Possible Army Regiment Disbandment Stirs Speculation in Australia

Possible Army Regiment Disbandment Stirs Speculation in Australia

Recent tweets from Fergus McLachlan, the former Major General of the Australian Army, have reignited rumours concerning the potential dissolution of the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), and the 1st Armoured Regiment. The speculated reason is that recruitment challenges have left many units “understaffed”.

There’s talk that these units could merge into other formations. Specifically, 7RAR might be merged with 5RAR, forming the combined 5/7RAR in Darwin. Similarly, there’s a possibility that the 1st Armoured Regiment could be integrated into the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, based in Townsville.

“Veteran circles are abuzz with the idea that 7RAR might be shuttered, following the Army’s Defence Strategic Review,” commented Major-General McLachlan. While he noted that this might not be Canberra’s headline news today, he seemed concerned. “In an army with only a few battalions, I hope these whispers are off-mark. Maybe we should consider cutting down on some headquarters instead?”

Responding to the speculation, Michael Shoebridge, the Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, pointed at the burgeoning upper echelons of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). “Our military is small, but the top is growing,” Mr. Shoebridge noted. He raised concerns about the rapid increase in senior ADF and Defence civilian roles, suggesting they’re consuming disproportionate resources, thereby complicating Defence leadership and management.

Furthermore, unnamed sources cited by the ABC have attributed the current situation to recruitment struggles, resulting in many units being under strength.

As anticipation grows, the Defence community awaits an official statement from Defence Minister Richard Marles regarding the Army’s restructure.

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  • R. Richardson September 26, 2023   Reply →

    Bring back National Service for everyone, the liklihood of a future conflict in the South China Sea area demands it or Australia will perish.

    • Richard Barry OAM September 26, 2023   Reply →

      I have the feeling that because todays youth are far different to when I was conscripted in 1967 it will be unpopular and no government will risk such an announcement fearing massive backlash.

  • Kel Ryan September 27, 2023   Reply →

    While I appreciate the oft-made comment about the unpopularity of the notion of ‘national service’ today I suggest that the reality may be different. I was called up in June 1965 and when reporting to Swan Bks in Melbourne was met by ‘Save our Sons’ mothers and placards. The majority of the 20-year-olds who marched in were either ambivalent or, as we quickly established, wanted to go to Vietnam. – ‘If I have to do this let’s make it worthwhile’.

    The Labor Government reluctantly introduced ‘conscription’ in 1943 when faced with the reality of the war situation. Also, it was confronted by the reality of thousands of American draftees (conscripted) being based in Australia and then fighting (for us) to the north. Even then elements of that government continued to work against the notion of ‘conscription’. In another environment, they are called ‘useful idiots’.

    National service is a ‘sell job’. If the government, any government, sees the need for it it has to evolve the format for 2025 – not 1965.

  • Kenneth Taylor September 28, 2023   Reply →

    I don’t think that today’s youth would be very interested in living under a foreign power if we did end up in a conflict. I have said all along since Whitlam cancelled out National Service that it was a mistake and should have been wound back to 12 months instead of the 2 years. It should have gone male as well as female National Service like so many other countries around the world to-day. As is well known by any Defence Personnel worth their salt, “Preparedness is the best Defence you can have.” and to-day we need to catch up on 50 years of neglect. Our Forcers except in the Top Office are totally understaffed, and inadequately prepared.

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