10 November 2015
A Gisborne man’s qualities as a soldier have earned him the Sergeant Major of the Army Award at the end of his recruit training.
Private (PTE) Kurt Des Barres marched out last week, after 16 weeks of basic training as one of 81 recruits from Cassino Company’s All Arms Recruit Course 378.
This is PTE Des Barres’ second stint with the New Zealand Defence Force, after joining the Royal New Zealand Navy straight out of school at 16 years of age.
After leaving the Navy, he worked in Australia installing marble and granite bench tops before returning to New Zealand to join the Army.
“I just thought being back in the military is the best place to go to the next level and better yourself,” said PTE Des Barres.
At 37, PTE Des Barres had some light-hearted ribbing from his younger recruits during training who called him Poppa, “but I just matched them with fitness’’.
Perseverance also paid off for PTE Des Barres. He was five weeks into his basic training when pneumonia meant he had to sit out the course and start again.
PTE Des Barres will be based at Burnham Army Camp, near Christchurch, where he will begin his career as a supply technician hoping to then go on and train as a firefighter for the Army.
For more information contact Defence Public Affairs 021 487 980