In Canberra on Saturday, 5 November 2022, Grace Neuhaus and Oliver Douglas were commissioned as Lieutenants in the Australian Army.
Their commissioning represents the culmination of several years of effort through the Army Reserve Officer Course Continuum (the AROCC). The AROCC comprises five training blocks that see a Candidate (Officer Cadet) learn foundational soldier skills, transition to section command and finally, platoon command at which time they are assessed. The AROCC is challenging, yet rewarding with Officer Cadets from across the country training together at Kapooka, Holsworthy and the world-class Royal Military College, Duntroon (RMC-D).
Grace Neuhaus (St Mark’s 2021 – current) performed to an exceptionally high standard throughout the AROCC. Her efforts were acknowledged at the RMC-D graduation dinner with awarding of the Sword of Honour. The Sword of Honour is awarded to the best overall performing Officer Cadet across all five Training Blocks and is awarded on the basis of exemplary conduct and performance of duty.
Grace was also awarded the Field Marshall Sir Thomas Blamey Award. This is awarded for displaying the highest level of conduct and performance of duty in Training Block Five of the Commissioning Course – which is the final Training Block and exposes candidates to the Command and Control of a 30 person Platoon for assessment as Army Officers.
Oliver Douglas (St Mark’s 2020 – current) also performed to a high standard throughout the AROCC. His efforts were acknowledged at the RMC-D graduation dinner with the award of the Royal New South Wales Regiment Prize. This prize is awarded on the basis of the consistent demonstration of exemplary field skills and tactical knowledge in the platoon environment in Offensive Operations.
Both Grace and Oliver are proud to have commissioned into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC), posting to 1st Armoured Regiment, where they will serve in 3rd/9th Light Horse (South Australian Mounted Rifles).They follow Old Collegian, Major Trent Harron (St Mark’s 2005 – 2007) who also Commissioned into the RAAC and was Officer Commanding 3rd/9th Light Horse (SAMR) from Jan 2020 – Jan 2022.
Grace and Oliver are particularly thankful to Major Harron for his generous contributions in support of St Mark’s Collegians rendering Army Reserve service. As recipients of the Harron Scholarship, Oliver in 2021 and Grace in 2022, they both credit that support as pivotal in enabling them to balance University and Army Reserve Commitments. They follow in the footsteps of Holly Crothers, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, as the latest Collegians to have received the scholarship and whilst rendering service in the Army Reserve whilst at St Mark’s.