HAPPY BIRTHDAY By Kim Hart, 3 Bde Recon Plt

It was my 21st birthday and I had broken my wrist on a recon course. In order to celebrate this milestone Luke Creighton (ex 4 RAR and 3 BDE Recon) took me across to our unit boozer which contained a lot of geeks (as we were in a combined unit with sigs at that time). The sigs had this cup, which was actually an old gas tank with some handles welded on. This was a sacred object pulled out for several occasions.
Luke filled it with rum and Cokes and, after forcing me to drink from this festering tank, suggested we all head back to our house to continue drinking. Most were keen.
As we departed, Luke grabbed the cup, shoved it into his sports bag and beat a hasty retreat. We’d pulled off the crime of the century and were giddy with delight at the thought of the sig SSM losing his shit (so disliked was this man that his own men paid one of our blokes to smash him in an officers/seniors v diggers footy game).
All was good and the prank was even more fun when we were all threatened with DFCE on parade the next day. The boys took to having their photographs taken with the cup and we began to formulate a devious plan with the RAEME boys. The plan was to have the cup chrome plated and then have the skippy badge engraved on one side and the RAEME badge on the other. However, when the MPs started knocking on doors, we got cold feet. The RAEME boys went with Option B – drilling a one-inch hole in the base of the cup which Luke – wearing gloves – returned to the boozer in the dead of night.
The SSM (on whose office door we’d stuck a picture of the nude bloke with flowers from an Interflora ad) nearly had an aneurysm the next morning on parade. This made the whole escapade worthwhile.
When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both

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