Major General Matthew Pearse, AM
On 05 February 2020, Major General Pearse assumed Command of Forces Command where he is responsible for the generation and modernisation of Army’s foundation warfighting capability to make effective, timely and sustained contributions to joint and inter-agency operations in defence of Australia and our national interests.
Major General Pearse joined the Australian Army in 1990 and after attending the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon, he graduated into the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers. His formative experiences include postings to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, Headquarters 1st Brigade and as an instructor at the Royal Military College Duntroon. In 2004, he deployed to Iraq as an operational planner on the Australian National Headquarters and later as a member of the first Australian Army Training Team – Iraq. In 2005, he attended the Australian Command and Staff College before undertaking a two-year exchange posting as the senior instructor of the British Army’s Combat Engineer School.
His return to Australia in 2008 marked a transition to more senior command and staff appointments. As the SO1 Army Doctrine, he managed the development of Army’s doctrine, improving both accessibility and lessons integration through creation of the iArmy website. As the Commanding Officer of the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment from 2010 to 2012, he prepared and certified sub-units for deployment to Afghanistan, and the first Army Reserve-led Timor Leste Task Group. For his service as a Commanding Officer and as the SO1 Army Doctrine, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2013, he served as the military assistant to the Chief of Army.
In 2014, he was promoted to Colonel and deployed to Afghanistan for 12-months as the Deputy Director of Operational Plans on Headquarters ISAF Joint Command. In 2015, he was posted to the Australian Command and Staff College as the Director of Joint Warfare, Education and Training. In this role, he was responsible for the command and leadership, joint operational planning and contemporary Defence issues components of all staff college courses. In 2017, he attended the Australian Defence and Strategic Studies Course before promotion to Command the 1st Brigade where he prepared the Brigade to be Army’s ready forces, and also led Defence support to Northern Territory communities following Tropical Cyclone Marcus and Tropical Cyclone Trevor.
Major General Pearse holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics, a Masters in Human Resource Management and is currently completing a Masters in Strategic Studies.