Mid Year Video Message from Chief of Army, 07 July 2023

7 July 2023


Thank you for your time today and thank you for what you’re doing with what you have, wherever you are.

When we last spoke, I focused on what the DSR requires of our army. I also asked for your support individually and as teams to achieve our priorities, trust, readiness, resource stewardship, and telling our story.

Well, we're now midway through the year and I've had the opportunity to witness firsthand your efforts in every corner of our nation, across our region and beyond.

Today, more than 600 of you are deployed across dozens of missions, working alongside allies and partners, around the world, and throughout our region. Many more of you are stood to, at readiness notice, for contingency operations.

Throughout the year, more than 14,000 of you have participated in training and exercises at home and abroad. This includes Operation Kudu where a third rotation of Australian soldiers are now training Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom. Exercise Predators Walk where our 1st Brigade further developed our littoral capability alongside US Marines and the British Army in the Northern Territory. And Exercise Balikatan in the Philippines where our people conducted field training and live fire activities with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Army. These and the many other activities have put us in good stead for our contribution to Exercise Talisman Sabre.

The training that I've seen has been first rate. It's focused, realistic, challenging, and always with allies and partners. It is building our competence as teams. It is rebuilding our readiness. I'm genuinely impressed and encouraged by our capacity to deal with change, to build partnerships, and to train in ways that are setting conditions for our operational success.

Well done. Thank you. Please keep at it.

Today I also want to update you on the first round of changes for our Army as we implement the Defence Strategic Review. As I noted in my last message, there will be changes to the scale and scope of our capabilities, the sequence and pace of delivery, how we're organized, the way we train, and the resources that are available to us.

We are setting the conditions today to enable Army's transformation. We are reorganizing to reinforce our division headquarters to better command and control operations, and establishing permanent command relationships with the brigades that they will fight with. And we're building an Army training system that is focused, prioritized, can leverage and apply best practice in training across our Army, and that is ready to lead scaling and mobilization if it's required. Army will regroup for likely employment, strengthen our training and reinforce our operations functions for increased competition.

With effect the 1st of July, I’ve directed the following adjustments to the Army's higher command and control arrangements. The 1st, 3rd, and 7th Brigades will be regrouped from Forces Command to the 1st Division. This will accelerate our preparedness for operations today, build the necessary persistent partnerships and generate capability in support of our operational concepts.

The 1st Division is renamed the 1st Australian Division and our 2nd Division, the 2nd Australian Division. This better enables the employment of Australian divisions within the partner and coalition environments and reflects coalition ways of naming.

Commander Forces Command is also now appointed as the Army's G7 and the Combat Training Centre and the 39th Operational Support Battalion will be regrouped to Forces Command. These will strengthen the Army training system with a unified command of all individual and collective training establishments and will help to set the conditions to be able to scale and contribute to mobilization as required.

The Royal Military College of Australia and the Combined Arms Training Centre will be collectively known as the Land Combat College. This reflects the full implementation of the Future Ready Training System. This will enhance the focus and our professional mastery.

Army Headquarters operations functions will be enhanced to better synchronize and support operations actions and activities that are tasked by Headquarters Joint Operations Command.

Planning to best position our Army for the future will continue over the coming months, and these preliminary actions will better enable Army to realize our contribution to the integrated force.

In August I'll update you on the next set of changes. We're still working on them and there's a lot to do in a short time, but I remain confident that we are equal to the task.

My confidence is founded in what I see you doing every day as individuals and as teams, at home and abroad, in our communities, and alongside our international partners. For most of you, that is exactly what I need you to remain focused on: rebuilding and maintaining our operational readiness, making the very best use of the people, the machines, the time and the money that we have available today. Sharing the story of our Army, and importantly, building trust in our teams and our Army through the words and the actions we each choose every day.

Thank you for your service in our Army.

An Army in the community, and an Army for the Nation.