A teenage Megan Cole beamed with pride as she marched with the Australian Army Cadets youth organisation through the streets of her hometown in Queensland, Australia. Her troop was part of the parade celebrating Anzac Day, the national holiday commemorating Australia and New Zealand’s military actions during World War I. She’d followed in the footsteps of her older brother, joining the cadets as soon as she turned 13, and relished the adventures and opportunities it brought.Growing up in the bush town of West Wyalong in New South Wales, Mat McLachlan was also enamoured with the military. “My grandfather served in World War II, during which his brother was killed in action, so we were brought up appreciating soldiers’ sacrifices,” he recalled. “I remember watching the veterans marching on Anzac Day, feeling fascinated by the stories they would tell and filled with a desire to learn more.”Neither would ever imagine this shared love of the military would impact their future in so many ways.Cole and McLachlan’s interests evolved into their careers. Cole joined the Royal Australian Air Force where she piloted an AP-3C Orion on anti-smuggling patrols, hunts for pirates in the South China Sea and on search and rescue missions for refugees.