Army farewells ninth Regimental Sergeant Major – Army

9 July 2015 | Media Release

A change in leadership has occurred at Army Headquarters today, with the ninth Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army, Warrant Officer Dave Ashley, AM, handing over to Warrant Officer Don Spinks, OAM.
The Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army is the most senior enlisted position in the Australian Army, and an integral part of Army’s command team.
Warrant Officer Ashley expressed his gratitude to his colleagues, friends and family for their support during his nearly 37-year career, which has included senior appointments in the Pilbara Regiment, the 3rd Brigade and Forces Command, as well as deployments to Timor-Leste and Afghanistan as the Task Force Regimental Sergeant Major.
“I have seen many changes over my long career, but there are some things which never change,” Warrant Officer Ashley said.
“Pride, faith, mateship and opportunity are as apparent today as they were when I joined nearly 37 years ago.
“What has changed is that we now have the public very visibly behind us, which wasn’t always apparent in the late 70s or early 80s. We must all continue to earn and retain the pride and trust of our nation. After all, they have entrusted us with the defence of our nation.
“Living our lives, and not just our careers, in our values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork will always keep us on track.
“The last line in our Contract with Australia is ‘I am an Australian Soldier – always’. I will always be an Australian Soldier in my heart.”

The position of the Regimental Sergeant Major of Army was first established in 1983 and is the only person in the Australian Army to hold the rank of Warrant Officer. 

Warrant Officer Don Spinks is the tenth Regimental Sergeant Major of Army.
Images of the ceremony will be available at:
Warrant Officer Spink’s biography is available at:

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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