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Zac White - Newcastle

Zac revels in General driving role

Being the personal driver for Australia’s highest-ranking General in the Middle East Region was not the role Newcastle's Zac White had in mind when he deployed on operation service with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for the first time.

Private White, an Australian Army driver, is deployed to Operation ACCORDION as part of the small band of personal staff to support the Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Major General Craig Orme.

The jovial son of Vicki Brent and William White, said he is enjoying his first operational deployment and had enjoyed plying his Army trade in such an important way from his base at Camp Baird, UAE.

"Initially I was a bit daunted to find myself driving Major General Orme to and from where he needs to go around the UAE – when you have someone that important onboard you tend to drive extremely cautiously," he said.

"I work really closely with the boss's staff, who have taught me a lot about how the military runs and the bigger picture of what is going on beyond my role.

"Despite being the youngest person and lowest rank in the headquarters, I have had an absolute ball on this deployment and will go back with plenty of great memories and have met some great people."

The 23-year-old former carpentry apprentice joined the Army as a driver in 2009 and is qualified on everything from light vehicles to semi-trailer trucks.

"I completed a three-month Army basic driver’s course, a two-week Assistant Driving Instructors Course also certified on Medium Rigid, Heavy Rigid and Heavy Combination vehicles," he said.

Formerly of Adamstown Heights, Zac has fond memories of growing up in Newcastle and has plans to meet up with his parents when he returns home in late August.

"My girlfriend Grace is also in the ADF and has just deployed to Afghanistan so I am going home to live in my newly- built house, but while it’s quiet I’ll pop down and see mum and dad," he said.

"I had a pretty active childhood in Newcastle and played on the Hamilton Public Cricket Team, City Limits Basketball, PCYC Boxing, the Newcastle University Junior Swim Squad and also played a bit of tennis.

"I used to spend weekends with my mates exploring every nook and cranny of the Newcastle inner-city and bushland."

Private White will return to Townsville at the completion of his deployment where he is posted to the Army's 10th Force Support Battalion.