LTCOL Elizabeth Stephens

1st Recruit Training Battalion

Over the course of the first half of 2017, 1 RTB has continued to deliver high quality training to Australia’s newest soldiers. With a desire to continuously pursue innovation and improving the training delivered to soldiers, 1 RTB has implemented a number of new changes and initiatives to improve soldiers training and the delivery of capability for Army.

The Battalion has completed a number of directed unit level trials as well as implementing a number of key initiatives to improve the manner in which we conduct training at 1 RTB. During March and April, the staff and recruits of 12 PL B Coy conducted a trial of the Military Shooting Continuum using the EF88 service rifle. This trial had a profound impact on our soldiers’ small arms training, inspiring confidence with the weapon system as well as enhancing the way in which they view the battlefield. Other staff initiatives which have improved the communications, medical training and field training packages have all sought to enhance the way in which we teach recruits, seeking efficiency, trainee engagement and training outcome enhancement as the main priority. This has all culminated in an enhanced version of Ex Challenge which now presents the recruits with an activity which tests them physically as well as mentally as they now bring together all their skills learnt to deal with complex enemy pictures, multiple casualty scenarios and prisoner of war handling.


1 RTB has been proud to continue to support the local community through key annual events such as ANZAC Day and the Kapooka Tragedy Memorial Service. On ANZAC Day members of the Battalion travelled great distances to provide guest speakers, catafalque parties and marchers to remote communities, it is an honour to support these towns and by all reports was an extremely rewarding experience for our staff. The annual Kapooka Tragedy service held at the Kapooka Tragedy Memorial just beyond the Front Gates of Blamey Barracks was well supported, with a special mention to the Soldiers and Officers of the Royal Australian Engineers on staff at 1 RTB who attended en masse.

Staff development has remained a significant focus throughout the year, as highlighted by the successful completion of the Professional Development and Lifestyle Coaching seminars run by CPL Damien Richardson, a member of the PTI section as well as Equity Advisor training. At the company level staff have conducted numerous Professional Development sessions to develop the way in which our staff think, communicate and conduct their training at 1 RTB.

Finally, as we reach the mid point of 2017 it is important to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the 1 RTB staff and their families who have given so much to 1 RTB. A position on staff at 1 RTB can at times be challenging to both soldiers and their families, and I encourage anyone who needs assistance to reach out to the Command staff,  DCO and other community organisations to assist with some of the difficulties some can face living and working in Wagga.