Lance Corporal James Fagg
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy it,” James says.
James is young, confident, physically fit and competent in his chosen vocation. He is in Solomon Islands for four months with the Combined Task Force 635 (CTF 635) on Operation ANODE.
The rotation has provided him with his first taste of jungle training, not something he usually gets to do in his home town of Hobart.
The training is hard work. James and his fellow soldiers crawl and patrol through the jungle for hours each day, developing their skills under the watchful eyes of more veteran soldiers. As a lance corporal, James is the second-in-charge of a section of nine soldiers and although on his jungle warfare training in Solomon Islands, James’ section has been reduced to five due to illness.
“The boys will be fine with a bit of rest back at base,” James says.
“Working in the jungle is like anything else. You’re out here for a few days and then you acclimatise, you get used to it. I can live without the stinging vines though, they’re a pain.”
James joined the Army Reserve in 2002 while studying commerce at university.
“I pretty much just asked about the Reserves on a whim one day at uni. Six months later I was in,” James says.
“The Army Reserve is great for a uni student. Army pay is great and as a student it’s all you need.”
When not training with the Army, James spends his spare time on his mountain bike and road bike. He also plays hockey with the ‘Old Hobartians Association’, and enjoys bushwalking with partner Karen. Karen has sent James several packages from home.
“Karen’s been awesome with the trip,” James says.
“Even if it’s only Mars Bars and BBQ Shapes, it’s gold standard when you get a care package from home.”