enlisted in the Australian Army in January 1963
and was posted to 2RAR in Brisbane. In 1965 Alan
was posted to 5RAR, then in
I966 as a section
commander of 7 Platoon
C Company he boarded HMAS Sydney for his first
tour of Vietnam.
Staying on with 5RAR he returned to Vietnam with
the Battalion for his second tour in February
1969 as the 3 Platoon Sergeant in A Company. On
the 11th of May 1969 his Platoon
was pinned down
in a contact with the enemy. His Platoon
Commander lay seriously wounded some 10 metres
to the front of his position. With the
assistance of a flame thrower and another
soldier while showing little regard for his own
safety, Alan was undeterred in rescuing his
While on operations in July 1969 Alan, whilst
appointed as an advisor to a Company of ARVN,
came under heavy automatic weapons fire, Alan
took control of the situation, assisting the
Commander to organise his defences. Over the
next few hours, with assistance of helicopter
gun-ships and artillery, he forced the enemy to
In August that same year, his Platoon engaged a
superior sized enemy force in bunkers. Despite
suffering wounds, Alan continued to direct and
inspire his soldiers, as he assisted with the
evacuation of other casualties, In the process
he was wounded a second time.
During his evacuation by air to Australia, his
wounds proved so severe that the plane was
redirected to Butterworth where an urgent
operation was performed by a British surgeon.
Eventually back in Australia, he spent many
months recuperating, before rejoining the
For his heroic actions in Vietnam, he was
awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on
February 23rd 1970.
In 1973 after having served 8 years with 5RAR,
Alan was posted to Headquarters Terror Barracks
in Singapore as a Staff Sergeant. He returned to
Australia in 1976, being posted to the 16th
Battalion - The Royal Western Australian
Regiment before being promoted to W02 with Army
Recruitment in Perth.
After 20 years of Army service, Alan retired in
1983 taking up a senior management role with the
Globus Group of Companies.
Alan was one of the first to "sign up" with the
then newly-formed 5RAR Association. His
enthusiasm for 5RAR has never waned, having
taken over responsibility for the WA Branch of
the Association since late 2004. It has since
become a very strong, tight knit band of
"Tigers" and without doubt, this can be
attributed to the respect that he is afforded
from that State's members.
He instigated a WA welfare committee to
regularly visit ex-5RAR personnel who are ill or
have fallen on hard times, both in their homes
or in hospital. Alan was instrumental in
encouraging the strong support for the annual
visitation to Quinns Rock RSL and the local
shire on their Vietnam Veterans' weekend, as
well as Anzac Day and the Battalions' Birthday.
And their Christmas functions are legendary!
Alan McNulty has served 5RAR and the 5RAR
Association with distinction over more than 30
years, giving his time freely and he is an
excellent candidate for the appointment as a
Life Member of the 5 RAR Association Inc.
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