From selling ads to nation building
Captain Bill Kinsel is a mentor at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Kabul.
Born and bred on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Captain Kinsel mentors Afghan Army instructors at the academy, who pass their new skills and knowledge on to cadets.
“The mentoring program has advanced well and we are now in the sustain phase, well ahead of our 2023 deadline,” Captain Kinsel said.
“One thing I learnt being over here is the Afghan people are very patriotic and they really appreciate the coalition’s involvement.”
The Australian Army first deployed mentors in 2014 to support the British capacity-building mission at ANAOA.
By late 2019, ANAOA will have produced 4885 graduates, of which 282 will be women.
“I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of relationship-building with my Afghan counterparts and they value that close relationship,” Captain Kinsel said.
“Every day they are excited to see you, no matter what.”
Captain Kinsel is now in his seventh year with the Army.
Before he started his Army career, he worked in radio advertising and sales account management.
“My radio career was very much people-related and that is what the Australian Army is about – people,” he said.
About 500 coalition force personnel and contractors operate in support of a variety of academies at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University.
Australia’s role with ANAOA is part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.
About 300 ADF personnel are deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Highroad.