Regimental Sergeant Major – 1st Division and the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters
Warrant Officer Class One David Lehr was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, on 1 November 1964, and educated at Illawarra Grammar School, matriculating in 1982.
He enlisted into the Australian Army on 19 January 1983 and was allocated to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. From Gunner to Bombardier rank, he served as a gun number, driver and operator command post (field) at 4th Field Regiment. In 1989, he was promoted to Sergeant and served as a Gun Sergeant and Battery Commander’s Assistant at 1st Field Regiment, and on exchange to ‘G’ Battery, 7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, in the United Kingdom.
As a Sergeant, Warrant Officer Class One Lehr was posted as an instructor at the Junior Leader Training Centre—Brisbane in 1991–92 and, after returning to 1st Field Regiment, he was again posted as an instructor to Regimental Training Wing, School of Artillery, at North Head, Sydney, in 1996, and the Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal in 1997.
Promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two in November 1998, he was appointed as the Sergeant Major for Instructor Gunnery of 11th Field Battery, 23rd Field Regiment. In 2002, he was posted as the Battery Guide of ‘A’ Field Battery at Holsworthy and, in 2003, he was appointed as the Battery Sergeant Major of 107th Field Battery, 4th Field Regiment. In 2005, he was posted as a Defence Interviewer at Defence Force Recruiting Centre—North Queensland.
Promoted to Warrant Officer Class One in December 2005, he has served as the Regimental Sergeant Major of 2nd/10th Field Regiment, Combined Task Force 635, and 1st Field Regiment. In 2011, Warrant Officer Lehr completed Foundation and Single Service studies at the Australian Command and Staff College. Since 2012, his senior regimental appointments include Regimental Sergeant Major Ceremonial—Army, Regimental Sergeant Major of 3rd Brigade, and Career Manager of the Regimental Tier A Warrant Officer Class One portfolio at the Directorate of Soldier Career Management—Army. In 2018, he assumed his current appointment as Regimental Sergeant Major of 1st Division.
Warrant Officer Lehr has deployed on several occasions: to Timor-Leste (East Timor) on Operation TANAGER with 3rd Parachute Battalion Group in 2002; to the Solomon Islands on Operation ANODE with 4th Brigade in 2007; and to Afghanistan on Operation SLIPPER as a Mentor and Training Adviser for the NATO Training Mission in 2011.
Aside from Australian operational, long service and campaign medals, Warrant Officer Lehr has been awarded the United States of America Meritorious Service Medal and the Medal of the Order of Australia. He has also been awarded a Commander of 2nd Division Bronze Commendation and the Army Combat Badge.
Warrant Officer Lehr has played a number of team sports, including grade cricket and grade rugby league, and he represented the Australian Army playing rugby union and touch football. His interests are motorsports, military history, Australian and American muscle cars, and Harley-Davidson motor cycles.
Warrant Officer Lehr is married to Janelle and they have six adult children, and two grandchildren. Their second eldest son is a full-time soldier within The Royal Australian Regiment.