Special Operations Commander Australia

Major General Adam Findlay, AM

Major General Adam Findlay
Major General Adam Findlay
Major General Adam Findlay

Assuming his current appointment as the Special Operations Commander for Australia on 29 June 2017, Major General Adam Findlay is fortunate to have enjoyed a balanced career between command and staff appointments in both the domestic and deployed environment, encompassing conventional and special forces capabilities. 

Graduating from the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1986, Major General Findlay commissioned into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and served his junior officer years in 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, and the Special Air Service Regiment. 

As a Major, he commanded an infantry company and served as the operations officer in 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, prior to deploying to Iraq as a biological weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission. 

He was appointed as the Brigade Major (S3) of 3rd Brigade in 2001–02. During this time he deployed to Timor-Leste (East Timor) as the Brigade Major of HQ Sector West with the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor. In late 2003, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, responsible for the Australian Army’s high-readiness airborne forces. He subsequently was appointed the Military Assistant to the Chief of Army. 

Upon promotion to Colonel in 2007, Major General Findlay was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet responsible for briefing the Prime Minister on all facets of Defence policy and operations. In 2009, he deployed to Kandahar as the Divisional CJ3 in Headquarters Regional Command–South coordinating the planning and conduct of all military operations in southern Afghanistan. 

Major General Findlay was promoted to Brigadier in 2011 and appointed as the Director General Military Strategic Commitments (Joint Staff) working at the military-strategic level of Defence and across the whole of government national security domains. He subsequently deployed to Afghanistan as Deputy Operations at HQ International Security Assistance Force. He was responsible to Commander ISAF for all military operations, Afghanistan–Pakistan military-to-military relations and interaction with the Office of National Security at the Presidential Palace. 

In October 2014, he was appointed as the Commander of 7th Brigade. He raised high-readiness contingency forces of the Ready Deployment Force for the first time in the history of the brigade, and deployed those forces for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the South Pacific. In 2016, he deployed to Iraq as the Deputy Commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force—Operation Inherent Resolve, responsible for the employment of all coalition special forces in Iraq during a period that included the liberation of Mosul. 

His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science Honours degree (1988) and Master of Defence Studies degree (2000). He was awarded a PhD in military history from the University of New South Wales in 2014, which examined the British strategy and military operations in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42). 

Major General Findlay was appointed a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his contribution as the Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, and awarded a US Legion of Merit for his command of the Special Operations Joint Task Force—Iraq in 2017.