By Anthony Wagambie | 24th April 2021.
Photo taken while on Special Operations when I was Metsupt Lae. I tried on my old blue camou uniform.
I miss those early days as a SSD Officer for almost 11 years. 7 years as Mobile Sqaud Commander Goroka and then 3 and half years as Southern Mobile Group Commander, McGregor SSD HQ.
Am always thankful to my NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers) and personnel for their guidance and teaching me the trick of the trade from when I was a young 22-year old Mobile Squad Commander in Goroka, and later as Group Commander with four Mobile Squads (MS 1,2,3 & 4) under my Command at McGregor.
In those days we didn’t have large pay packets or the luxury of mobile phones.
I cherish those days when I travelled and moved with the troops as a Mobile Squad Commander. We could be called out at the last minute to deploy, but we still managed to get to where we were told to go within the time required.
Sometimes we were told we would be on 21 days Operations, but it would end up being months. But because of the brotherhood, we stayed on together and intact, sometimes in some of the most challenging circumstances and places.
As a Squad Commander then, I cannot clearly recall when we stayed in a Hotel. We were always camped in places like classrooms, empty buildings or tents. Sleeping bags were a necessity of our baggage because we never knew where we would end up staying.
I enjoyed every bit of it. Living and working among my men. We were family.
We did it because we wanted to. We did it because of the love of our job. No allowances no complaints, as long as we had our ration supplies.
As a Squad Commander I was privileged to have worked in some of the most remote places, especially in the Highlands region.
Our Mobile Squad Goroka motto ” Wok em kaikai ya! Wok tasol, complain bihain!”
I learnt a lot then. As a leader of a Squad or team, always listen and learn from those who have more experience, even though they may be junior in rank.
Thank you to all my colleagues whom I worked alongside at Goroka and McGregor for the time we spent together.