Mr Brian Manns
Brian says that having ‘the best job in the Army’ means that retirement plans of the past will just have to wait.
Brian is the Manager of Unrecovered War Casualties – Army (UWC-A). The role of UWC-A is to provide Army’s response to the discovery of human remains of unrecovered war casualties and to investigate information that might result in locating and identifying Army’s fallen.
Located within Army Headquarters in Canberra the UWC-A team is a mix of dedicated APS and Army Reserve staff with years of experience in investigating, researching and accounting for Army’s unaccounted for war casualties. This small team is supplemented by forensic specialists from all three services and external agencies.
“I feel a great sense of privilege to be able to lead such a dedicated group of professionals and to provide such good outcomes for Australian families,” Brian said.
Brian joined the Regular Army in 1975 and served 25 years in the Infantry before transferring to the APS in 2000. In that time Brian served in two battalions (5/7 RAR and 3 RAR), the School of Infantry (twice), the Recruit Training Battalion (twice), Rifle Company at Butterworth, Malaysia, an exchange to the New Zealand Army School of Infantry and deployed to East Timor with INTERFET in 1999.
In 1991, Brian moved into the Army’s museum community, first as the curator of the Infantry Museum and then into a management role at the Australian Army History Unit in Canberra.
In 2006, Brian was given the task of investigating the loss of Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. Brian led a team of highly experienced investigators and forensic experts that successfully located and recovered all four missing Australian soldiers and the crash site of a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft lost in Vietnam.
That work led to the creation of UWC-A and more successful recoveries in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia as well as an extensive search of a site in Malaysia. This team has also identified Australians buried in cemeteries in France and Papua New Guinea and is currently working on cases in Papua New Guinea, France, Gallipoli and Korea.
“I love the Army and look back fondly on the last 37 years in and out of uniform,” Brian said.