At age 16 Gareth Turner thought about becoming a mechanic but instead continued studying at Siena Catholic College.
Things turned full-circle when he joined the Army a few years later.
He is now serving as a vehicle mechanic on a deployment to Australia's Main Base in the Middle East.
"Here we do maintenance and repairs on the Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles and we've also got Land Cruiser 200 up-armoured models," he said.
Gareth works with a team of 10 other tradesmen servicing and repairing vehicles that operate in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He previously worked on oil rigs as a saturation chamber technician before signing enlisting in the Army.
"I wanted to get a trade and there's always that dream when you're a young fella to serve your country," he said.
"I had a crack and it's been pretty good so far.
"Being a mechanic was always something that I thought I'd circle back to, so I'm pretty happy that I did."
Gareth was born in Nambour and grew up in Buderim, where his parents still live in the same house he grew up in.
He is currently posted to 10th Force Support Battalion in Townsville but gets back to Buderim every couple of years.
"I miss the beach a lot; Townsville has water but you just don't get the same waves," he said.
Gareth recommended the Army to anyone back on the Sunshine Coast who thought there was no work around.
"There are plenty of things for people to do," he said.
"If they think there's no work for them, there's plenty of work in the Army."
Gareth is deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Accordion, the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) mission support the sustainment of ADF operations, enable contingency planning and enhance regional relationships in the Middle East Region (MER).
From Australia's main logistics base in the MER, around 400 ADF personnel provide support to Australian operations throughout the region, including Operations Okra, Highroad and Manitou.