Picture: Trooper Kairau is presented the award for Most Improved Recruit, Crichton VC Platoon by Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones.
8 July 2011
On 29 June, on a bitterly cold and wet Waiouru day, families and friends of the Army’s newest soldiers braved the elements to watch the 131 young men and women of the All Arms Recruit Course 361 “RAFAH Company” graduate after sixteen weeks of gruelling training.
Among them was 20 year-old Hastings local, Trooper Dylan Kairau. At the ceremony Trooper Kairau was presented the award for Most Improved Recruit, Crichton VC Platoon by Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones.
Trooper Kairau left a job in the painting industry to join the NZ Army.
“Everything taught on the recruit course was based on the Army’s ethos of Courage, Commitment, Comradeship and Integrity,” said Parade Commander, Major Billy Vince.
“Our course is split into four parts. In the first four weeks our discipline is an imposed discipline so that the recruits can come to terms with what the Army is about, how everything we do is based around teamwork – them, the section and the platoon.”
The second four weeks is focused on weapons and weapons drill, and applying field skills, with the last weeks devoted to advanced work ending in a final exercise at week 14 known as Exercise Warrior.
“This is a skill at arms exercise that lasts for 36 hours and is very demanding. It covers everything the recruits have learned since day one,” said Major Vince.
Trooper Kairau said the most challenging thing of training was going out in the field. “Having to Stand To in the cold was hard work but I’m pleased I hung in there and finished my training”.
“For me, the highlight of the course was going in the helicopters,” said Trooper Kairau.
“The most important thing I am taking away from training is discipline”.
After graduation Trooper Kairau is off to Burnham Military Camp in Canterbury for further training.
For further information, contact Major John Gordon, Senior Media Advisor – Army, on 021 478 574.