Corporal Zebedee Schulz
Zed is one of the most vital human elements of the Combined Task Force 635 (CTF 635) - Zed is the “Postie”.
As a postal clerk, Zed makes sure mail going out of and coming into CTF 635 gets where it is supposed to go. The job is part Army and part Australia Post.
“The role here as ‘postie’ helps on the welfare side,” Zed says.
“When the soldiers here don’t know a parcel is coming, you can see their faces light up and they think to themselves, ‘wow, someone is thinking of me’.”
Zed says the welfare packages often come from Returned and Services Leagues or other community groups. He says the best ones have a bit of thought put into them, lollies, puzzles, games, a magazine, packets of chips, and so on - the sorts of things that “will keep the soldiers entertained and give them a little taste of home”.
Zed waits until there are enough welfare packages for everyone in a platoon or similar group before handing them out and he describes the most rewarding part of the job as when people come in and ask “Do I have mail today?” and he gets to say “yes”.
Zed is a commercial diver by trade and with Solomon Islands widely recognised as one of the world’s best sites for diving, Zed is excited about the possibilities.
He and the other qualified divers from the military and police personnel on the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and with the support of a local dive shop, arranged lessons for other personnel keen to learn how to dive.
Through after-hours classes and some practical lessons on weekends, two Australians and six New Zealanders have earned their dive ticket.
“When I have time off, if it’s safe and if I can get the permits, I try to get to get a dive in if possible. Even on weekends there are duties that have to be done, so you can’t get away all of the time, but it’s great when it happens.”
His partner, Sophie, was fully supportive of Zed’s deployment with the Army Reserve. The support mechanisms in place have allowed Zed to speak with Sophie on a regular basis.
“She’s a nurse and is actually a bit jealous that I get the chance to come away here with the Army and do this work, to contribute to a community the way we do here.”
On returning home, Zed is looking forward to relaxing on the beach with Sophie, George (their Border Collie), and a bottle of wine.