Home' Army News : August 4th 2011 Contents 4 NEWS
Army August 4, 2011
NEW CDF Gen David
Hurley's vision for the
future of the ADF is
steeped in his triservice
experience and revolves around
"I've had probably more joint
experience than a number of previ-
ous CDFs and I didn't come from the
service chief route," Gen Hurley said.
"I can see where we have discon-
nects in capability or pressures on
joint enablers such as intelligence
"So when I look at what this
might mean for the future of the
ADF, we need to improve our joint
training and our joint logistics, and
my focus will be to improve the
ADF's overall joint warfare capabil-
ity."Gen Hurley said apart from main-
taining a sustainable work force,
which he said was the heart of what
the ADF had to achieve in the next
five years, his main focus would be
on ADF operations and capabilities.
"We have to meet our operational
objectives such as the transition in
Afghanistan and setting the scene
for continuing engagement with the
Afghan Government," he said.
"We'll be dealing with the intro-
duction of new amphibious Landing
Helicopter Dock ships by finishing
the work already carried out by Army
and Navy to enable the capability to
be put into place.
"With the Joint Strike Fighter,
although we won't see the first air-
craft in Australia until I finish my
term, it will have fundamental
impacts on how we think about future
air combat and air control and how
we will knit those concepts together
in a joint environment."
Gen Hurley said he was surprised
to be made CDF, as there were a lot
of contenders for the position.
"I'm delighted, pleased, proud
and a bit overawed to have been
selected," Gen Hurley said.
"Not that I was unaware of what
the position was as I had seen it from
GEN David Hurley was born in Wollongong,
NSW in 1953. He graduated from RMC
Duntroon in December 1975 into the Royal
Australian Infantry Corps. He is married to
Linda and has three children.
Gen Hurley served in the RAR and early in
his career as the exchange officer with the
1st Battalion Irish Guards (British Army).
Upon his return to Australia Gen Hurley
served with 5/7RAR.
In 1989 Gen Hurley was posted as the
Mechanised Infantry Adviser, Australian
Army Project Team Malaysia. As a lieu-
tenant colonel he assumed command
of 1RAR, which he led during Operation
Solace (Somalia) in 1993.
Following his command appointment, Gen
Hurley attended the US Army War College,
returning to a posting as Military Secretary
to the Chief of Army.
He was promoted to brigadier in January
1999 and assumed command of 1 Bde in
Darwin, overseeing the brigade's transition
to a higher degree of operational readiness
and its support to Australian-led opera-
tions in East Timor.
From 2001-2003 Gen Hurley served as the
Director General Land Development, Head
Capability Systems and Land Commander
At the end of 2003, he was promoted
to lieutenant general in the role of Chief
of Capability Development Group and in
October 2007 was appointed Chief of Joint
Gen Hurley was appointed to the position
of VCDF in July 2008. He was promoted to
general and assumed his current appoint-
ment as CDF on July 4, 2011.
In 2010 Gen Hurley became a Companion
of the Order of Australia for eminent
service to the ADF. He was awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross for his service
He holds the academic qualifications of
Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in
What is ADF culture?
GEN Hurley said ADF cultural issues loomed
large and the organisation was working hard
to address them.
"When I get questioned about what I am
going to do about the ADF's culture, I first
look at what the ADF culture is," Gen Hurley
said. He said ADF culture was what allowed
personnel to be successful on operations
when they set foot in an operational area.
"It lets us put thousands of people into
the field to help in natural disasters over-
night like we did earlier this year, and people
who weren't called out knocked on the door
and asked if they could help," Gen Hurley
said. "This is the part of the ADF culture I
like."He said another positive aspect of ADF
culture could be found in locations where
personnel lived and worked. "If you go to
a town or city which has an ADF base, you
will find personnel training the local sport-
ing teams or leading a scout or girl guide
group," Gen Hurley said.
"But there are some areas where we
don't perform against our values as consist-
ently as we should and some of this has
been identified by what occurred at ADFA
and we will address this.
The reviews we are going though I think
will be very positive for us and I think they
will assist us to set up a different way of
looking at ourselves as an organisation from
a cultural perspective."
Gen Hurley said as a result of the reviews
the ADF would create a new cultural per-
spective consisting of four pillars.
"We'll be an operationally focussed cul-
ture but characterised as a just culture, an
inclusive culture, a reporting culture and a
learning culture," he said. "I think as these
reviews produce their reports we will estab-
lish a plan built around these four pillars."
After a month in the job, CDF Gen David
Hurley takes time out to talk to Sgt
Andrew Hetherington about his vision
for the future and his road to the top.
'It's a life and
the outside, but to be now in the mid-
dle of it, I'm sorting out in my mind
how I want to deal with the issues
which might come up."
In his first month, Gen Hurley has
been working out how to organise
his staff and how he will operate as
"I want people to get used to my
style of decision making, how I do
things, like how I want information
presented and the timeliness I'd like
things to come in," he said.
"I don't see myself as being
the senior military bureaucrat in
Defence, I'm also the Commander
of the ADF and I'm working through
my program to get out and visit the
ADF on exercises, in barracks and on
bases to get a good sense of what's
Reaching the ultimate leadership
role of CDF was a progressive pro-
cess for Gen Hurley.
Between 2001 and mid-2011
he was Director-General Land
Development, Head of Capability
Systems, Land Commander, Chief
Joint Operations Command and
"I've always sought out com-
mand appointments in my career, as
I thought they were the cutting edge,
critical and great jobs," he said.
"So it's great to be in another
command appointment but I'm
mighty aware of the weight and
responsibility which comes with it.
"It's a life and death position."
One of his past command experi-
ences had him lead 1RAR in 1993 on
its first operational deployment since
He said the deployment gave him
an appreciation of operational envi-
ronments and shaped his decision
making during his higher command
"Deploying to Somalia leading
1RAR gave me a better understand-
ing of what goes on in the field and
on deployments," he said.
"Now when I see things hap-
pen on operations I can appreciate
the decisions of the deployed com-
manding officers and I also know the
world's not perfect and know things
"I might not be in Afghanistan or
have had the complete Afghanistan
experience, but I can certainly put
myself in the commander's boots
and be more amenable to getting the
right solution needed for those on the
Gen Hurley has a number of mes-
sages for ADF personnel.
"I'm very proud of what the
ADF represents, what it does and we
should be proud of this," Gen Hurley
"Most importantly we need to
protect our reputation and keep the
base of goodwill the Australian com-
munity has for us and we need to
cherish, maintain and build on it."
He has another message for ADF
personnel who have come home from
operations and could be suffering.
"My point to all of them is there's
no prejudice or discrimination
against anyone who comes forward,
who says they are suffering and need
help," he said.
"My strongest plea to them is if
they are suffering, don't sit there and
do it hard by yourself; go and get
"We need everyone in the organi-
sation, families need their people and
we need them to be in good health."
CDF speaks on the job ahead:
CDF ON CULTURAL REFORM
On the go: CDF Gen David Hurley checks his busy schedule in his office at
Russell in Canberra.
Photo by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
BIOGRAPHY OF A LEADER
On the job: Capt
Adam Gyte, 1 Avn
Regt, shows CDF
Gen David Hurley
some features of
the TopOwl helmet-
mounted sight during
Talisman Sabre 2011.
Photo by Cpl Raymond Vance
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