Brigadier Mark Ascough was awarded his border protection medal while posted in Weipa and was chuffed to see young Private Edward Nelson Sigai awarded his.
Brigadier Ascough was the guest of honour at Napranum’s Anzac Day service and reflected fondly on his time at Weipa and the Western Cape.
His first Army posting was to Bravo Company, 51st Battalion and he served at Weipa in 1998 and 1999.
“Some things have changed a lot and other things haven’t changed much at all,” he said.
“It’s great to be back. It was my first posting as an officer and I remember a lot from my time here.
“It taught me a lot about myself and how to be involved in the community.”
He said watching Private Sigai receive his service medal in front of his family and community made the Anzac Day ceremony even more special.
Brigadier Ascough’s invitation to be the guest of honour came from the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council at the recommendation of much-loved Cape York historian Geoff Wharton.
“Geoff saw a picture of me in an army newspaper and got in touch,” Brigadier Ascough said.
“It was a real privilege and honour to speak here today.”
Brigadier Ascough’s operational service includes Border Protection operations; two deployments to East Timor and two tours in Afghanistan.
In 2017, he was appointed as Commander of the NATO force’s Kabul Garrison Command Advisor team.
This involved advising on the coordination of inter-agency security operations across Kabul, employing more than 25,000 Afghan soldiers, police and security forces.
Brigadier Ascough was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal in 2019, the same year he assumed command of the 6th Brigade, based in Brisbane.
This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 26 April 2021.
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