30 June 2023
The first two staff cadets from the Indonesian Armed Forces have graduated from the Royal Military College – Duntroon, joining more than 10,000 trainees to achieve their commissioned rank at the historic college since 1911.
The 142nd graduating class also included cadets from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, and Malaysia.
As 85 cadets threw their caps in the air in celebration at their graduation parade on June 25, Christopher Bosco Indra Paulo and Tunggul Ageng Prayogi – newly commissioned Second Lieutenants – reflected on the importance of the occasion.
“This is a really big honour for me,” Second Lieutenant Paulo said.
“I’ve done four years of training at home plus 18 months here at Duntroon. I’m ready. I just can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned here and take it back to my platoon.”
Second Lieutenants Paulo and Prayogi have trained together for the past six years, completing their initial four years at AKMIL (Indonesian Military Academy).
Each year at the academy, there is an order of merit to determine the top 50 students. During their time there, the two cadets made it onto the merit list, and, after performing well in English language tests, were selected to be the first Indonesian candidates to train at Duntroon.
For Second Lieutenant Paulo, the nerves he felt when arriving at Duntroon soon dissipated when he met the peers that would soon become friends.
“The first time I arrived here I’m worried about keeping up with my mates,” he said.
“The language was a big fear for me. Kapyong Company, my company, has been very helpful and supportive and encouraged me to do it. Together we made it.
“I can tell from my peers they have enjoyed the time with me, and I have enjoyed the time with them as well. There’s a lot of respect for each other.”
Second Lieutenant Paulo was awarded best graduate in the international cadet category.
'When you are able to value your subordinates or peers, they will give everything to you.'
Indonesian Armed Forces instructor Major Jeremiah Sesa Pandjaitan was awarded an Australian Army Bronze Commendation for his outstanding contribution as an instructor at the college.
Commanding Officer of Royal Military College - Duntroon, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Hickey, sees significant benefits in joint training initiatives and a continued partnership with the Indonesian Armed Forces.
“International cadets enhance our training environment by bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge from their nations’ militaries, offering a different perspective to our trainees,” he said.
“This is the world we live and operate in, so gaining experience and exposure early in training is highly beneficial.”
After returning home – and completing another five months of training – Second Lieutenant Paulo will join the Combat Engineer Corps, and Second Lieutenant Prayogi will join Infantry Corps.
As Second Lieutenant Paulo prepares to return home, the responsibility and privilege of leadership is clearly on his mind.
“My leadership perspective is to value others,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter your ranks. When you are able to value your subordinates or peers, they will give everything to you.
“Respect them, make them feel safe around you, they will trust you, and they will help you.”