Keeping communications in the family

Signaller Isaac Hill at Robertson Barracks, Darwin. Photo: Warant Officer David Millard

Keeping communications in the family

There is no shortage of family ties in Defence but it is rare to find siblings working in the same corps, let alone the same trade.

Signaller Isaac Hill and older brother Lance Corporal Jackson Hill are both Telecommunication Systems Technicians in the Army’s Royal Australian Corps of Signals.

As Anzac Day 2020 fast approaches, their parents couldn’t be more proud of their two uniformed sons, but the brothers are disappointed to be missing out on formal services.

“Isaac and I won’t be putting on our pollies this year, but we will still rise to the occasion as a family and reflect on what Anzac Day means to us,” Jackson said.

The Indigenous Queensland-born brothers had always wanted to join the Army but have taken different paths to get there. 

Jackson wasted no time and joined straight out of high school in February 2013.

While he was learning how to be a soldier, his younger brother Isaac helped his mum on the family farm in Tyalgum, close to the New South Wales-Queensland border.

 “Jackson would call me talking about his job in the Army and the awesome mates he had made,” Isaac said.

“This really pushed me towards applying for the same job.”

Isaac bit the bullet and enlisted in August 2017.

After 18 months of trade training for technicians he got to enjoy the perks of Army life that his brother had boasted about during their many chats.

Just like his brother, Isaac’s first posting after completing his initial employment training was to Darwin’s 1st Combat Signal Regiment.

Jackson has since moved on to Brisbane’s 7th Combat Signal Regiment.

While most siblings probably wouldn’t want to work so closely together, that isn’t a factor that worries either of them.

“I would love to be posted to the same unit as my brother in the future, it would be great to be reunited and get the opportunity to work together at the same unit or even get together on Anzac Day,” Isaac said.

Isaac has been fortunate enough to be involved in Anzac Day as a soldier since enlisting, but this year his slouch hat (with the brim up) won’t be needed for a formal ceremonial service.

Instead, the Hill family will be commemorating the special day with the rest of the Australian community from their homes.

“Being a soldier is about being able to adapt and excel in the challenging times,” Isaac said.

“Of course, it is hard to be isolated from family and friends but we always recognise how much harder those who served before us had it.”

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