It's not every day a nurse wears combat body armour to work, but for Hasting local and Army Reserve Nursing Officer Lieutenant Peter Thompson, it's now an everyday event.
Lieutenant Thompson is currently serving with the Taji Military Hospital as a Nursing Officer with Task Group Taji rotation 5 (TGT-5), a combined force of 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Okra.
Back home he lives in Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula and works as a Nurse Practitioner with his wife Natasha who is a GP.
He said he is excited about working as an Army Nursing Officer in Iraq with a highly-trained team of Australian and New Zealand medical staff at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad.
"I am very proud to be taking part in this type of a mission," Lt Thompson said.
"It gives me the opportunity to utilise my civilian nursing skills in the military environment and do something for my country."
As a Nurse at the Taji Military Hospital, he is responsible for maintenance of equipment and the general and emergency medical care of patients admitted to the hospital.
"All Nursing Officers have additional roles in the event of large scale emergencies and trauma cases which requires life support skills," he said.
"There is an expectation in the Army that we can perform clinical tasks independently.
"It's such an honour and a privilege to be here doing what we've been trained to do."
He said that that while he is enjoying the deployment, he is looking forward to getting back home.
"I am really looking forward to getting home and spending time with the family, catching up with friends and getting back on the bike."