A man in demand09 May 2019
Not your average Sub Branch President.
Scott ‘Spike’ Minett, the immediate past president of Mudgeeraba-Robina RSL Sub Branch, was perhaps the most unusual president of his small but active Sub Branch in southeast Queensland. Unusual in that he was recently asked to re-enlist into the Regular Army for a seven-month deployment.
Spike served as the Australian Intelligence Liaison Officer within the US-led Combined Joint Force at Divisional HQ in Baghdad, Iraq – which may make him one of the only sitting RSL Sub Branch presidents to deploy on operations.
Intelligence work in Iraq was something different
“I had been semi-retired for three years and was looking to go back to work, when this came up. It was something different and I’d never been to Iraq,” Spike said.
“I really liked doing the job and working with international forces – there were around 24 different nations. It was a real novelty.”
Spike joined Mudgeeraba-Robina in 2014 and was President from 2016 until November 2018.
“I’ve been involved in the RSL for years and tried to join up wherever I was posted. I was the youngest and the newest guy in Mudgeeraba-Robina, so I felt like it was my turn. Being President was busy, but I really enjoyed it,” Spike said.
“We also have a few members who are reservists, and because of our current links to Defence we were able to change some things and also get a catafalque party for our ANZAC Day service.”
Spike rises through the ranks
After joining the Army in 1982, aged 19, Spike was allocated to the Infantry Corps. He trained at Singleton and was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) in Townsville. His second posting was to the 8th/7th Battalion, Royal Victoria Regiment, where he deployed to the Sinai in Egypt with the Multi National Force and Observers for six months.
Returning to Australia – and after postings to 3 RAR and 8/9 RAR – Spike successfully applied to transfer to the Australian Intelligence Corp. After completing training at Canungra in 1998, he was posted to the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (QMI) in Brisbane as the unit’s Intelligence Sergeant.
In 1999, he deployed to Bougainville for four months as an Intelligence Operator, responsible for the collection and analysis of information of intelligence value.
After Bougainville, he was posted to the 1st Intelligence Battalion in Brisbane, where he was selected for a Tetum language course at the School of Languages. After completing the course, Spike deployed to East Timor for six months in 2000.
Postings followed more postings, and after a position as a Company Sergeant Major within the Intelligence Battalion, Spike moved to Canungra as an Intelligence Instructor at the Defence Intelligence Training Centre. It was during this posting that he went on the first of three deployments to Afghanistan as an Intelligence Operator and, subsequently, as a manager.
High tempo deployments in Afghanistan
Completing five years at the school, Spike was posted back to the Intelligence Battalion, where he deployed to Afghanistan twice more for seven and then eight months respectively. These deployments were during a period of extremely high tempo, and during his second tour in 2010, 10 members of the task force were killed.
After 32 years, including 16 years in infantry and 16 years in intelligence, Spike discharged from the Regular Army in October 2014 and transferred to the Army Reserves. Having completed a museum curator’s course earlier in his career, he is now the curator of the Army Military Intelligence Museum at Canungra, which is where he was approached to re-enlist for his deployment to Iraq.
Spike has now been welcomed back to Mudgeeraba-Robina RSL Sub Branch by its members, as well as his wife Bianca and three sons. Although no longer at the helm, he still regularly attends Sub Branch meetings and helps advise the current President. He is also the Visitations Officer and Sub Branch District Representative.
He may be back for the moment, but we can’t help wonder if our fearless leader has really finished serving his country!