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What are the qualities required of a person who enlists in the Armed Services?  Do these qualities bring people to enlist – are they there beforehand or do they come about through their service?

It would seem that people choose the Armed Services for a variety of reasons – from the educational prospects offered through the gamut to a specific love of country. However, in the end what has been called “The Army Values” seem to be traits that are common to all service people.  Without these values how can anyone be asked to take the life of another human being?

Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honour, Integrity and Personal Courage.

I read recently of an art award offered to artists to create works in response to the themes of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship.  These qualities are embodied in the creed of Sydney’s Gallipoli Memorial.

The entries encapsulated the qualities of those who served in so many different ways.  There were depictions of fields of poppies, Remembrance Day Services in unusual places, unknown soldiers, naval battles, Red Cross tents and ships.  And then there were the soldiers with the pets they had rescued in wars, children they had befriended and lifelong friends they had served with.

The winner in 2019 was a collection of images of something considered integral to the war effort; crucial in the delivery of messages on the battlefield; never expendable; loyal and courageous.

And what did the images depict? Carrier pigeons.  These stout little birds also had the Army Values.

Jo Taylor