Army Reserves is adventure beyond 9-5 for Brendan Castray
A DESIRE to bring about positive change first drew civilian stock trader Cpl Brendan Castray to the Army Reserves
Now, he will this year celebrate his eleventh year of service with the Australian Army, in a military career which has seen him deploy to the Solomon Islands and qualify as one of the Army's top rifle shooters.
"I tried to join the Army Reserve straight after September 11," Cpl Castray said.
"I remember watching the television screen and thinking about the effect that terrorism had on the world, so I decided to do something about it and joined up,"
Before joining the Army Reserve, Cpl Castray graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology before starting a career as an airline pilot, based in the Middle East.
He then worked as an instructor in the USA and eventually finished his aviation career flying with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa.
Cpl Castray then embarked on a career in business, working in the family business and owning his own child care centre and restaurants.
He enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2003 as a dismounted cavalry scout with the 2/14th Light Horse and later transferred to 25/49 RQR in 2005.
"I didn't realise that joining the Army Reserve would be one of the best decisions I would ever make. I have met the best mates and done things you could never imagine," he said.
"I have had the opportunity to deploy on operations, and I know that every time I put on my uniform I am making a real difference to peace and security."
Designed to fit your lifestyle, the Army Reserve requires a minimum commitment of only 20 days each year, with the additional opportunities to take part in exercises, training and deployments to further hone your specialist skills.
Reserves spend at least two days each month on duty, with a longer training block every three months. In addition, Reservists can volunteer to participate in support tasks and courses, the pay for which is tax-free.
Deployments are optional, with many Reservists choosing to stay local and make a contribution when their community needs a hand.
Cpl Castray deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2007 on Operation Anode Rotation 11 as part of a rifle company formed from Reservists from throughout Queensland.
"It was a real privilege to be part of something like that. You could tell how keen the reservists were to get in and do the job and the locals really respected the fact that we were there to help," he said.
In 2008, Cpl Castray was selected to take part in the Australian Army Skill at Arms Match where he qualified in the top twenty Army shooters with the service rifle while also winning medals in the service pistol and light support weapon categories.
"All in all, my Army experience has been very positive," he said.
"I think it is an important part of positive citizenship to do something for your country and I'm glad I have been able to serve with the Army for over decade now."
There are over 2000 Queenslanders serving in the Army Reserve. They are men and women that live in our towns and local communities. If you'd like to be part of something bigger, train and learn skills that will enhance your personal and professional life and get paid tax-free while you do it, join the Army Reserve today.
Visit www.defencejobs.gov.au or contact 13 19 01 to find out more.