Page 22 - Chiron Calling Spring 2021
P. 22

                  Diverse RAVC career
by SSgt M Vermeulen
When I joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) in 2009 as a Dog handler, little did I know how diverse my career would be.
In the last 12 years I have done the following roles: Section Commander for 102 Military Working Dog (MWD) Sqn, MT NCO for 1 MWD Regt, Tp Sgt for 102 MWD Sqn and Welfare SNCO for 1 MWD Regt. Since October 2020 my career has totally changed to be an Estate Manager
at Equine Training Sqn, Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR).
The Estate Manager role has historically been for a Veterinary Technician post as the job involves working with horses!! The main role of the Estate Manager includes the rehoming of unsuitable horses or the retirement of the Old & Bold Military Working Horses (MWH) from all the Regiments within the
Army including the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR), Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery (KTRHA), DATR and
the saddle clubs. Maintaining and managing the 258-acre estate to ensure the DATR, HCMR and KTRHA can have some adequate grass rest throughout the year.
The new career change has pushed me out of my comfort zone on so many levels and I’ve had a
lot to learn, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. It has given me the opportunity to get back in the saddle after more than 15 years of not riding. I am not a spring chicken anymore and I don’t bounce as well as I use too!! Luckily with the excellent riding instructor’s currently at DATR, I have managed to get my basic riding skills
back. I have also been given the
opportunity to assist on the next Pack Pony course as an instructor, which has highlighted how vital these horses are both ceremonial and operational. I can confirm that there is never a dull moment on the yard with plenty to do and learn.
It is great to see how diverse
the RAVC has become with all
the different roles you can fill as
you progress through the ranks. Giving you the opportunity to
work with different cap badges and understanding how they operate and train within the Army. For anyone that feel they have lost interest or feel they are not getting challenged in their current role, try something different and learn a new skill. I have enjoyed all the different postings I have done and look forward to the next 12 years of my career.
 1st MWD Regiment Place Of Remembrance
by Major M Garwood, Regimental Second-in-Command
In late 2019, the Regiment looked at creating a Place of Remembrance here at St
George’s Barracks to remember those RAVC personnel and their Military Working Dogs (MWD) lost in the line of duty on Operations. After consideration of where best
to site the Place of Remembrance,
it was decided to site it where most of the Regiment and visitors to the Barracks congregate, which is the All Ranks Cookhouse and Function Area (now known as Rowe Lines). The Place of Remembrance had to be specifically designed so that it can be relocated with the Regiment when it moves to Kendrew Barracks.
As part of the concept, it was decided that it should consist of a wooden Memorial Wall, which has been dedicated to the memory of LCpl Liam Tasker, which not only
would it be easily relocated but would allow the Regiment to place all the respective memorial plaques onto the Wall to allow personnel
to look at and remember all those RAVC personnel and their MWD’s lost in the line of duty during
the various Operations that they were deployed on. Included in the design, is the Rowe Lines sign with the Red Paw in memory of LCpl Kenneth Rowe, which was designed and erected on Op HERRICK for the Theatre Military Working Dog Support Unit lines along with, the relocation of the Memorial Stones dedicated to those personnel who served with the Army Dog Unit
in Northern Ireland. The steel Op HERRICK Memorial Bench was kindly donated by the contractors, Johnson & Smith (Lincoln) Ltd who built the Memorial Wall.
On behalf of the Commanding Officer, I would like to thank all
of those who have contributed
to funding the build of the Memorial Wall. They are The RAVC Benevolent Fund, Army Dog Unit Northern Ireland Association, 7 Infantry Brigade, The Felix Fund.
There is still a bit more work to do on the Memorial Wall and surrounding area, but it is hoped that it will be a fitting Place of Remembrance for all RAVC personnel, past and present to gather, reflect and remember.
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