Since day one, Defence Sporting Apparel's mission has always been to Keep the Spirit Alive and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Everyday we give pride and honour to our Defence Force community through our unique patriotic shirts, military clothing, camo hats, tactical backpacks, and a whole lot more.
This week, we want to introduce to you Jason Bellert, the newest Brand Ambassador of Defence Sporting Apparel. Together, let us find out what made Jason decide to accept the ultimate mission of Keeping the Spirit Alive.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi my name is Jason, I’m 49 years old, I live in Roma Queensland, and I have a beautiful wife Amy and two adorable kids Hunter and Chloe.
I served in the Australian Army and was also a firefighter at Queensland Fire and Rescue, and I have also been a volunteer rural firefighter. I now work for Queensland Parks and wildlife service as a project officer.
I served in the Royal Australian Army for 6 years as an infantry soldier. I was also a basic training instructor for the Army Reserve. I have been on several Kangaroo exercises and have engaged with a lot of other Armed forces from across the globe.
After the Army, I joined the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service as a firefighter for 19 years. I was stationed at Maryborough, as my father was, and then at Roma as an Auxiliary. In that time, I have seen some devastating incidents that have changed lives forever of both victims and in emergency personnel.
I learned the way of a firefighter through my mentors which helped me form the way I am today, so I would like to thank them as well— Greg Walters, Andrew Madders and Les Francis.
My wife, Amy, was also an Auxiliary Firefighter for 5 years stationed at Maryborough and Roma, and together we have helped each other through the good times and bad.
I was also a volunteer with a few local fire brigades. I helped with their training and was a mentor for some of the younger ones. My father-in-law, Smiley, is also a volunteer firefighter for over 38 years with his local brigades, and we shared a few fires before I met his daughter later on, so the firefighting runs deep in both mine and my wife’s families.
I now work for Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service as a Project Officer for the South West Region. I have also been to a lot of fires and emergency incidents with the department, but not as often as my previous work. As a project officer, it gets me out and about through our great region and talk to many people and traditional owners as well.
I’m an RPA (Drone) pilot for the department as well, so I track and map fires for our ground personnel, as well as pest management. My wife also works for QPWS with me in Roma.
My new volunteer role is, and I’m proud to say, a Brand Ambassador for Defence Sporting Apparel. I look forward to this new adventure. As an ex-serviceman, I truly believe in their mission in keeping the spirt alive.
Share with us your dad's service during the Vietnam War
My dad served in the Australian Medical Corp and was in Vietnam from 1966-1967. His unit was the 2Fld Ambulance, call sign “The Vampires”. He was a combat medic in the Iroquois helicopters, Dustoff, and was involved in the evacuation of the wounded and the dead from the Battle of Long Tan.
After returning from Vietnam, he became a medic at The Jungle Warfare Training Centre Canungra, and several other postings as a medic and medical teams.
After getting out of the Army, he joined the Maryborough Fire Brigade, which is now Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, stationed in Maryborough for 26 years. He retired just as I started with them, so I didn’t get to work with dad.
Dad is part of the Retired Firefighters Association group in Brisbane and I would like to be a part of this, as well, with my role at Defence Sporting Apparel. He is also a Life Member of the KMVVA (Korea, Malaysia Vietnam Veterans Association) Maryborough and is a Life Member of the Maryborough RSL.
Dad loves his Vietnam War shirts from Defence Sporting Apparel and has a couple more and he proudly wears them wherever he goes.
What made you decide to accept the mission of being a Defence Sporting Apparel Brand Ambassador?
I decided to take the mission of being a brand ambassador for Defence Sporting Apparel because being an ex-serviceman and emergency personnel, I feel that the community and people of all ages need to keep the spirit alive and understand the sacrifice that everyone who puts on a uniform - whether it’s armed services, emergency personnel, police, fire, ambulance, doctors, nurses and frontline workers - does 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I feel proud and privileged to be a brand ambassador for Defence Sporting Apparel as I want to spread the mission and to keep that spirit alive, and to show what a small Australian company can accomplish.
How did you find out about Defence Sporting Apparel?
I found out about Defence Sporting Apparel through social media and a mate of mine who is an ex-Army.
As everyone does, I did a Google search on Defence Sporting Apparel. I saw what the company was about and thought to myself that I have to get on board with this company.
What was the first-ever Defence Sporting Apparel product you have purchased?
Actually, I didn’t purchase my first Defence Sporting Apparel shirt, it was from my mother-in-law; she bought me a shirt and Never Forget Camo Cap.
I have the Official Tribute to Heroes Shirt and the Vietnam War Shirt and I have ordered the Firefighters Alpha-1 shirt. I have also ordered my wife the Official Tribute to Heroes Shirt and a Vietnam war shirt for my father who is a Vietnam War veteran.
How would you describe a perfect Valentine's Day Date?
Valentine’s Day... well if I could find a babysitter, I would take my lovely wife out for dinner then go home and spend the time with the kids. Everyday is a special day with my wife, so everyday is Valentine’s Day.
If you would send someone a Defence Sporting Apparel product as a gift, which one would you send them and why?
I would send my father a Vietnam war shirt which I already have as a tribute to his service and the sacrifices that he made to serve our country.
I would also send my father-in-law a firefighters collection shirt, as he has been a valuable volunteer for the rural fire service for over 35 years.
I would send my wife a black cancer collection shirt if they were still available, as she was very close to her grandmother who passed away from cancer.
Also, to my brother-in-law who served in the Australian air force for the service he gave during his time, I think he would really like the new air force collection.
How do you feel whenever you're wearing a Defence Sporting Apparel product?
I feel nothing but a sense of pride when I wear the shirts. The designs on all the shirts capture what we feel and have done during our service to the country and to provide the freedom that everyone has because as you know freedom is not free.
As a Defence Sporting Apparel Brand Ambassador, what is your message to our Defence Force and our entire Defence Sporting Apparel community?
My message to everyone as a brand ambassador for Defence Sporting Apparel is to get on board with this great Australian company who serves us now, by these great designs and products that they produce, as they help our community and charities to keep the spirit alive.
I think people have lost what it means to sacrifice things for other people and what our heroes - our fallen heroes, our armed services, our emergency personnel, our frontline workers and our community volunteers - sacrifice day in day out.