Statement from the Armed Forces Commander, Lt. Gen. Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO, on the procedures for following the findings of the IGADF Afghanistan investigation
Today I was in Perth, Western Australia, in the Australian Army Air Service Regiment.
Chief of Defense Force General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC, directed specific actions in response to the investigation. Some of these apply to individual and group honors and awards.
As Commander of the Army, I also removed Title: 2nd Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment, Australian Army Battle Rank.
Although the incidents described in the investigation occurred across the regiment, the report clarified that there was a connection between the alleged serious criminal activities of the Second Squadron, the Special Air Service Regiment at some point. This alleged gross misconduct has severely damaged our professional standing.
This action does not reflect a judgment on current members of the Second Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment, but we must all accept the mistakes of the past.
Existing squadron members will be reassigned to other sub-units within the regiment. A well thought out implementation plan will be developed to support this.
It is important that we learn from this experience and begin the healing process so that we can focus on the future. This must not be allowed to happen again anywhere in our military. Our profession requires that we always operate legally, ethically and responsibly. Even in the most complex and challenging environments.
Future generations will be reminded of this moment in our military history from the gap in the squadron numbering system.
As I continue to analyze overall results, make sure that if evidence of misconduct exists, individuals will be held accountable. This may be through disciplinary or administrative actions.
Significant reforms have taken place within the Special Operations Command and more broadly across our military over the past five years. Important progress has been made and this work is in progress.
These reforms will be given more focus, emphasis and urgency based on the findings and recommendations contained in the investigation report.
I will accelerate existing plans for personnel mobility within the Special Operations Command. Individuals within the Special Operations Command are expected to take appointments from the command. This will enable rest, renewal, expansion of views, and exchange of knowledge and skills throughout the military. This has an individual and collective benefit for the entire Australian Defense Force. Independent supervision of leadership deployment will ensure workforce alignment and strategy.
We will continue to reinforce the fundamentals of governance, assurance and accountability. This includes promoting the importance of culture, leadership, accountability, ethics and our values through the Good Soldier Army initiative.
The Australian Army Command Center will be the basis for our training and how we act as ethical, capable and effective leaders at all levels of our military.
Today we begin a new chapter and commit to restoring confidence with the nation that we have sworn to defend. The symbol of this constant renewal is the tomorrow hat parade for new members of the Special Air Service Regiment and the recent beret parade of the 2nd Commando Regiment..
I am confident that as a result of this experience we will produce a stronger, more capable and effective army.
I would like to thank the families, loved ones and those who support our military during this difficult time. I strongly encourage anyone who needs social support to access the services available.
Our people, past and present, have made extraordinary contributions to the defense of Australia. I am still inspired by the vast majority of the professional men and women who serve in our military. Our people must remain proud of their service and know that their commitment is appreciated.
This is a difficult time for all of us. Our army must learn, improve and support each other, and we will overcome this together.
We are still, an army of a nation, an army of society, we are an army of Australia.
To view the Army Chief’s message to all military personnel, about the results of the IGADF investigation in Afghanistan, visit: https: // www. army. Government. au / our-news / media-updates / message- Army Commander.
Rick Bauer, Chief of Army, Australian Army, Investigation, Senior Lieutenant, Australian Defense Force
World News – African Union – Army Commander’s Statement – Findings of IGADF Investigation in Afghanistan
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