Heroes of Leidos: Warren
Warren enjoyed a 32-year service career with stops around the world. His main roles in the military included combat engineering, training instruction and development, future force design, and capability project development. He currently works in defence business development with Leidos Australia.
Who or what inspired you to serve?
My grandfather served in the Australian Imperial Force in World War I and my father served in the Australian Army in World War II. I grew up in a family with a strong tradition of respect for the military and its place in a democratic and free society. After a short period of employment in private industry after high school, I joined up.
What was your proudest moment?
In 2005, I led the Australian Army Training Team Iraq – 3. Our mission, and that of all of the Australian Army training teams during that time, was to contribute to the rebuilding of the Iraqi Army. In June 2017 I was able to stand at the Australian War Memorial with one of the locally-engaged Iraqi translators whom I had assisted to repatriate to Australia, and watch [Memorial] Director Dr. Brendan Nelson unveil a plaque commemorating the service of all of the teams.
When Dr. Nelson said, 'There is now a part of the Australian War Memorial that will always be yours,' I felt a genuine and deep sense of pride. I am also very proud that my eldest son works for a veteran’s charity, my daughter married a serviceman, and my youngest son is on schedule to graduate from the Royal Military College of Australia in December 2017.
Who influenced you the most during your service?
I met my wife early in my service career. She was a key influence in my achievement of a work-life balance that whilst not always ideal, was better than it may have been otherwise. She also made me understand the meaning of the word 'selflessness.' For over 20 years, she was the Chief Parent, Domestic Engineer and Manager with all of what that entails, often without me being around to help.
How did your service change you?
As a teenager I left the most remote capital city in the world in 1980 and joined the Australian Army. During over 30 years of service I experienced the Cold War, war in the Middle East, and the aftermath of war in the former republics of Yugoslavia. I graduated from four universities but received most of my education from those with whom I served. I was tested to the absolute limit of my mental and physical limits and just had to 'get on with it' to get the job done. Essentially, my service took a 'small town lad' and made me a more global citizen.