Regimental Sergeant Major – Special Operations Command
Warrant Officer Class One John Letch, OAM, was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1970. He enlisted into the Australian Army in 1988 and, on completion of recruit training, was assigned to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. Over the years of his Army service he has had numerous regimental postings serving in combat units, training establishments, Army Headquarters and Headquarters Special Operations Command.
Australian Army units that Warrant Officer Letch has served in include: 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment; Special Air Service Regiment; School of Infantry; and the Directorate of Soldier Career Management—Army.
Warrant Officer Letch has completed all his regimental appointments while posted to the Special Air Service Regiment. His instructional appointments have included: Section Commander within Depot Company at the School of Infantry and multiple Wing Sergeant Major appointments within Operational Support Squadron at the Special Air Service Regiment. In 2003, he participated in Exercise Long Look in the United Kingdom and served with 22 Special Air Service Regiment.
Within the Special Air Service Regiment, Warrant Officer Letch served in a variety of roles both in Australia and abroad on operations, including duties as a Patrol Commander, Operations Sergeant and Troop Sergeant. After being promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two in 2008, he was required to fulfil the duties of Wing Sergeant Major, Operations Officer and then Squadron Sergeant Major of two successive Special Air Service Regiment squadrons. In 2013, he was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One and, in 2014, posted to the Directorate of Soldier Career Management—Army as the Career Adviser for Special Forces.
In 2016, Warrant Officer Letch was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Special Air Service Regiment and, in 2018, Regiment Sergeant Major of the Special Forces Group within Headquarters Special Operations Command. In 2019, Warrant Officer Letch was appointed Command Sergeant Major of Special Operations Command.
During his Special Operations Command service, Warrant Officer Letch has deployed on Operation DIRK, Operation TANAGER, Operation SLIPPER and Operation SLIPPER II, Operation CATALYST, Operation ASTUTE, Operation PAKISTAN ASSIST II and Operation ANODE. Warrant Officer Letch was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honour List for meritorious service to Special Operations Command from 2012 to 2018. In 2009, he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service for operational service in Afghanistan. In 2012, he was awarded a Special Operations Commander Australia Silver Commendation for his performance as Squadron Sergeant Major in the Special Air Service Regiment.
During his Army service, Warrant Officer Letch has participated in training exercises and exchanges in Brunei, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States of America. He has also deployed on operations to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Southern Indian Ocean and areas within the South-West Pacific region.
Warrant Officer Letch holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.
Warrant Officer Letch is in a common-law relationship with his long-term partner, Leanne, and has an adult stepson. Warrant Officer Letch enjoys mountain biking, fishing and follows Australian Rules football (West Coast Eagles), rugby union and cricket.