Garth Callender

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Garth Charles Douglas Callender
DIgi 103921316-Callender-KK033.jpg
Major Garth Callender c.2014
Born (1977-02-10) 10 February 1977 (age 42)
Hornsby, New South Wales
AllegianceAustralia
Service/branchAustralian Army
Years of service1996–
RankMajor
Unit2nd Cavalry Regiment.
2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment
Australian Counter IED Task Force
Combat Training Centre
Commands heldCavalry Troop, SECDET V
Australian Weapons Intelligence Team Afghanistan 2009–10
A Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment 2012.
Battles/warsIraq War
War in Afghanistan

Major Garth Charles Douglas Callender is the author of After the Blast: An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, published by Black Inc. in 2015.[1]

He rose to prominence when it was announced by the NSW Baird Government that he would spearhead the state's Veterans Employment Program.[2][3][4]

He is an Ambassador for Bravery Trust alongside Justin Langer AM, Kevin Sheedy AM and Dr Paul Alexander AO.[5]

In January 2017 he was named patron of the Matthew Millhouse Salute, a charity event in honour of Trooper Matthew Millhouse, who died on 28 August 2015 from Young Onset Dementia, caused by a traumatic brain injury received from a bomb explosion in Iraq in 2004 in which both he and Garth were injured.[6]

Military career[edit]

Callender joined the Australian Army in 1996 as a Rifleman in the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 2001 to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. His operational experience includes two deployments as part of the Australian Security Detachment – Baghdad; the first as a Cavalry Troop Leader in 2004, and the second as an Executive Officer in 2006. In 2004, as junior cavalry officer in the Australian Army, he was deployed to Iraq. Garth became Australia's first serious casualty in the war when his patrol was targeted in a roadside bomb attack.[7][8]

After recovering from his injuries, Callender returned to Iraq in 2006 as second-in-command of the Australian Army's security detachment in Baghdad.[9] His combat team suffered the death one of their own, Private Jake Kovco.[10]

Over June 2009 to February 2010, Callender commanded the Weapons Intelligence Team in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.[11] His team was successful as the first team to develop technical intelligence products to focus coalition intelligence collection, planning and operations. These reports proved pivotal in shaping the Australian Government’s understanding of incidents involving Australian casualties and defining policy regarding Australia’s commitment to Afghanistan.[12]

He remains an active member of the Army Reserve.

After the Blast[edit]

After the Blast: An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan is a memoir written by Major Garth Callender. The book follows the author through three operational deployments with the Australian Army over 2004 to 2010.[13]

  • The second tour saw the author return to Baghdad in 2006. The story details several incidents including a rocket attack[15] that injured four soldiers[16] and a shooting incident which resulted in three Iraqi security guards wounded and one killed. Most notably the story details the shooting death of Private Jacob Kovco.[17]
  • The final section of the book follows the author to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan over June 2009 to February 2010 where he commanded a weapons intelligence team.

After the Blast won the 2016 Nib Waverly Military History Literary Prize.[18]

Honours and awards[edit]

Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Afghanistan Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Iraq Medal (Australia) ribbon.png DLSM with Rosette.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png NATO Medal ribbon (Non-Article 5).svg

Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal with 2 Clasps IRAQ 2003 and ICAT
Afghanistan Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Afghanistan Medal
Iraq Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Iraq Medal
Ribbon of the DLSM Defence Long Service Medal For 20 Years Service
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
NATO Medal ribbon (Non-Article 5).svg NATO Medal for Service with ISAF (NATO)
Army Combat Badge
Australian Defence Force Commendation (Silver)
Australian Defence Force Commendation (Bronze)
Army Commendation (Bronze)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Caterson, Simon (18 July 2015). "After the Blast review: Why cheating death couldn't put Garth Callender off Iraq". SMH. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Veterans given leg-up for NSW govt jobs". News Corp Australia. The Weekend Australian. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  3. ^ Cleary, Paul (22 July 2015). "The battles our troops face after coming home". The Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  4. ^ Callender, Garth (5 May 2016). "Employers' rhetoric doesn't match returned soldiers' experiences". The Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  5. ^ Bravery Trust. "Our Patrons & Ambassadors". Bravery Trust. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  6. ^ Cleary, Paul (4 September 2015). "Matt Millhouse: Injured in Iraq, dead of dementia at just 36". The Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Injured Aust Soldier Returns Home". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  8. ^ Forbes, Mark (30 October 2004). "Counting the cost of Iraq's war". theage.com.au. The Age. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  9. ^ Callender, Garth (July 2015). After the Blast. An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. Black Inc. ISBN 9781863957380.
  10. ^ Box, Dan (July 2008). Carry Me Home: The Life and Death of Jake Kovco. Allen & Unwin.
  11. ^ Callender, Garth (July 2015). After the Blast. An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. Black Inc. ISBN 9781863957380.
  12. ^ Callender, Garth (July 2015). After the Blast. An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. Black Inc. ISBN 9781863957380.
  13. ^ Caterson, Simon (18 July 2015). "After the Blast review: Why cheating death couldn't put Garth Callender off Iraq". SMH. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Three Australian soldiers wounded in Baghdad blast". ABC News. 25 October 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Piece of shrapnel from 240 mm Rocket". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  16. ^ Banham, Cynthia (15 August 2006). "Australian soldiers injured by rocket attack in Baghdad". Fairfax Media. SMH. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  17. ^ "The inquest into the death of Private Jake Kovco". 2 April 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  18. ^ Morris, Linda (23 November 2016). "Rachel Landers' Who Bombed the Hilton? wins literary prize". SMH. Retrieved 28 January 2017.

References[edit]