Special Operations Commander Australia
Major General Paul Kenny, DSC, DSM
Major General Paul (‘PK’) Kenny assumed command of Special Operations Command on 26 November 2020, following his promotion in March 2020 to lead Joint Task Force 629 (Operation COVID-19 Assist) and subsequent appointment as Deputy Commander of the Defence COVID-19 Task Force in July 2020.
Graduating from the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1989, Major General Kenny commissioned into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In 1994, he completed the Commando Officer Selection Course.
In addition to leading Joint Task Force 629, Major General Kenny has commanded the Special Forces Training Centre (2006–07), 2nd Commando Regiment (2008–09), and the International Security and Advisory Force—Special Operations Forces (ISAF SOF) in Afghanistan in 2013.
Major General Kenny’s extra-regimental positions have included an instructional appointment at the Command, Staff and Operations Wing, and within Army Headquarters in the operations and preparedness staff areas. On promotion to Colonel, he was seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Senior Adviser Defence Policy and Operations in 2010.
Within Special Operations Command, Major General Kenny has served as Director Special Operations and Plans (2011–12) and, later, as Director-General Special Operations & Counter-Terrorism (2018–20). He also served as Deputy Director of Operations at United States Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, from 2015 to 2017.
Major General Kenny has deployed to Bougainville (1998), Solomon Islands (1998), Sierra Leone (2002–03), Iraq (2005) and Afghanistan (2008–09, 2012, 2013).
Major General Kenny is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College and the Centre of Strategic Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies (Disaster Management) degree, Graduate Diploma of Defence Studies, and a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) degree.
Major General Kenny was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for exceptionally meritorious command and leadership in Afghanistan, and a Distinguished Service Medal for distinguished command and leadership of ISAF SOF. He has also been awarded the US Legion of Merit for his exceptional meritorious service as Deputy Director of Operations at US SOCOM.