With a father for a teacher, it’s easy to see how former Gunnedah man Jamie McRae found himself in Afghanistan mentoring Afghans at the Kabul General Garrison Command (KGC).
An Army Lieutenant Colonel, Jamie McRae is the KGC chief of staff advisor and mentor, training, advising and assisting Afghan and Australian personnel. KGC plans and coordinates all security operations across Kabul province, surrounding the Afghan capital.
Col. McRae said he is enjoying his time in Afghanistan.
“It has been 10 years since I last deployed; this is my first deployment to Afghanistan and I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
“In terms of the scenery and the people, I have been pleasantly surprised.”
His day begins by taking tea with an Afghan Army general and they discuss how plans in the headquarters are progressing.
“I heard about the hospitality of the Afghans but they have truly taken it to the next level,” Col. McRae said.
“I think I’ve shaken hands more in a few weeks here than I have in years at home.
“They’re so polite. They are so eager to make sure we’re well hosted.
“It’s just above and beyond what I expected.”
Col. McRae’s father Barry McRae, still teaches a few days a week at Gunnedah High School. His mother, Helen, was excited but a little nervous when she found out he was deploying to Afghanistan.
“They understand this is something I have always wanted to do,” he said.
“Whether it is deploying or training, I’m always doing something and they know I love it.”
Although he no longer lives in his home town, Col. McRae is able to keep up with cricket and school mates through social media.
With a young family of his own it has been a great way for Col. McRae to see what everyone’s kids are doing and find out who is going to be home for Christmas.
When he is back in Gunnedah, he catches up with family members and mates.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.