ITS OFFICIALOn behalf of Patron Brigadier Andrew Freeman and myself we are proud to announce the Australian Army Apprentices Association at its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 19th October 2019, voted unanimously to give overdue recognition to those young men and women recruited into the Army as Apprentices on 16th January 1995 as being the 50th Intake.
All those from the 50th Intake will be afforded the same membership rights as those from all the other Intake/Classes from both Bonegilla and Balcombe and will be welcomed into the Association.
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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)