Major David Drabsch was commissioned in the Australian Regular Army on 10 December, 1952 and was posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in Korea. He then served in a number of regular army instructional and staff appointments with distinction before being posted as Second-in-Command of the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. on 1 September, 1965
Major Drabsch has guided and supervised the administration of the Battalion since its inception. When the first draft of National Servicemen marched into the unit in December 1965 the Battalion was administratively ready to receive them and organised in all aspects for their corps training.
The formation of the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment would have been seriously hampered and the unit would not have been able to commence it’s training cycle without the dedicated endeavours of Major Drabsch.
Before moving to South Vietnam Major Drabsch arranged the closing down of unit accounts and hand back of all stores to Ordnance Depots. This was achieved without surplus or deficiency; an administrative feat previously unparalleled in the Australian Army by a unit moving overseas.. He then commanded the main body of the Battalion on board Her Majesty’s Australian Ship, Sydney, from Australia to South Vietnam and immediately on arrival conducted a handover stocktake between the outgoing unit and 7th Battalion. In battle Major Drabsch has shown himself to be a brave and resolute soldier. He has directed artillery fire from the air onto enemy positions on many occasions and in five instances successfully completed this task under enemy fire.
On another occasion, after directing artillery fire onto enemy positions, Major Drabsch landed near the position abd single handedly captured an enemy soldier after a brief hand to hand struggle.
During the entire two years of the above activities, Major Drabsch has consistently worked long hours, maintained a sense of humour in the face of many adversities , won the respect of all by his forthright manner, diligence, foresight, ability, devotion to duty, exacting standards and good results. He has at all times been an inspiration to members of the unit and has by his exemplary conduct and bearing set a standard to be emulated by others