Start of Year message

13 February 2023

Welcome back Army. I hope you enjoyed your break and were able to dedicate time to those who matter most to you.

My thanks to all of you who continued our vital work over Christmas and New Years – either on mission or on call; from helping our communities recover from severe flooding in the Kimberley, to working with our partners in the UK to train Ukrainian citizens to defend their nation. I also acknowledge the disruption that comes with each posting cycle, and thank you and your families for your perseverance over the past weeks.

2023 is a year of opportunity for our Army as we continue to transform and modernise. This includes establishing the first elements of a Fires Brigade in support of the ADF’s nascent ground-based Multi Domain Strike capability, the raising of an Army Health Brigade, and developing an enhanced littoral manoeuvre alongside our US Army and US Marine team mates.

We will also continue our efforts to embrace the advantages of emerging technology, including live fire trials with Uncrewed Ground Vehicles and demonstrating cooperative autonomous air-ground teams with our allies.

The Defence Strategic Review will be delivered to Government in the coming weeks; it will present opportunities for our Army. We are well placed to adapt to strategic direction; we will remain agile of mind and continue to do what we can, with what we have, every day.

Our priorities: trust, readiness, resources and telling our story. Building and maintaining trust in our Army, the community we serve, and the Government of the day is the foundation of who we are and everything we do. To achieve this, we are focused on rebuilding our readiness for warfighting through training and exercise with our allies and partners; Exercise Talisman Sabre will be a key opportunity this year.

We will pay particular attention to the resources with which we have been entrusted – people, time, machines and money – through a better understanding of our performance and risks. We must be good stewards of our resources, applying them where we need them most.

The majority of our people have a very positive experience in service and a great story to tell. Your professionalism and commitment goes a long way in building and maintaining the trust of our community and our nation. This year, I need your help in making our story better known to our fellow Australians.

Be the best soldiers and teams that you can be. Look after one another and look for opportunity to make a positive difference every day. Be proud of who we are and what we do, and together, we will continue to serve with purpose and humility; an Army for the Nation.