MP's quick military tour

THE Penrith-based 5th Combat Engineer Regiment's reservists hosted Mulgoa state MP Tanya Davies at their regular training meeting last week.

Mrs Davies saw a 15-minute slideshow history of the regiment and toured the site.

The regiment's executive officer, Major Graham Hales, said she spent two hours with them, talking to reservists and finding out what they did.

"Some of our reservists are at uni or self-employed, but most work for businesses in Penrith," Major Hales said.

"One of the points we make is what reservists can bring back to their civilian employment.

"What they learn is mainly to do with communication and leadership; how to react to situations at short notice."

He said all military personnel, from sappers to senior officers, learned lessons in leadership.

"I think Mrs Davies was impressed by what we do," Major Hales said.

"Quite a few of our reservists live in her electorate and it was good their local member saw them."

He said military reservists committed a lot of their own time to training, but said all had a common commitment.

"They wear the uniform for a number of reasons, but most join because they want to serve their country," Major Hales said.

"Whether it's being deployed in Afghanistan, or to East Timor or assisting with local emergencies and natural disasters, they are serving their country."

He cited reservists clearing away rubbish from Wagga after the floods or helping fight recent bushfires in Victoria as examples of the latter.

"We don't seek to promote ourselves, we just do our job," Major Hales said.

"But hopefully we promote ourselves by what we do."

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