Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell and Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty have praised the work of Defence personnel in a combined message to mark the end of a significant year.

General Campbell said the year was marked with outstanding accomplishments and unprecedented events.

“Early in the year, as our communities were devastated by bushfires, many of you cut short valuable time off and holidays with loved ones to come to the aid of Australians in need,” General Campbell said.

“Shortly thereafter, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 10,000 Defence personnel helped the government fight to reduce its impact.

“What we have achieved is International best practice and has saved countless lives.”

General Campbell said the release of the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force’s Afghanistan Inquiry report marked a difficult step forward for the community and the nation.

“I would like to thank those who had the moral courage to speak up,” he said.

“Together we will work to ensure the ADF, always and everywhere, reflects the best of Australia.”

Mr Moriarty said the nation had asked a lot of Defence personnel in a tough year.

“The many letters of thanks we have received from communities, school children and local organisations attest to the profound impact you have had on the lives of our fellow Australians,” Mr Moriarty said.