For Lance Corporal Daniel Grace, completing his apprenticeship in carpentry was the last step in constructing a military career on a solid foundation of family service.
“There’s a strong history of service in my family,” said LCpl Grace.
“My Grandfather Eric Grace served three tours of Malaya and one tour of Vietnam, in 1966.
“Both of his brothers also served. They were all Signal corps.”
LCpl Grace is building on this tradition with deployments to Timor Leste, the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and now with Task Group Taji – 6 at Taji Military Complex in Iraq as part of Operation Okra.
“I am currently running the carpentry workshop on Task Group Taji,” he said.
“We build all of the targetry used by the training teams when they conduct their training with the Iraqi Security Forces.
“We also do basic camp maintenance for the Task Group.”
This can include anything from fixing work stations to securing buildings in the camp that around 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand members of the Task Group live and work in.
“Being able to do my trade as the senior tradesman on this deployment has been a highlight,” LCpl Grace said.
“It is the first time I have been able to run a carpentry trade team on operations.
“I’m looking forward to getting home, spending time with my family and doing some fishing and 4-wheel driving.”
Operation Okra is the Australia’s military contribution to the US-led Global Coalition to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.