Lt-Gen David Morison, Incoming Chief of Army, address at Change of Command Parade
23 June 2011
Speech: Incoming Chief of Army address at the Change of Command Parade, Canberra, 24 June 2011
Check against delivery.
CDF designate General Hurley, my fellow Service Chiefs, Chief of Joint Operations, general officers, group heads, members of the diplomatic community, ladies and gentlemen.
As I begin my tenure as the Chief of one of the nation’s great institutions, I have reflected on those who have held the position before me. They are men of the highest calibre, great soldiers and great Australians, who have led the Army in times of peace and war. It’s both understandable, in-deed desirable for me to ask myself, how will I compare?
I am now among their number, but not yet amongst their midst. Only time and the actions that I will take will determine where I will stand in history. Ken Gillespie is not just in their midst. He is in the front rank of their number. He has won his place through years of dedicated service to the nation, a capacity to make the toughest of decisions when they counted most and balanced always by his compassion, his deep understanding of those with whom he soldiered and his love of the service.
To him, my personal thanks for his support, his mentorship and his friendship. I could not have been better prepared for the work I will now undertake. On behalf of the Army, my thanks for the wonderful legacy that he leaves.
To Carmel and Moira, thank you for the way that you have supported Ken through his career and particularly through these three exceptionally demanding years. You can now have him back with our deep appreciation and admiration.
This is not the time to speak about what I want to achieve during my tenure. That will happen soon enough. Today is about marking the handover of command, the passing of the mantle of Chief of the Army from one soldier to another. I want to thank all of those who have supported me to this point in my life and ask for that support to continue as I now shoulder the work that must be done.
I can do no more than make one simple promise. To the nation, to the Defence Force and to the Army – you have my all. You can count on my commitment to put service before self to ensure that this magnificent institution, peopled by the finest Australians, will continue to be a force for good, joint in its outlook, conscious of the need to be both effective and efficient, buoyed by a strong, open and support culture. An institution proud of its history, committed to answering all of the current operational demands it faces. One with a keen eye to being able to meet the future defence needs of this wonderful nation.
I look forward to our time together. Thank you.