Forces a matter of pride

Senior Constable Grant Pilgrim and Constable Jay Langlois.       
Senior Constable Grant Pilgrim and Constable Jay Langlois.       

Now boys in blue, Senior Constable Grant Pilgrim and Constable Jay Langlois have made the move from the armed forces to the police but the experiences they had while serving will never leave them.

They both still serve in the Reserves.

Sen Const Pilgrim served in the Australian Navy for 23 years from 1980 to 2003 and was a Chief Petty Officer when he left.

The armed forces was a family affair, with his father serving in the Royal Air Force in World War II and his mother growing up in a naval family in the naval town of Portsmouth, England.

Largely based out of Garden Island, Sen Const Pilgrim found himself in Timor in 1999 aboard HMAS Darwin, as well as spending time in the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

He said the esprit de corps was similar between the armed forces and the police, although working in teams of two as a police officer was very different to the rank and file nature of the military.

He will travel to Brisbane for Anzac Day this year to visit his brand new grandchild, the first to his 25-year-old son who also spent six years in the Navy before becoming a Queensland police officer. They will reunite to attend the Dawn Service, the Anzac Day march and watch the footy with a few beers.

Const Langlois plans to spend Anzac Day in a similar way, attending the Kings Park Dawn Service, the Anzac Day march and then meeting up with former army mates at Anzac House for two-up and a few drinks.

He has served in war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in peacekeeping missions in the Solomon Islands and the Maldives.

With a father in the Air Force, Const Langlois originally chose between the Army and the Police, deciding to join the Army at the age of 17, then leaving for the first time four years later.

After working as a prison officer for one year, he joined WA Police and stayed there for more than three years, but he said his Army days did not seem finished.

He wanted to do one more tour overseas and so re-joined and did a tour of Afghanistan in 2011.

In January last year, he came back to WA Police and said he was there to stay now, while remaining in the Army Reserves.

His goal is to make it into the elite Tactical Response Group.

This Anzac Day, he will be remembering and celebrating with Army mates young and old, and proudly holding up the spirit of the Aussie Digger.