General Angus Campbell will not be missed.

General Angus Campbell’s tenure as Chief of the Defence Force is set to conclude in just a month, marking the end of a period characterized by significant challenges and widespread discontent. His time in leadership has been marred by several critical issues that have left the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in a precarious state.

Under General Campbell’s leadership, the special forces have faced substantial setbacks. Reports of misconduct and war crimes have severely impacted the reputation and operational effectiveness of these elite units. The fallout from these issues has not only led to a reduction in operational capability but also a considerable loss of trust and morale within the ranks.

Morale across the entire Defence Force has suffered greatly. Soldiers, sailors, and aviators have voiced their frustration over a perceived lack of support and leadership. The erosion of morale is a critical issue for any military organization, as it directly affects operational readiness and the willingness of personnel to go above and beyond in their duties.

The Royal Australian Navy, in particular, is facing its worst outlook in 50 years. Aging fleets, delayed acquisitions, and strategic missteps have left the navy struggling to maintain its maritime superiority and fulfill its national defence obligations effectively. The navy’s difficulties are symptomatic of broader issues within the ADF under General Campbell’s watch.

Furthermore, the entire Defence Force is grappling with a severe recruiting crisis. The inability to attract and retain talent is a significant concern that threatens the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of the ADF. This crisis is compounded by a competitive job market and the Defence Force’s damaged reputation, making it even more challenging to find suitable recruits.

Despite these profound issues, General Campbell has consistently refused to accept responsibility for the state of the ADF. His reluctance to acknowledge and address these problems has exacerbated the situation, leaving many within the Defence Force feeling abandoned and undervalued.

Adding insult to injury, General Campbell continues to wear medals for “distinguished command and leadership” while earning a salary of $1 million a year. This has been a point of contention among many service members who feel that such honours and remuneration are not reflective of the current state of the ADF under his leadership.

On behalf of the numerous soldiers, sailors, and aviators who have expressed their dissatisfaction over the years, farewell General Campbell. Your departure does not come with our thanks, and your absence will not be lamented. The hope now is for new leadership that can restore morale, address the recruiting crisis, and steer the ADF back on course to operational excellence.


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  • Roger Wickham June 8, 2024   Reply →

    Dont hang by “them” waiting for his replacement to “fix” the mess. He won’t!!

  • Gino June 8, 2024   Reply →

    On 15 April 2024 I commented on the article ” Here’s hoping ADF is in ‘safe pair of hands ‘ with the following statement:

    ‘ Both Campbell and Johnston were appointed CDF and VCDF respectively in July 2018. Johnston has been Campbell’s understudy for the entire period of Campbell’s occupancy of the position of CDF and would have been intimately involved with Campbell in the formulation and design of Defence Policy and once decided, responsible for ensuring that policy was implemented in to the ADF.

    To now expect Johnston to overturn or diminish policies that have had his active acceptance for the past six years is wishful thinking!

    Either he agreed with the new policies or any arguments, if any, he may have had against those policies were inadequate to prevent those policies eventuating in their current form. ‘.

    Since then, nothing has occurred to change my thoughts expressed above, and your article ” General Angus Campbell will not be missed. ” reinforces that opinion. Unfortunately, given Campbell’s hand in filling the senior appointments that surrounded him I fear that his spirit remains in Russell Offices.

  • John June 8, 2024   Reply →

    I suppose he will get another gong for his embarrassing efforts to run the ADF.

  • Chris Hunter June 11, 2024   Reply →

    I think your correspondents are out of touch with reality. Angus Campbell has had to navigate what has been the most difficult period for Defence leadership outside the two World Wars. His move to strip elements of the special forces’ community were not only appropriate (The Brereton report was not sponsored by Campbell but was fully independent of him) but backed by the vast majority of Australians who were appalled that Australian elite soldiers could do such a thing. That his move was blindsided by the worst Defence Minister in history only emphasises the difficult road he had to travel. He has always been a clear-thinking officer who has the strategic circumstances in which we find Australia in mind. Campbell has never lost his touch with recognising and meeting soldiers and I sincerely hope we have another CDF who exhibits similar qualities.

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