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Jaspreet joined the Australian army out of passion, now he's been commended for his innovation

Corporal JS Shah has been awarded for his work on improving communications in ADF vehicles. Source: Corporal Brodie Cross/ADF

A young migrant who followed his passion for the defence forces, says there can be nothing better than the recognition you receive while serving your country. Corporal Jaspreet Singh Shah's team helped solve a problem that became pertinent during the ADF's response to the bushfires in 2020.

Corporal Shah, who works as an Electronics Technician at the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (3CSSB) of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), said he was honoured to receive this award. 

Currently posted in Townsville, Queensland, Corporal Shah migrated to Australia in 2007.


  • CPL Jaspreet Singh Shah awarded for improving communication systems in ADF vehicles 
  • His team provided a solution to a problem pertinent during 2020’s Operation Bushfire Assist
  • An electronics engineer, he migrated to Australia from India in 2007

“It was an extremely proud moment for me,” the 40-year-old said in an interview with SBS Punjabi.

“There can’t be a better thing than to get recognised for your service to your country. I dedicate this award to my whole team which has worked immensely hard towards this innovation,” he added.

In 2019, Corporal Shah noted a deficiency in the Land 121 vehicle fleet capability, which impacted the driver's and co-driver’s ability to communicate efficiently. This prompted him to lead a team to develop an effective solution for this deficiency.

“Whilst my team and I started working on the Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) in 2019, the need for a solution became more pertinent during Operation Bushfire Assist last year.

“This design enables vehicle crews to communicate on the move by using in-service headsets to provide hands-free communications to the driver and co-driver with greater range than the handheld radio,” he explained.

Corporal Shah worked on a project to improve digital communications in Land 121 vehicle fleet.
Corporal Shah worked on a project to improve digital communications in Land 121 vehicle fleet.
Supplied by ADF

Corporal Shah also spoke about his interests and capabilities that brought him the recognition that he has received.

“This project has always been close to my heart. It matched my technical capabilities and interests. I am glad that it worked out well to give us the much-needed solution. 

“At least 15 trucks at our barracks are now using this technology, and I am glad to share that in the near future, more will have this equipment installed.

“There is no end to technological advances in our field. It is an ongoing process that aims to refine and improve our current capabilities and at the ADF, we really want to be on top of it,” he added.

Major Joshua Simpson, Officer Commanding of 102 Field Workshop Company, said he encouraged his soldiers to think outside the box and harness the potential of ground-up innovation.

“This award recognises the phenomenal work and effort of Corporal Shah, and it demonstrates the significant impact that one individual with a good idea can have,” he told Defence News.

Corporal Shah with his gold commendation.
Corporal Shah with his gold commendation.
Supplied by Jaspreet Singh

Role at ADF

An Indian migrant, Corporal Shah studied electronics engineering from the prestigious Thapar Institute in Patiala, Punjab. He migrated to Australia in 2007 where he worked as an electronics engineer in Sydney for about two years before joining the ADF in 2010.

He was promoted to the rank of corporal in 2019 while working with the 3CSSB in Townsville, where he now manages a team of 16 technicians.

Corporal Shah said he has technical expertise and commitment towards diagnosing, maintaining and repairing the army's electronic and surveillance equipment.

“My role also includes general soldiering duties, such as manning defensive positions, patrolling, traffic control, camouflaging of vehicles and field equipment and navigation,” he added.

Jaspreet Singh Shah with his wife Amardeep Kaur and children Maanasbir and Jashanbir.
Corporal Shah with his wife Amardeep Kaur and children Maanasbir and Jashanbir.
Supplied by Jaspreet Singh

Encouraging others to join ADF

Corporal Shah said that he always had a passion for the army and the lifestyle it offers. He has been inspired by his uncle who retired as a colonel in the Indian army.

“When I joined ADF in 2010, there were very few people of Indian origin. But trends have changed now as we see more and more people from multicultural communities joining the defence forces not only for a career but also to serve the nation,” he added.

Corporal Shah wants to encourage more people from the Indian, especially, the Sikh community to overcome their negative assumptions while joining the defence forces.

“Frankly speaking, I was scared at the beginning of my career. I thought it is going to be a challenge due to cultural differences, but I am glad that my assumptions proved wrong.

“I can proudly say that the army is my second family where I am treated with respect and dignity. We have a very positive and friendly environment and I've never had any issue practising my religion and beliefs,” concluded Corporal Shah.

Click here to listen to the full interview with CPL Jaspreet Singh Shah (in Punjabi):

Jaspreet joined the Australian army out of passion, now he's been commended for his innovation
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Anyone who wishes to join defence forces can check website or call recruitment at 131901.

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