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Army July 21, 2011
'I have your back' -- CA
NEW CA Lt-Gen David
Morrison has vowed his
total commitment to the
Army and its people.
After spending four weeks
in his new job, he said soldiers
could expect him to look out for
"I'll have their backs and I'm
looking to their future," Lt-Gen
"I will do my absolute best
to make sure Army continues to
develop as the nation demands
"I'm intent on carrying on
the good work my predecessors
began, looking to our operational
requirements, but also tending to
the needs of our personnel."
Although he's honoured to be
the sixth CA, after 33 years of
hard work, he said it felt daunt-
ing after he found out the job
"But the overwhelming feel-
ing was of pride.
"Pride in our Army and the
fact I am still a part of it."
After joining the Army in
1979, Lt-Gen Morrison's career
and the roles he served in set him
on a journey for CA prepared-
"I've had an outstanding
preparation and I've been able
to work with so many fantastic
people during the course of a
33-year career," he said.
"I've no complaints about the
preparation, but now I have got
to deliver, as actions speak much
louder than words."
His main career highlight up
to being CA had not been with
any specific Army unit.
For him it's always been
about the people.
"I've had a number of com-
mand positions through my
time where I've been able to
interact with the wonderful
men and women who make up
the Australian Army," Lt-Gen
"Being a unit commander at
2RAR and at 3 Bde were fantas-
tic experiences and shaped me as
I became a more senior officer."
However the greatest career
shaping position he's held was
his role as the first commander
"Forces Command was
formed specifically to get right
our training continuum between
individual and collective train-
ing, with a clearly stated focus
on delivering foundation war
fighting into Army," Lt-Gen
"We did it and it was
immensely satisfying receiving
all the support I got from my
headquarters and then from the
commanders at all levels within
"It was invigorating."
The biggest challenge he
expects during his term as CA
will be ensuring Army has the
appropriate force structure for
"I think the Army's doing
a terrific job operationally and
over the next 10 years we are
receiving some wonderful pieces
of new equipment, such as artil-
lery pieces, wheeled vehicles and
our radios," Lt-Gen Morrison
"The big challenge though for
Army is to have the right force
structure to meet the needs of the
nation in the future and to turn
all of the new equipment into
"We need to also ensure
Army is robust and relevant in
the third decade of this century."
He said this focus would be
the main part of his job.
"The CA has to have long-
term vision when at the top of
the organisation. I think I've got
it," Lt-Gen Morrison said.
"I don't think I have all the
answers but I think there will
be some force structure changes
which will occur in my time as
the chief, which will set us up for
At the end of his official
biography on Army's website
he states one of his hobbies as
"remembering when he used to
This will likely continue,
rather than finding time to actu-
ally play the game. During the
first weeks of his new job, he
was busy getting up to speed
with the important task of run-
ning what his predecessor
Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie (retd)
described as "the best small
Army in the world".
"After my handover period
with Lt-Gen Gillespie, I spent
a lot of time being briefed by a
number of branches from Army
and Defence Headquarters,"
Lt-Gen Morrison said.
"I've also been involved in
some definition of important
Army projects, such as Land 121
and Land 17.
"On a personal level, I've also
been focused on making certain
Sgt Todd Langley was returned
to Australia with all the honours
due to him as a fallen warrior
and ensuring the Langley family
received all the care we could
He said there hadn't been a
great deal of spare time for him
"But I didn't expect there to
be and nor should there be, as
being the CA there's a lot to do,"
Lt-Gen Morrison said.
"In my handover speech I did
say one promise I could make
was I would give my all and I've
started as I intend to carry on."
So how does Lt-Gen
Morrison concisely describe
himself as a leader and as a per-
"People have always told me
I don't leave them wondering.
"I intend to continue that dur-
ing my tenure as Army's chief."
Sgt Andrew Hetherington isn't left
wondering about the future of the Army
after sitting down with new CA Lt-Gen
Top job: CA Lt-Gen David Morrison settles in to his new role in his office at Army Headquarters in Canberra.
Photo by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
ROAD TO THE TOP
After completing a BA at the
Australian National University,
Lt-Gen David Morrison joined the
Army in 1979.
He graduated from the Officer Cadet
School, Portsea, to the Royal Australian
Infantry Corps and between 1980
and 1991 held a variety of regimental
positions in Brisbane, Singleton and
In 1992, he was appointed as the
brigade major of 3 Bde, deploying
in that role to Bougainville as part of
Operation Lagoon in 1994.
After his promotion to lieutenant
colonel in 1994, he spent two years at
Army Headquarters as the Director of
Preparedness and Mobilisation.
He was CO 2RAR in 1997 and 1998
and was made a Member of the Order
of Australia in 1999 for his service.
He was promoted to colonel in
October 1999 and took up the position
of Colonel Operations, Headquarters
INTERFET. On his return to Australia,
he was posted to the Deployable Joint
Force Headquarters as chief of staff.
He was promoted to brigadier in
November 2002 and commanded
3 Bde from December 2002 to
December 2004. He was then appoint-
ed as Director-General Preparedness
and Plans Army and held that position
until his promotion to major general in
He became Commander of the
Australian Defence Colleges in January
2006. In April 2007, he was appointed
Head Military Strategic Commitments
where he served for 11 months before
becoming DCA in early 2008.
He was appointed as Land
Commander Australia in December
2008 and became Army's first Forces
Commander on July 1, 2009.
For his service to the Australian
Army he was appointed as an Officer
in the Order of Australia in the 2010
Australia Day Honours list.
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