Charles Pakana
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Australian Army 1975 – 84

Australian Defence Medal

“Using my birth name of Keir Wells, I joined the Army on the 28th of January 1975, my 17th birthday, making me the youngest soldier in the Army at that time, with the exception of apprentices. My community name is Charles Pakana. I served in the Royal Australian Regiment, primarily the 5th/7th Battalion and left the Army in 1984 after nine years service. This was a post-Vietnam War Army, hence I did not serve in any campaigns or fields of conflict.

My father was also an infantryman, having served in the 2/33rd Battalion the Second AIF in North Africa against the Germans and in the Pacific Islands against the Japanese. He died as a direct result of his service in 1975, barely three months after I joined the Army.” – Charles Pakana 2023