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Brief outline of 10th Intake

All men aged 19 were required to register for compulsory National Service (NS). A total of 804,286 men from all over Australia registered. The drawing of the ballot was conducted as a ceremony under the supervision of a representative of the Government and the birthday marbles were drawn out of a barrel by a "distinguished citizen" not associated with the administration of the National Service Scheme. Between 1965 and 1973 a total of 63,740 were called-up and enlisted in the Army. All ballots were conducted in secret up until September 1970.

The 10th intake were included in the Fifth National Service Ballot (4/67) covering men who were born in the period from 1st January 1947 to 30th June 1947. It also included men who were called-up earlier and granted deferment due to various reasons. Men who defaulted the scheme were sentenced to imprisonment for two years. This resulted in having a criminal record. Many young men had clocked up at least five years service in fledgling civilian careers whilst others were in self employed businesses for longer.

In the 10th intake there were approximately 1,954 men from all over Australia of which 670 were from NSW and 340 from Queensland. Depending on home location the 1,954 were sent to 1RTB Kapooka, Wagga Wagga NSW, 2RTB Puckapunyal, Seymour Victoria or 3TB Singleton NSW to complete twelve weeks of basic training. 

Towards the end of basic training each recruit was given the opportunity to nominate in writing what Corps he would like to be posted to next. Two choices were available. Some options included: Engineers, Signals, Infantry, Service, Ordnance, Electrical & Mechanical, Education, Armour, Military Police, Artillery and many others. In the main most ended up in Infantry notwithstanding initial choices. 

Of the 63,749 called-up some 17,000 saw service in South Vietnam. The number of 10th intake is estimated (best guess) to be in the vicinity of 400 of which 8 are known to have been killed in action. Number of wounded is estimated (best guess) at around 100 or so. Of course many more continue to suffer today from accepted war caused disabilities including PTSD.

As with most intakes members of the 10th had the opportunity to extend their service by joining the Australian Regular Army for three or six years thus forfeiting National Service benefits. In addition they could have extended their service under the National Service Act (May 1969 amendment) for an additional period of more than three months and up to a further two years without jeopardising any benefits. In 6th Battalion there were three 10th intake blokes who extended their NS.

Officially members of the 10th intake were discharged in each state's commands on 3rd October 1969 having completed two years service. It was a requirement under the NS Act that each member serve an additional three years' part-time service in the Regular Army Reserve. I have no record of anyone being called-up for service during that three year period.

It was very difficult for men to delve straight back into civilian life and to pick up from when their left their jobs two years previously especially those who were heavily involved in combat service days before. We must be a clever lot because there are at least six 10th intake blokes who have been awarded the OAM.

Richard Barry.
24th August 2017.