Australian soldiers ashamed at lack of action in Iraq/Afgh

From The TimesMay 28, 2008

Australian soldiers 'ashamed' at lack of action in Iraq and Afghanistan
Australian artillary in action at Nui Dat, Vietnam, in 1966

Paul Larter in Brisbane
Australia’s soldiers won praise for their skills from the Boer War to Vietnam but now their exclusion from frontline conflicts has left many “ashamed of wearing their uniform”, a senior army official said.

The nation’s much vaunted reputation for battlefield courage has been cast into doubt by its own army officers, who have complained that troops are being deliberately kept out of combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under the headline “We were soldiers once”, Major Jim Hammett, who has served in Iraq, East Timor and Somalia, launched a scathing critique of the restrictions placed on foot soldiers. He wrote, in the Australian Army Journal, that the infantry were trained to fight, equipped to fight and expected to fight — in short, to do everything but actually fight on the front line. This had fostered an international perception of institutional cowardice.
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