Entered into National Service on the 8 January 1969, after sleeping the previous night amongst the pine trees outside the main gates of Waiouru Camp. Thought I would enter with a beard and long hair to see what would happen, and quickly found out. After one week received my first charge in the military - Disobeying a lawful order in that I failed to put a name in my underwear !! Completed 6 weeks basic training and elected radios for my 6 week trade training, completed on 14 April 1969.
Enjoyed the amy, so joined up, and on 15 April 1969 was posted to 16 Field Regiment at Papakura Camp. Marched into 161 Battey Depot under Battery Comander Major McKinney and Battery Sergant Major Goldsworthy . Completed 3 Star Driver/Operator training under Sergeant Bill Cooper and Bombadier Murray Broomhall. Got on the 15 June 1970 Bristol Feighter flight to Nui Dat in South Vienam, stopping over at Alice Springs and Née Soon Army Barracks in Singapore.
Joined 161 Battery under Major Ray Andrews, and had a weeks orientation around Nui Dat base, then caught resupply chopper out to Le Loi Fire Support Base, to be under Captain Gillooley. Was there for a week, then caught the resupply chopper out into B Company 8 RAR north of the Binh Ba rubber plantation and Lt. Rick Willams FO Party. Operated with 8RAR until they departed SVN on 10 October 1970, when I joined the FO Party of A Company 2 RAR, with Lt. Nick Thornton, Bdr. Brian Soper, and Gunner Dave Lyttle. We split in two with Nick and Dave with Company HQ, and Brian and I out with the platoons. operated with 2RAR until the Battery packed up and left SVN on 11 May 1971.
Left 161 Battery and the regular force on 15 July 1971, as peacetime soldiering didn't seem the same, but missed the amy life so joined the territorial 4 Medium Battery out of HopuHopu Camp, and later 6 Hauraki Regiment out of Tauranga, taking discharge in July 1981.