For the first time in its 114-year history, the Australian Army’s most senior staff are all Special Forces officers. Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, Deputy Chief of Army Major General Rick Burr, and Commander Forces Command Major General Gus Gilmore all hail from the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). This is a historic time for the Australian Army and also for Special Operations Command (SOCOMD).
Unlike some of our allies, SOCOMD is not a separate and autonomous branch within the Australian Defence Force (ADF). SOCOMD still falls under the Australian Army Order of Battle (ORBAT), which means that we are still governed by a conventional hierarchy. This is the first time in over a century that these top spots have been filled by Special Forces officers, with all three bringing an incredible amount of experience to the table.
Lieutenant General Angus Campbell
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell began training at the Royal Military College (RMC), Duntroon in 1981. After graduating as an infantry lieutenant in 1984, his first posting was to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) before he passed selection for the SASR. Lieutenant General Campbell has enjoyed a range of senior defence positions prior to taking the Army’s top spot.
His military appointments include time as an SASR troop and squadron commander, commander of the 2nd Battalion Group on deployment to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, leader of the Military Strategic Commitments Division, commander of all Australian forces deployed in the Middle East area of operations, and commander of Border Protection Command where he spearheaded Operation Sovereign Borders.