Instead of yelling at trainees, Corporal Nathan Groen adopted a leadership style that earned him the Royal Australian Regiment Hassett trophy for the regiment’s best junior leader.
He said his approach helped trainees complete the arduous infantry initial employment training requirements.
“Instead of ‘I’m gonna get rid of you because you’re not at the standard’, I helped people get through,” he said.
“Everybody should have the chance to be the best that they can be.
“We are training the future generation; I feel like I’m just getting recognised for doing my job.”
He was nominated out of 30 corporal instructors at the School of Infantry.
“The school has the best of the best; its highly competitive,” he said.
Every year, each battalion and the School of Infantry nominate their best junior leaders from which a panel from the RAR Foundation select the winner.
All nominees attended a dinner held in The Great Hall at Parliament House on November 23, where the award was presented by Infantry’s Colonel Commandant, Major General Shane Caughey.
RSM School of Infantry Warrant Officer Class One Scott Krum said it couldn’t have gone to a humbler corporal.
“Not only did we nominate him for the Hassett Trophy, we nominated him for the instructor of the year,” Warrant Officer Class 1 Krum said.
“He displayed exceptional leadership and instructional skills that set him apart from his cohort.
“Other NCOs comment how good he is. He is the go-to instructor if they are struggling.”
The trophy goes back to the School of Infantry, where it will be showcased as something for trainees to aspire to.
“It’s really good that someone from the school was the one on the trophy,” Warrant Officer Class 1 Krum said.
The Hassett Trophy was donated to the foundation by General Francis and Lady Hassett, and was first presented in 2006.