Sergeant John Mackenzie enlisted into the Army Reserves in 1998 as a Tuba player with the AAB-P. Since this date, he has significantly contributed to the ongoing operational effectiveness of the AAB-P by filling capability gaps within the unit.
He saw the need for an in-house sound engineer, so he attended defence and civilian courses to attain the competencies required. He is now the chief sound engineer for the unit, fostering younger members to attain similar skills.
Several years back, he identified the requirement for a lead guitarist within the unit, so he bought a guitar and diligently practised for many hours in his own time developing this skill to a very high standard. SGT MacKenzie is now the leader of the Rock Band producing phenomenal guitar solos essential for the contemporary ensemble.
This year alone, SGT MacKenzie recognised severe ARA staff shortages within the unit, so he reduced his civilian work hours in order to fulfil the role of the BSM during a very high tempo period of unit tasking. His no nonsense approach to time management and communicating with Band members has significantly increased the unit’s capabilities this year.
A requirement for unit drivers saw him attain truck licences during his personal time and is now the integral component for all self drive unit tasks locally and throughout regional WA.
On top of all this, SGT MacKenzie completed his part time University studies, and early this year he received his Mechanical Engineering degree with several high distinctions.
His willingness to contribute to Army whilst maintaining his civilian job, advanced study and a young family is a testament to his commitment to the Australian Army Band Perth.
SGT MacKenzie is the epitome of a “fight to get” soldier.
John Franklin President AABC Association
22 October 2016
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