Australian Army Apprentices Association Inc

Skills creation - the wealth of a Nation

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Members Only Area contents:

1/ AAAA Inc Minutes
2/ Australian Defence Medal & Army Combat Badge info.
3/ Current Members List

Welcome to the website for the Australian Army Apprentices Association Inc (AAAA Inc). Please feel free to browse around and pass any suggestions, comments or submissions to the webmaster through our contact page.       

The Australian Army Apprentice scheme was successful in a number of areas but was phased-out by the Army in the mid-1990s. The scheme had its roots at Balcombe Barracks on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, in about 1948, but eventually moved to Latchford Barracks, Bonegilla, in northern Victoria. The apprentice scheme gave birth to a number of unofficial customs, such as Crab Night, and had a language of its own odd, or even intakes and sproggs (a first-year Apprentice) to name but a few. The apprentice scheme has also seen many of its former members rise to prominence across all ranks and corps of the Australian Army.

For many serving within the ranks of the Army, the term Army Apprentice, or ex Appy, is something they are not likely to understand.

The Army, for many years, enlisted and trained its own tradesmen direct from the high schools and the youth of Australia.

Many teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 years enlisted as Army Apprentices to undertake a four-year apprenticeship in a wide variety of technical and clerical trades, and as musicians. The initial engagement period was for 9 years.

What the Badge means:-

The Cross which forms the spokes of the wheel (the basis of the badge) represents, the Christian virtues and the development of character. The Torch of Learning, which is superimposed upon the Cross, represents that desire to go on learning, which should be the aim of every School to implant in the hearts and minds of all its sons. The Crossed Swords remind us, as soldiers, of the military qualities of Courage and Discipline and the importance of a high standard of Physical Fitness. The Wheel, of course, represents the trade and technical training carried out at the School, whilst the Crown expresses Loyalty to Queen and Country (and therefore to superiors and comrades alike) and Devotion to Duty.

A little history lesson:-

This is a Trades Medal awarded in 1958 with the Kings Crown to Mal Cock 12th Intake. Check it out in a larger size in the Photos section under the 12 Intake.

Thanks to Mal.

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