SPECIAL GUESTS: Colonel Mitchell Kent and Major Robert ‘Scott’ Bailey.

THE Mildura RSL has announced its guest speaker for this year’s ANZAC Day service. He is former Mildura resident Colonel Mitchell Kent.

Colonel Kent will be accompanied by another former local – Major Robert ‘Scott’ Bailey.

Both men attended what was formerly Mildura High School, and completed Year 12 in 1987 as classmates.

They have since gone on to forge careers in the Australian Army during the past 30 years.

The two officers will be attending the Dawn Service at Henderson Park, the War Graves Service at 8.30am at the Nichols Point Cemetery, as well as the 10.30am March along Deakin Avenue to Henderson Park, where Colonel Kent will address the expected crowd.

Colonel Kent enlisted in the Australian Army in 1988 via the Australian Defence Force Academy. He subsequently graduated from the Royal Military College – Duntroon in 1990, and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.

As a junior officer, Colonel Kent filled appointments as a tank troop leader, cavalry squadron technical officer and second-in-command, then instructor and adjutant, at the School of Armour. 

He subsequently held an appointment within the Light Armoured Vehicle acquisition program, whereupon he was promoted to Major, and went on to serve as a Cavalry Squadron Commander and Armour Instructor at Combat Command Wing.

As a Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel Kent initially served as the Combined Arms Trade and Training manager at the Combat Arms Training Centre, and was then appointed as the Commanding Officer of the Royal Military College – Duntroon.  

In 2010 he was appointed as the Assistant Military Attaché in Washington DC, and returned to Australia in 2013, upon promotion to Colonel, to assume the Director International Engagement at Army headquarters. 

In 2016 he served as the Director Global Operations within Headquarters Joint Operations Command, and in 2018 was posted as the Director Education and Training at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

His active service saw him, in 2002, leading an Army contingent involved in border protection operations aboard HMAS Warramunga and HMAS ANZAC, while in 2003 he deployed for the US-led invasion of Iraq, serving as the Australian Army Liaison Officer with the Coalition Joint Task Force headquarters in Kuwait and various Brigade Combat Teams in Baghdad. 

In 2014-15 he deployed as the Commander of a multinational Coalition Advisory Team advising the Afghan 205th Corps in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Colonel Kent boasts a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) from the University of NSW, a Masters of Science from Cranfield University (UK) and a Masters of Management from the University of Canberra.

Major Robert ‘Scott’ Bailey enlisted in the Army in February 1990.  Posted to the Royal Australian Engineers as a sapper, and later commissioned as an officer, he has completed service in 21 Construction Squadron, 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, the School of Military Engineering, the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, the Incident Response Regiment (now Special Operations Engineer Regiment), Land Command Headquarters, the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment, the Soldier Career Management Agency, the 6th Engineer Support Regiment and the Army Recruit Training Centre. 

His operational service has included deployment to East Timor in 1999 with the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment as a Troop Sergeant, Iraq in 2003 with the Special Operation Task Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, and Afghanistan in 2013 as an Operations Advisor to Afghan Security Forces in Uruzgan, and again in 2017 as the Chief Joint Engineer within the Training Advise Assist Command – South at Kandahar.

Major Bailey holds an Advanced Diploma in Security Operations – Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and a Bachelor Degree in Organisational Leadership. 

Major Bailey was the inaugural Officer Commanding of the 20th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron and continues to serve as the Executive Officer for the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, training the Army’s newest soldiers.

Mildura RSL president, Gary Pearse, said that he is looking forward to having these two former Mildura residents, and outstanding soldiers, being a part of the Mildura commemoration.

“Colonel Kent and Major Bailey will act as a symbol for all those who have served our country from Sunraysia,” he said. 

“To add to the local connection, Colonel Kent’s father, David, was on the committee of Mildura RSL 30 years ago after serving in the Navy for 20 years.”