To the Editor,
It was with the greatest disappointment and dismay that I read Ian McPhedran’s article in your newspaper this morning, releasing the name of our most recent combat fatality before official release by Defence and by his family. The Army and the Defence Force have well established protocols for the release of names and personal details in these circumstances; protocols with which your journalists are very familiar but have clearly chosen to ignore.
The family in this instance, whose lives are currently consumed with their own grief, had asked Army to wait to release his details so that they could deal with this terrible loss in their way. You have robbed them of this right. Such actions are unconscionable and un-Australian. Our only concern is a desire to look after those of the grieving family of a courageous soldier. Their trust has been betrayed by the selfish act of a journalist intent on being ‘the first’.
Chief of Army
04 July 2012