Address to Army Reserve Commissioning Ceremony

30 May 2020

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, members of the graduating class.

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.

I also acknowledge the service our First Nation people have always provided in our Army and continue to provide today.

It is a great pleasure to be here with you virtually to welcome Army’s newest officers to our ranks.

On behalf of the Commandant Royal Military College – Australia, I extend a special thanks to the family and friends of the graduating class. I appreciate many of you would have wanted to be present for this occasion.

Service in Army is a ‘team effort’ and we cannot do what we do without the support of family.

I also acknowledge and thank the Officers, Warrant Officers and NCOs of 8th Brigade and University Regiments who have trained and mentored this class. Your experience and guidance has been essential in the development of these future leaders.

I know that this is the first of these courses to be run at Holsworthy and to do so at short notice and in the current circumstances is a remarkable achievement. Well done.

To the graduating class –

You have come to this point through different paths: the GAP program, Compulsory Full Time Service or Service Category 5 but your commissioning today marks the start of your journey as an officer in your nation’s Army. A big job!

The Army which you have joined and in which you are now expected to lead is an Army in Motion.

Our world and our operating environment is dynamic and changing fast.

We are doing more things in more places, more of time in new and different ways. To be effective we will all need to continuously adapt and innovate to get more from what we have. That is what an Army in Motion does.

I welcome the unique perspectives and experiences that you will bring as Army Reserve officers, directly supporting our need for creativity and innovation to enable new approaches to new problems.

We’ve seen an important demonstration of this in recent times with the 2nd Division forming the core of Army and ADF contribution to two national responses since last September.

We have also seen this through our response to domestic security incidents, engineering assistance to remote indigenous communities as part of the Australian Army Community Assistance Program and work with the militaries of Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu through our Pacific Support Teams. All while we have been preparing the very important capability of a deployable battle group from within the Division.

You will soon contribute to these tasks, and others that we don’t yet know about, through your own active leadership.

For many of you, as you have so far and will continue to do, your commitment to leadership responsibilities in Army as well as your other life commitments is greatly admired.

I wish you well as you embark on this exciting journey. There is no bigger responsibility than leading Australian soldiers, and none that is more fulfilling.

Our people expect to be well led, and deserve nothing less.

Lead with humility, live Army’s values, always demonstrate Good Soldiering, and demand it from everyone else. Make the most of everyone’s strengths. Help unlock their potential.

Good Soldiering is who we are, and how we seek to strengthen our Army every day.

Congratulations on your achievements so far, and good luck.