THE DUSTY streets of Iraq are a far cry from Corporal Adam Dowling’s hometown, Uralla.
Working with his father as a carpentry labourer in 2006, little did he know he would become a tank crew commander in the Australian Army.
“I was always interested in the military from a young age,” Corporal Dowling said.
“Growing up on a farm as a kid, being around firearms and earth moving equipment, I loved anything to do with tracks and guns.”
Now deployed in Iraq with Task Group Taji Rotation Four, a combined force of Australian and New Zealand allies, he trains Iraqi Security Forces to fight against Daesh.
“We’re helping them to defeat Daesh by improving their combat capability in areas such as weapon handling, marksmanship, dismounted tactics, medical first aid and explosive awareness training,” Corporal Dowling said.
“It’s very rewarding to see the improvement in a soldier you have helped to train, knowing that they’ll be using those skills to maintain the freedom and security of their own country.”
As Anzac Day approaches, Corporal Dowling reflected on what it means to be part of a legacy of courage and mateship.
“When you're in the army you have a job to do, and Anzac Day is a reminder that you're part of something bigger,” he said.
"Anzac Day is a reminder of our history and where our country has come from.
When you're in the army you have a job to do, and Anzac Day is a reminder that you're part of something bigger.
“It's also a time think about where we're heading."
When he is not on the range conducting training, Corporal Dowling spends his time preparing for the next day, going to the gym and listening to country music.
“We’ve been out here several months now,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Darwin and saying ‘G’day’ to the blokes back at 1st Armoured Regiment and having a cold beer.
“I’m also looking forward to taking some time out to see my family and mates back in NSW for a holiday.”
Corporal Dowling’s parents still live in Uralla and thanked them and his best mate Corporal Garwood for their support during his deployment.
Anzac Day is marked on Tuesday April 25, with dawn services and marches across the region.