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The Legendary "Luigi" Steps Down PDF Print E-mail

Darwin 2009


As I step down from nearly ten years as Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, I am able to reflect back on some fourteen years of soldiering in what is now one of the Australian Army’s crack regiments. Our Regiment’s war-fighting skills, its ability to complete the mission under adverse circumstances and continually demonstrate an ability to win are not accidents or a misplaced vanity. Fighting power does not just happen, but is a product of that old adage “train hard, fight easy”, coupled with the “follow me” style of  leadership that harks back to the traditions of the Australian Light Horse, all based on sound and meticulous planning.  I am proud of what our Regiment has achieved but also  recognize, as we all should, that the foundations of a superior fighting capacity stem from years of setting – and meeting – those very high standards demanded of every combat soldier if he is to succeed in his mission. There is, simply, no second prize in war.


Generations of Australian cavalry soldiers have each given a “layer” of expertise and combat knowledge to the generations that followed. Those Vietnam veterans who laid down the very basis of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment at its actual formation in November 1970 provided the sound foundation upon which our Regiment retrained and learned a new role, relocated in a pathfinder role to the vulnerable north of the Australian continent, and then committed with new equipment to combat in Timor L’Este, then Iraq and in Afghanistan. In each campaign, new combat lessons were learned, assimilated and then applied to training - and perhaps recognized as repeating forms of threat identified in earlier campaigns and in other terrain. The common feature of defeating the range of threats, however, is that of maintaining very high combat standards and training continually to those standards. After all, it’s the threat that we don’t identify in time that only our high levels of personal and unit training standards enable us to defeat it.


A regiment too, holds many years of experience and combat knowledge within the veterans of its Regimental Association. The recent creation of the 2/6 Division Cavalry (Commando) Regiment and 2nd Cavalry Regiment RAAC Association has added further depth to all the Association veterans who hold the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in extremely high regard. These veterans are the hidden bulk who, like the iceberg that has 90% of its volume below the surface, support those who are presently serving in the ranks. They are, apart from the families, your best and most loyal supporters!  As I too will remain.


As your retiring Honorary Colonel, may I in closing wish every soldier and officer in our Regiment:  Good Soldiering, Good Luck - but not Goodbye!


Brigadier Ian Bryant AM (Ret)

Know what we are going to do now Shorty?
No, but I'll follow you Sir, I'm sure it'll be memorable.


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