, Queensland.

Early last year, he deployed on Operation Bushfire Assist and was involved in supplying fresh water to communities and clearing water tanks for farmers affected by the bushfires.

“I’ve been lucky to see how different civilian businesses run and have brought those experiences with me into the Army over the past two years,” Private Barrett said.

“I’m now able to get out there and support my country and help people.

“It’s why I’m here.

“I’m on my second domestic deployment and it’s been a really rewarding experience so far.”

Private Barrett is now on a three-month deployment on Operation COVID-19 Assist.

He has been in Melbourne since the start of December supporting the Victorian Government’s hotel quarantine program.

“Although I was fairly lucky in my career in 2020, I saw the effects COVID-19 had on my friends, family and community back home,” Private Barrett said.

“I’m working with the Joint Task Group to help make sure people are safe, using proper hygiene procedures and signing in and out so tracing is easier.

“This operation has really been about looking after people so we can all be safe.”

Private Barrett has applied to be a marine specialist to learn new skills and hopes to deploy again.

 “I’d love to be deployed again, perhaps to do recovery missions following natural disasters or similar,” Private Barrett said.