Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Appointments and Promotions of Frontiersmen (Far East Command) - Speech by Commander Far East Command
Legion of Frontiersmen in Asia.
Lest we forget, the Legion of Frontiersmen was formed in 1904 as a volunteer force to act on behalf of the Crown, particularly along the frontiers of the British Empire. Early historical records of Legion of Frontiersmen in Asia were found in the 1800s - General Charles Gordon whose connection to the Legion is well known during the Taiping Rebellion (1850 - 1864). Charles Gordan was a Captain in the British Army and volunteered to serve in China. Charles gained the title "Chinese" Gordon for several victorious battles against a larger enemy size force. In March 1863, Charles was promoted to Major General, and took command of the force at Songjiang. This Taiping Rebellion was recorded as the largest battle in China with tens of millions of soldiers killed over a 14-year duration.
The founding of the Legion of Frontiersmen in Asia was by Captain Walter Kirton in Shanghai in 1904. A "China Seas Command" was established in 1907. Walter Kirton was one of the first Frontiersman in China. Walter was involved in the Boer War and was promoted to Captain in the field. By 1909 the Legion in China had become the "Far East Command" (covering China, Hong Kong, Kobe and Singapore). It was commanded by a Lt. Col. R. Bate, FRGS. Bate, a former Royal Naval Officer whom had also served in the Field Force during the Boer War. The Singapore Maritime Division was formed in 1907. The Admiralty has given the Legion of Frontiersmen full authority to organise a Naval Branch, and to generally equip and train men for sea service. Timeline of this unit were recorded in THE SINGAPORE FREE PRESS AND MERCANTILE ADVERTISER, on 8 February 1907.
Frontiersmen during the World Wars.
The Legion of Frontiersmen began a slow renewal process during the 1920s and by middle 1930s membership numbers began escalating until the early years of the Second World War. Command and control for Frontiersmen were not bounded by contract or employment, and as such, Frontiersmen had the opportunity to join the Association of Retired Persons (ARP), became (Volunteer) Special Constables, or Citizen Volunteer Corp for Home Front service, Ministry of Home Affairs, or Ministry of Defence.
The Far East Command has high connectivity with the other Frontiersmen Commands, who has taken on different roles in different geographic jurisdiction. Colonel Wayne Makin, LF who is a retired Coast Guard officer, commands the LOF Australian Command. He organises navigation and first aid classes for their frontiersmen. Colonel Scott Grey, LF also retired from US Army commands the LOF United States Command. Scott runs a paraglide business and participates actively in airborne jumps worldwide with his frontiersmen. Colonel Klaus Fink, LF commands the European Command and organises trekking and adventure events, and travels around the world to participate in tactical training and weapons training. Colonel Philip Stead, LF, commands the United Kingdom Scottish Command, attends remembrance and memorial service with his frontiersmen. The UK Scottish Command is also responsible for our half yearly e-bulletin titled Maritime Frontiers. You already have copies of the 2017 e-bulletin and those before. I communicate with the other commands regularly and visit them whenever I can during my business trip and work internationally. But there are also splinter commands who are not active, and misrepresent themselves in international events and training activities. The Legion of Frontiersmen, Far East Command is recognised and acknowledged by our counterpart commands, and supported our local registration with the Singapore Registry of Societies, under Ministry of Home Affairs. Our constitution indicates that members participate in training worldwide and have an interest in the history of the frontiersmen.
Code of Conduct.
The reputation of the Far East Command today is dependent on you, and collectively us. When we behave at international events, collectively the command grows. In 2018, the Far East Command has an Airborne Company commanded by James and Muzz, and a Rescue Company by Kevin and Dion. In 2019, the Company may triple in size, to a battalion comprising of 3 companies in Thailand, Malaysia or Myanmar. We would need a battalion commander. Email and Whatsapp will be the main medium for communication and coordination of events and activities. We have plans in China, Kerr will serve as Training Commandant and we aim to conduct a 5 day Bootcamp in Thailand and/or 5 day leadership and development programme in Cambodia. These countries offer excellent venues, opportunities for both tactical and adventure training, and also time for shopping and networking. We are also working on a commercial opportunity to set up a security training academy in Papua New Guinea, and frontiersmen can look forward to a commercial contract to be stationed in PNG to train cadets below the age of 18 and transit them to licensed security officers, offering employment opportunities and reducing crime on the streets. The next overseas visit to the Police Volunteer Reserves (PVR), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is scheduled on 7 – 9 December 2018.
A retired United States Army Lieutenant General Hal Gregory Moore passed away last year at the age of 94. Moore was best remembered as the lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, during the Vietnam War. The battle was made into the movie We Were Soldiers in 2002, which starred actor Mel Gibson as Moore; Moore was the "honorary colonel" of the regiment. His famous quote before going into battle, as his soldiers lined up before their families -
"[Hal Moore speaks to his men before going into battle] Look around you. In the 7th cavalry, we've got a captain from the Ukraine; another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians. Jews and Gentiles. All Americans. Now here in the states, some of you in this unit may have experienced discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the valley of the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And you won't care what color he is, or by what name he calls God. They say we're leaving home. We're going to what home was always supposed to be. Now let us understand the situation. We are going into battle against a tough and determined enemy. [pauses] I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me, God.
But I would like to state to all frontiersmen, we are not going to war now. The training and activities we participate would at the least, equip us with life skills to provide first aid or any humanitarian assistance disaster relief, should the day comes when help is needed for a national disaster or catastrophe in Asia. But we still wear frontiersmen rank on our uniforms, shoulders or chest, and a command structure is necessary to regulate our behavior, locally and internationally.
Congratulations to all new frontiersmen and congratulations to frontiersmen promoted today.
Commander Far East Command