March In Procedure

Milton C. W. Pearson, the CSM of 106 Field Workshop, 1968-1969

The normal flow was: Orderly Room to Adjt to OC then the Adjt would return the soldier to me.

I would do a full induction from a military point of view (non technical) - I would get the soldier to tell me a bit about himself (method used to gauge strengths etc) - I would tell the soldier what I expected of him and if he had any problems day or night then see me rather than do anything stupid etc - I would inform him of the various duties and in rotation a rough idea when that would occur - had he fired the M16 at Canungra or simply carried the weapon - I would go through the weapon and safety features and when the opportunity arose he would get to fire the M16.

The induction would have the dress codes - (this changed greatly from being quite rigid) to removal of shirts during daylight hours.

I would personally take the new arrival down to meet his supervisor at which point they would do the platoon induction. On my arrival a very alert soldier would chalk up the new man's '364 and a wakey' to go (this was a huge morale booster to the then current most junior person).

Two very impressionable memories of all this are:

  1. I took a NS down to the tels/instr section of 2 Pl and the very alert 'Chalkie' scribed '364 and a wakey' (nobody's got 364 and a wakey). The new crafty simply took the chalk and duster and amended the figure to read '159 and a wakey'. This was not good for morale. It seems Cfn Peter Umina had slightly less than six months to go and was sent to 106 to repair a huge backlog in typewriters.

  2. The second (don't recall his name) was when the Adjt started calling for me in a voice of shock and I shortly found a long blond-haired presented to me with Bob Stuart saying the OC can't see this soldier. I use to be the keeper of the 2 x Sets of Hair Clippers (purchased in Singapore when a soldier went there on R & R). Well, I gave the young Craftie a hair cut on the spot. The clippers had the nylon attachments like in use today and I simply went through the sizes from No 4 down to No 1. The rest of the march-in was smooth. Two days later the young soldier said to me 'Sir, I have had a photo taken of my combat haircut and sent it to mum'. One day I shall get to meet that soldier.