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2015 Life Membership to Bruce Schmidtchen of the 5RAR Association

Bruce schmidtchenBruce Schmidtchen enlisted in the Australian Army in 1964 at the age of 18. He completed his recruit training at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Kapooka NSW after which he was posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment as a Rifleman.

After a short period of time with 2RAR Bruce was posted to the 5th Battalion, the Tiger Battalion and served in C Company on the battalion's first tour of duty in Viet Nam in 1966 -1967. He was wounded in action during Operation Beaumauris at Xa An Nhut on the 14th February 1967 but remained with the battalion for its' subsequent return to Australia.

Bruce returned to Viet Nam with the battalion during its second tour in 1969 -1970 where he served in the Mortar Platoon with the rank of Corporal. He was attached to C Company as the Mobile Fire Controller (MFC). He later moved to Battalion Headquarters where he joined the Fire Support Co-ordination Centre in the Battalion Command Post. He was later Medivaced home to Australia, but remained a member of the battalion on its return to Australia.

He was then posted to 3TB at Singleton becoming a Platoon Sergeant and later served with 3RAR and 6RAR before being promoted to the rank of WO1, RSM. Bruce was commissioned in the rank of Captain in 1990 where he took up a position as an Information Technology Officer. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major and after a distinguished career spanning 35 years, Bruce retired from the Army in 1999.

He joined the 5RAR Association while still serving and quickly volunteered to join the National Committee of the Association. He also accepted the position of 5RAR State Representative, Queensland in 2005. Bruce attended almost all of the National Committee meetings held in Sydney and funded these trips from Brisbane at his own expense.

In 2007 Bruce was appointed Chairman of the committee to plan the 5RAR 45th Anniversary Reunion held on the Gold Coast in 2010. He continued as a member of both the National Committee and as State Representative for Queensland during this time Bruce also became a key member of the working group that re-wrote the 5RAR Association Constitution that led the way to the Association becoming an Incorporated Association in October 2014.

Because of the resounding success of the 2010, 5RAR Reunion, Bruce was invited to be the Chairman of the planning committee for the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the Battalion held on the Gold Coast in 2015. His leadership of his team and coordination of all activities was outstanding which was central to this being the most successful reunion conducted by the Association.

He is also a contributing member on the Editorial Team for the 5RAR newsletter TIGER TALES, a position which he has held for the past 8 years and continues to do so.

Bruce has served 5RAR and the 5RAR Association with outstanding loyalty and dedication for more than 20 years giving his time freely.

He is an excellent candidate for the appointment as a Life Member to the 5RAR Association Inc.

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