Clay enlisted into the Australian Regular Army on the 20th of December 2001 after a short stint attending army reserve training as a rifleman. Clay enlisted into the Army as a parachute Rigger. During his trade training Clay conducted Basic Parachute course and also the more advanced military free fall course. Clay transferred to Army Aviation Corps in 2006 where he would commence his training at Oakey Queensland on the Blackhawk helicopter as an Aircrewman. He was initially based in Townsville with B Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment where he deployed to Timor Leste. On return he applied to be transferred to 171 Squadron based in Holsworthy NSW. 171 Squadron is the primary special operations helicopter squadron for the Australian defence force. After successfully completing his special operations aircrewman course with 171 Squadron Clay deployed a number of times on various operations up until his discharge from the regular army in late 2013.
Clay joined CareFlight NSW in early 2013 whilst he was on long service leave from the Army. Clay loved the excitement and sense of purpose he found within CareFlight that he immediately discharged from the Army and took up a longer term role within CareFlight as a rescue helicopter aircrew officer on the Westmead hospital based Rapid Response Trauma Team. During his time at CareFlight Clay conducted the CareFlight Pre-Hospital Trauma course and various other aviation related courses. Clay has flew and logged well over 300 primary rescue missions whilst at Careflight. Clay also worked with McDermott Aviation during a number of NSW fire season on various aerial firefighting platforms. Clay earned his wings and obtained his fixed wing pilots licence at the end of 2015.
Clays riding background is long and varied. He started out life riding motocross at a young age but quickly turned his sights to other sports and study for his impending aviation career and university which took him away from riding for a number of years. During his initial Army career Clay returned to riding and racing where he raced various motocross rounds throughout Australia. During this time he also competed in two Finke Desert Races. Clay has crossed the Simpson twice solo and once by four wheel drive.
Clay lives a life of extremes. He enjoys all types of outdoor sports. He loves camping and solo hunting expeditions with his hunting bow. He loves motocross and adventure riding, parachuting and flying his plane with family and friends for fun. Clays parents owned a local cattle station for many years which is where he picked up his initial bush skills. Clay has excellent bush skills. He has conducted various military and civilian survival courses successfully and often likes to put these skills to the test.
Clay holds Soldier On close to his heart as they have provided much needed help and support to a number of his military and emergency services friends and work colleagues.