Brian Wyborn
Torres Strait Islander
Officer Cadet
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Australian Army Reserve

Australian Service Medal with clasp Solomon Islands II
Australian Defence Medal

My journey began in 2008 when I enlisted in the Australian Army Reserves on the 19th April, although I wonder if it began prior to that with both my grandfathers serving in WWII and my uncle also serving in the Navy. My motivations at the time were seeking adventure and a challenge, but there was also a deep-seated belief in contributing to the country that has afforded me countless opportunities, so I embarked on a path aligned with a sense of civic duty. As a proud Torres Strait Islander and Papua New Guinean mixed heritage, this decision felt right.
I completed recruit training at Kapooka, marching out on December 20, 2008, to join the ‘Fighting Ninth’ Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, an Infantry Battalion in the Army Reserves. The following year I completed the basic infantry soldier’s training in June 2009 which honed my skills further, preparing me for the challenges that lay ahead. Throughout 2010 I continued training as an infantry soldier further refining the craft whilst watching senior soldiers being deployed on Operation Astute to East Timor. I was eager and willing although not senior (or lucky) enough to get a deployment then, my time was to come a year later.
The pivotal moments arrived in 2011 when I participated in flood relief operations in Brisbane and Grantham, witnessing the resilience of communities in the face of adversity. However, it was my deployment to the Solomon Islands later that year, as part of Operation Anode, that gave me the opportunity to serve our country. I signed the dotted line and next thing you know, we’re up in Townsville for redeployment training. It was full-on with Townsville providing the heat and humidity to better acclimatise us for the Solomon Islands.
As a side note, one of our response tasks in the Solomon Islands was riot control. During riot training in Townsville we were hunkered down behind locked shields, I remember the moment a Molotov cocktail was thrown at us, erupted in flames over the shields, skimming the tops of our helmets and one of the soldiers yelling, “This is freaking awesome!” then the section bursting into laughter. This moment, for me, epitomises the Army, you’re under fire but can still have a laugh. The ensuing deployment, straddling the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, wasn’t without its challenges. I look back on Operation Anode with fond memories as it left an indelible mark on my life, shaping my outlook on service, leadership, and the power of collective action.
Since then, my commitment to the Army has continued and more recently taken the path to commission as an Officer.