AABC Association (Bruce Pinney) Award 2014

CPL David Portakiewicz

The Citation reads:

Corporal David Portakiewicz enlisted into the Australian Army Reserve in October 1994 and has served in the 10th/27th Battalion, The Royal South Australia Regiment Band from this time. He assumed the role of Band Sergeant Major in January 2013 and has displayed exceptional leadership skills that have transformed the Band into a highly cohesive and extremely well regarded military band.

Corporal Portakiewicz assumed stewardship of the Band during a fractured and tumultuous period with the departure of numerous senior members from the Band, including the previous Warrant Officer Class One Band Sergeant Major. His professionalism and maturity throughout this period of organisational change greatly increased the retention of other Band members, many of whom were considering discharge. His experience, decision making and problem solving skills were highly evident as he embraced the duties of Band Sergeant Major. Corporal Portakiewicz promoted active engagement within the Band and the Regimental Headquarters, with a focus on skills development and ensuring professional performances were delivered every time.

From a recruiting perspective, Corporal Portakiewicz is to be commended. He has not only retained initially disillusioned members of the Band, and recruited diligently. The band has the highest retention numbers of any sub-unit within The Battalion.
Under his leadership, the Band has been transformed from a non-effective and non-compliant cell, to a well functioning organisation with high esprit-de-corps. The Band has been utilised by the 10th/27th Battalion, The Royal South Australia Regiment for numerous public relations and recruiting activities and has made a significant contribution to the initial recruitment process for force generation. Corporal Portakiewicz has proven on numerous occasions the competence and diligence required to apply ceremonial procedures in relation to parades conducted by the Band both in the ‘concert’ and ‘marching band’ formats. The Band has received numerous public accolades and appreciation throughout Corporal Portakiewicz’s tenure as Band Sergeant Major, the standing of the 10th/27th Battalion, The Royal South Australia Regiment Band remains held in the highest of regards within Adelaide.
Corporal Portakiewicz maintained a commitment to foundation war fighting skills for Band members, ensuring attendance at Infantry Minor Tactics training activities conducted by the unit. This starkly contrasted with the previous minimal participation of the Band and significantly enhanced unit training activities in 2013 and 2014, as well as positively influencing the internal perception of the Band.

What is acknowledged by the Commanding Officer is the fact that Corporal Portakiewicz is fulfilling a Warrant Officer Class One tenure as a Corporal. He steadfastly performs the administrative, disciplinary, supervisory and instructional duties of Band Sergeant Major. He effectively engages external units and organisations such as AAB-A and DFSM on matters specific to the AABC. This year, Corporal Portakiewicz has successfully completed all necessary promotion courses and is fully qualified for promotion to Sergeant.

Corporal Portakiewicz leads by example and his efforts as Band Sergeant Major as a Junior Non Commissioned Officer within the unit has been greatly appreciated by all members of the unit. Corporal Portakiewicz is a benchmark asset to his Corps; his achievements are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army Band Corps, the 2nd Division, Army and the wider community.

John Franklin
December 2014