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THE SECTION COMMANDER

© Jack Bradd
C Company
1969-70
Jack Bradd

Being a Section Commander in camp was a real pain - you were a target for every job which required a NCO, so if you were smart you would make yourself scarce. When the time came to go on operations, it was a great relief. The procedure was something like this:

1. Warning Order - this involved timings such as O Groups, No move before . . . .

2. O Group. All Sect Comd's were given orders by the PL Comd containing Mission, Movement to, Timings, LOB's, ammunition, etc. The Sect Comd then prepared and gave his Section orders. This was followed by an allocation of ammunition by the Sect 2IC (in my time in C Coy I had two excellent 2IC's - Barry Baker and Andy Macdougal, but the bastards would slip into my allocation of ammo some of the strangest ordnance I had ever seen; but it made a noise and hurt people so I carried it.

On Ops it was great being the lead Sect, navigating while working with the scout. This was real infantryman's work. Being the second or last Sect in the PL was no bludge as the field signals were constantly moving between the Sect's. I hated being 2nd or 3rd Sect as some of the strangest and insane field signals ever witnessed would come down the line. When stopping for the night we would receive orders from the PLComd about the next day's work. These would be passed onto the Sect then night routine would start. If there was any firing at night, I would simply pull my silk over my head and I was safe.

So, apart from the occasional NCO IC Work Party in camp, navigating, commanding the Sect in a fire fight, arming Claymores and carrying heaps of extra ammo in the weeds, it was a pretty easy job as a Sect Comd. What does however stick in my mind was the utter joy of being able to use your voice and make as much noise as you could when in contact because everything was done in silence while patrolling, harbouring or ambushing.

Warren (Jack) Bradd, OAM



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