Once in a Lifetime Experience, and I am Glad it is with The Australian Defence Force Academy

Demi negara yang tercinta,
Dicurahkan bakti penuh setia,
Demi raja yang disanjung tinggi,
Kesetiaan tak berbelah bagi.
– [Setia]

Never in my wildest dream would I have thought to be one of the few being selected to pursue my tertiary education with one of the most prestigious military academies in this world, the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, Australia.  Thus, for that, I am honoured, humbled and thankful.

Photo with General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Zulkiple bin Haji Kassim. Ex-Chief of Malaysian Army

To date, my military journey here has been nothing, but exhilarating and wonderful.

Since it is not every day you will meet local military trainee overseas, allow me to appease your curiosity especially, on our education module.  For my education specifically, I attended the foundation course at the National Defence University of Malaysia before continuing my degree with the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Different to the normal university, on top of fulfilling your coursework requirements, as a military trainee officer we have to fulfil additional requirements that are – military training. I have to complete a one-year duration of military training with the Military Training Academy in Malaysia, and now continue doing it with the Australian Defence Force Academy here in Australia. Among others, military training is comprised of the leadership challenge, battle physical training, and shooting.

The Australian Defence Force Academy is basically the same as the National Defence University of Malaysia, they have a tri-service environment, which consists of army, navy, and air force officer cadets. There are 900 active military personnel here at the Australian Defence Force Academy, there are 60 international trainee officers from 14 different countries as well. Because of these, I was exposed to various culture and training here at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Being a military trainee, you are pretty much consumed and committed to military training. The Australian Defence Force Academy offers an extremely unique experience for trainee officers here. All trainee officers are required to participate in various leadership challenge exercises each year.

I joined the Leadership Challenge 1 last year, it was conducted to build physical and mental resilience. The Leadership Challenge 1 was brilliant as it allowed me to build my leadership character, which is extraordinary pivotal for my future military career. Every trainee officer was tasked to be a section commander who was responsible to lead their sections to accomplish every obstacle during the exercise.

During Leadership Challenge 1, Canberra

As a naval trainee officer here at Australian Defence Force Academy, I was privileged to participate in the Naval Single Service Training (Naval SST) at the Her Majesty Australian Ships Creswell (HMAS Creswell).

It was an utterly incredible experience for me to sum up. I was practically immersed with the distinctive Australian Navy culture, while at the same time undergoing diverse naval skills and leadership-based training. The training involves different types of skills such as sailing, hiking, and sorry to disappoint you – class presentation.

Though, it is a different kind of presentation. It was extraordinarily important for future military leaders to understand the current international political and strategic issues because even a small misinterpretation could lead to a profound impact on the world.

We have to be aware of the latest international threat is undoubtedly vital, especially for me (who will be serving my beloved native land and the Royal Malaysian Navy). Last but not least, the Naval SST was unquestionably a fruitful learning opportunity for me, it was full of diverse opportunities allowing my fellow Australian counterparts and me to grow ourselves.

During Naval Single Service Training

I have not been here long, and in fact, I have another few semesters to burn. Yet, I have learned many military values such as Courage, Respect, Integrity, Service, and Professionalism (CRISP) during undergoing my military training.

I feel even more privileged, to have my education and military training here at Australian Defence Force Academy, which makes it an experience unlike any other.

As a future officer in the Royal Malaysian Navy, I will strive my best to ensure our national flag (Jalur Gemilang) and our Royal Malaysian Navy ensign always flying proudly.

Photo with my beloved Malaysians when celebrating Ramadan Mubarak 2018

Wei Chung Young is a Midshipman for the Royal Malaysian Navy, callsign Bear. Chung Young is from Kuala Lumpur, and currently pursuing Bachelor degree of Science majoring in Oceanography and Mathematics with the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. He likes reading and stamina-intensive sports.

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