Lieutenant Brian Heilbronn enlisted into the Australian Army as a Rifleman in 2005. After completing his initial training, he was posted to the First Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment. Brian spent the next 12 years of his career in the Battalion affectionally known as ‘The Big Blue One’. During this time, he conducted peacekeeping operations in East Timor during both 2006 & 2007; and later he deployed on warlike operations in Afghanistan during 2009/10. Brian’s contribution to The Big Blue One during his posting was noteworthy. He was awarded commendations for distinguished service for his efforts.
Unfortunately, 2014 proved to be another significant year for Brian. His former Platoon Commander, Captain Paul McKay, took his life after losing his battle with PTSD. To help honour his legacy and raise awareness for PTSD, Brian developed the concept for the Paul McKay Memorial Shield. This event sees soldiers from the Royal Australian Regiment compete in a Townsville marathon, whilst wearing body armour, to help raise awareness for PTSD and also fundraise for Soldier On.
Brian is also a Powerlifting coach for the Australian Invictus Games. In 2017 and 2018 Brian oversaw the Powerlifting squad compete at the games in Toronto and Sydney, respectively. Brian continues this role for the 2020/21 Invictus Games. Brian described being part of the Invictus Games team as one of the most inspirational things he has been involved in throughout his military career. He said, “it was an honour to share the journey with the athletes”.
In 2016 Brian completed a degree in Exercise Physiology and he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps in 2017 and is now an active Army Reservist. As an active Army Reservist, Brian utilises his position as a Human Performance Officer to contribute to the 3 Brigade Human Performance Centre, the ADF adaptive sports program and the Invictus Games team.
Brian is currently employed at James Cook University as an Associate Lecturer and clinical educator at the University’s College of Health Sciences. Here he is also undertaking research into injury prevention of tactical athletes through applied strength and conditioning.