"It was, pre our 1st tour of duty, that this story begins"
I was part of the 1st National Service Ballot back in 1965. My intake was actually deferred for 6 months as I was studying in my role with the National Bank.
Being called up for National Service, meant that, like lots of other young Australian Men, I was sent to Puckapunyal for my military training. I was part of the 7th Battalion, which was made up of us National Service guys plus some fellas from the 3rd Battalion who had fought in Malaya.
At the time, we were a battalion without a mascot. The 5ths were known as the Tigers, the 8ths were known as the Stud Marinos (which Stan the Ram as their mascot) and so on.
It was, pre our 1st tour of duty, that this story begins. We had spent the February of 1966 day preparing for deployment, as our training had been completed. We were filling our days with medical examinations, equipment checking, marking our bags for easy identification etc.
We would do all this before the usual parading before Stand down at about 4pm. After Stand down, we would rush to change out of our uniforms and into some comfy tshirts and shorts, then retreat to the old Nissen Hut building for our evening fun.