Far from the sunny Gold Coast beaches of his childhood state, Captain Lachlan Joseph is in Afghanistan helping develop the next generation of Afghan National Army (ANA) leaders.
Captain Joseph, 28, is deployed to Operation Highroad as a mentor based at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Kabul Province.
He is one of 12 Australian mentors embedded with the British-led ANAOA advisory effort along with partners from New Zealand and Denmark.
Their role is to advise the Afghan Instructors to improve the delivery of training and standards within the academy.
"As mentors, we are helping Afghanistan generate strong leadership for their military, specifically training Afghanistan's future leaders to combat the Taliban and Daesh insurgencies," Captain Joseph said.
Since 2014, the academy has graduated more than 2,000 cadets including 80 females, and is recognised as the premier training establishment in Afghanistan.
As a mentor for the academy's 3rd Kandak, Captain Joseph is motivated by the flow on effects of his work, which he said is shaping the wider community.
"The training we are supporting teaches leadership qualities that will permeate not only through the military, but also through government, and throughout the provinces," Captain Joseph said.
"My Tolay [platoon] of 150 Officer Cadets, when graduated, will be individually employed as Platoon Commanders with the ability to influence 4500 soldiers," he said.
The academy teaches young Officer Cadets military skills, similar to those taught at international officer training establishments including key leadership and basic soldiering skills, military planning techniques and modern warfighting tactics.
Captain Joseph's career path has prepared him well for the mentoring role, having had extensive experience within the training environment.
In 2010, he graduated from the Royal Military College – Duntroon where he learnt the importance of "teamwork and sacrifice".
As a new member of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, he was posted to the 1st Armoured Regiment as Troop Leader before posting to Kapooka as a Platoon Commander responsible for training new Army recruits.
As his first deployment overseas, Captain Joseph's time in Afghanistan has been a memorable and rewarding experience.
"I have learnt valuable lessons about both myself and the world, while developing relationships of genuine trust and friendship with my Afghan counterparts," he said.
Currently posted as Adjutant to the 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment in Melbourne, he will return to his unit proud of his achievements.
"Through our work we have demonstrated to the people of Afghanistan our nation's commitment to providing safety and stability within the Middle East region," he said.
About 270 ADF personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Highroad.