Last night outgoing diversity warrior David Morrison did an ad for his speaking circuit career on the ABC's 730 program. Here's The Australian's report today:
More women, ethnic minorities needed in defence says army chief
Stories about the Anzac legend risk alienating women and indigenous and ethnic Australians from joining the defence force, outgoing Chief of Army David Morrison has said.
The Defence Force did not reflect contemporary Australian society, and with women representing just 12 per cent of the army workforce it was making “lousy” use of the talent on offer, Lieutenant General Morrison told ABC TV.
He said undue emphasis on Anzac stories that were “overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon” risked alienating women and indigenous and ethnic Australians, who were currently under-represented in the army.
“We need to really focus on this because that’s where the talent lies and we’ve got to be an employer of talented men and women if we want the most capable defence force in the future,” Lt Gen Morrison said.
if General Morrison's logic is right - that is the current members of the Army aren't good enough because the talent lies with ethnic indigenous women et al - then let him point to his Army's stuff-ups. Let him tell us which operational situations we screwed up because we were too white and Anglo Saxon. Where would we have done better if we were more feminine, more black or more ethnic - Gallipoli? Long Tan? Tizak, Kandahar?
The Army's pointy bit is the Royal Australian Corps of Infantry - mostly in the Royal Australian Regiment and the Special Air Service Regiment. The role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground, to repel attack, by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain. Which battles of late have we lost for want of a more diverse workforce.
Good luck with the speaking gigs and conferences General. Let's hope we get a leader of our Army who wants to be a soldier, not a social engineer.
I hope we continue to find the finest traditions of the Australian Army upheld in the field by warriors like this:
On the 11th June 2010, a troop of the Special Operations Task Group conducted a helicopter assault into Tizak, Kandahar Province, in order to capture or kill a senior Taliban commander.
Immediately upon the helicopter insertion, the troop was engaged by machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire from multiple, dominating positions. Two soldiers were wounded in action and the troop was pinned down by fire from three machine guns in an elevated fortified position to the south of the village. Under the cover of close air support, suppressive small arms and machine gun fire, Corporal Roberts-Smith and his patrol manoeuvred to within 70 metres of the enemy position in order to neutralise the enemy machine gun positions and regain the initiative.
Upon commencement of the assault, the patrol drew very heavy, intense, effective and sustained fire from the enemy position. Corporal Roberts-Smith and his patrol members fought towards the enemy position until, at a range of 40 metres, the weight of fire prevented further movement forward. At this point, he identified the opportunity to exploit some cover provided by a small structure.
As he approached the structure, Corporal Roberts-Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Corporal Roberts-Smith instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy. His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns. Seizing the advantage, and demonstrating extreme devotion to duty and the most conspicuous gallantry, Corporal Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position killing the two remaining machine gunners.
His act of valour enabled his patrol to break-in to the enemy position and to lift the weight of fire from the remainder of the troop who had been pinned down by the machine gun fire. On seizing the fortified gun position, Corporal Roberts-Smith then took the initiative again and continued to assault enemy positions in depth during which he and another patrol member engaged and killed further enemy. His acts of selfless valour directly enabled his troop to go on and clear the village of Tizak of Taliban. This decisive engagement subsequently caused the remainder of the Taliban in Shah Wali Kot District to retreat from the area.