THREE years after his feet touched the ground as Commandant of the Army Recruit Training Centre at Kapooka, Colonel Steve Jobson is heading back to the service’s aviation arm.
“I’m going back to army aviation, but it’s not yet been formally announced,” said Colonel Jobson, awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2012 for his service during the Queensland floods.
Colonel Jobson will be succeeded by Colonel Mick Garraway, who has strong family links to Wagga.
Colonel Jobson said Colonel Garraway was a “highly respected and accomplished infantry officer”.
“He is currently director of officer career management in Canberra,” Colonel Jobson said.
As he counts down his last days in Wagga, Colonel Jobson said he was proud to have worked with some really outstanding soldiers and staff at Kapooka.
He said he was struck by “how hard they work, how committed they are, how professional they are and how much they achieve.”
He said he was also inspired by the support that defence families gave to the soldiers and staff.
An increase in the proportion of women and Indigenous Australians in the army over the past three years is a change which Colonel Jobson said he was proud to be part of.
“We are now training more women and Indigenous Australians than at any other time,” he said.
“I’d like to say to the families and loved ones (of recruits), we are about creating Australian citizens – not just soldiers – with real values, and that is what Kapooka will keep doing in the future and keep doing very, very well.”
Colonel Jobson said he and his family had been embraced warmly by the Wagga community during his tenure, and that was something which would leave a lasting impression on him.
“Wagga is a wonderful community and you can’t help but enjoy your time here,” Colonel Jobson said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a host of charitable and philanthropic organisations in Wagga, including Legacy and the various veterans’ organisations.”
Colonel Jobson’s last march out parade at Kapooka will be on September 30.
His previous experience with army aviation includes flying Black Hawk helicopters and being a liaison officer to the US Army and Royal Canadian Army.