Extract from interview with Paul Diamond, 15 December 2010
Reproduced with permission of Rangi Rata
My specialisation was scouting. That actually happened here in National Service, I was made the lead scout then and that carried on through corps training, and that’s where I wanted to be anyway so I was quite happy to stay in that area. I wanted to be out front and I wanted to know what was going on. I didn’t want it second hand.
Qualities needed in lead scout?
You need to apply common sense, you need to have all your senses around you and you need to be able to utilise them to the max, and the most important thing is listen to them. Sensing came into it, a lot of it. There was an incident where we I actually sensed that we’re going to have a contact today and we did, four hours later. The feeling was there, we’re going to come into a contact. An intuition – something going down today.
How did others react?
The people in the same line or work, all the scouts, they sort of had the same … whatever you want to call it, extra-sensory perception. It was the way we ended up tuning ourselves, I don’t know what it was. Practically everyone I knew as the scouts within our platoon or company were Maori or Pacific Islander. We had the odd Pacific Islander, not many, from the Cooks, and they wanted to be scouts too, same with us. Maybe we have an affinity for the bush, or we just want to be up front and into it. We were all Maori, the whole lot of us.
Maori Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project