Over the last of the 80 days, we have seen Callum, our 18 year old, transform from being a typical teenager, into a young man who exhibits all the qualities you would look for in a leader; compassion, confidence, assertiveness, punctuality, high self esteem and a ‘can do’ attitude. (I’m not kidding!)

What brought on this incredible transformation?

Of course the 18 years of preparation his mum and dad gave him helped set the right mindset, but the Australian Army are the ones who performed the magic.

Last year Callum was accepted into the Army Gap-Year Program, which offers young men and women the opportunity of 12 months paid military training.

Out of 10,000 applicants, only 700 places are available each year, and  Callum was one of the few accepted.

Recruits in the gap-year program are not treated any differently than any other recruit. They train alongside the full time recruits and by example; only 7 of the 50 members of Callum’s platoon are participating in the gap-year program, the rest have enlisted as full timers.

We saw Callum last Friday when we attended the Marching Out Parade for those who had completed their basic training ‘? and the change was very evident.

It was fantastic to spend the day with him, and what a transformation. He was far more courteous and punctual than the boy we waved good luck to only a few months ago and he displays a much greater sense of purpose and focus.

Everyone we have talked to about his experience says the same thing, ‘what a fantastic opportunity for a teenager, it will set his mindset for life.’

What do you think?