Posted by Margaret Mason on Apr 28, 2021
President Geoff greeted guests and members. He encouraged members to forward suggestions on events/projects to promote Rotary 100 in Australia.
Helen introduced the guest speaker Harry Moffitt.
Harry was in the SAS and has written a book “Eleven Bats” which is a story of combat, cricket and the SAS. He said that when he was a 20 year old and contemplating joining SAS, he could not find any Australian books on the subject on how to join or the training involved. He had to resort to books from the UK, US and Germany.This was the reason he decided to write a book to inspire the young on what is involved and what to expect. 
 
 
Harry recalled in 1980, when he was a 12 year old, that terrorist took the embassy in London hostage and Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister of UK, got the SAS to release the hostages.
In 1986, Harry joined the defence force. He was based in Townsville for 2-4 years and trained as a soldier. He enjoyed soldiering. In 1990, he applied for SAS selection. The selection process was very rigorous in all areas,  physically, socially, emotionally, psychologically and morally. He said that part of the training was a 5 day solo treks in the outback climbing five mountains in five days. This was very demanding in every way. That solo trek “lost” about half the participants. All in all, 20 participants successfully completed the program, which was from 1000 applicants 12 months ago.
 
SAS training is primarily conducted in Swanbourne Barracks in Perth. It is the most advanced barracks in the world and is a top secret facility. The training is between 18 months and 2 years with back to back courses which included shooting, mountaineering advanced first aid and surgery and communications. Learning a foreign language was also incorporated. On completion, the SAS graduate will be ready for combat operations. Harry said that the highlight of his years in SAS was when 20 men and a dog parachuted onto the mountains of Afghanistan and captured “their man and team” successfully, without firing a single shot.
 
The lowlight was when a digger was killed and another lost his leg, in combat, not long after they had played cricket in the camp. The diggers played cricket everywhere as a means of relaxation and for therapy. Harry illustrated his very inspiring talk with many photographs including the one of his last combat. He retired from SAS with the rank Sergeant, when he realised that he could not keep up anymore.  The young SAS team are elite athletes. After retirement, Harry completed a Research Masters degree in Psychology. He is now involved in the “Mission Critical Team Institute” based at the university of Pennsylvania. He also runs a private consultancy called STOTAN.
 
Link to Harry's website here. Buy book here.
 
 
 
 
 
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