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The Army Apprentice Scheme(Initial research by Norm Wells – 14th Intake Vehicle Mechanic) On 2nd August 1948, the Australian Regular Army (ARA) opened a trade training school outside Melbourne in Victoria to meet the growing technological needs of the post-war Australian Army. A system similar to a British Army boy training scheme was adopted. Under–mature–age soldiers aged from 15 to 17 ½ years, from across Australia, were enlisted after a challenging selection process to undergo a live–in, three–year trade qualifying course at the Army Apprentices School (AAS) located at Balcombe Army Camp, Mt Martha. (more)
The Apprentice Hat Badge(Initial research by Norm Wells – 14th Intake Vehicle Mechanic) The Australian Army Apprentices School (AAS) badge, copied from the British Army Apprentices School badge, was not issued to Apprentices until 1951. Until that time, 1948-1951, Apprentices were issued with lapel-sized Rising Sun badges to wear as hat badges on their dress dark blue berets and blues caps. From 1951-1954, the first official badge of AAS was one surmounted by the Sovereign’s Imperial State Crown, known as the “King’s Crown”. (more)