David Lindsay Morrison
Morrison in 2012
|Years of service||1979 – present|
|Commands held||Chief of Army
Commander Forces Command
Deputy Chief of Army
Australian Defence College
2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
International Force for East Timor
|Awards||Officer of the Order of Australia
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Early life and career
David Morrison joined the Australian Army in 1979, after completing a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps.
In 1992, Morrison attended the Army Command and Staff College, Queenscliff, and was then appointed as the Brigade Major of the 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville, Queensland. During that time he took part in Operation Lagoon, acting as Chief of Staff for a multinational force that provided security to the peace conference held in Bougainville during 1994. The following year he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1997 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR), holding that position until the end of 1998, when he was posted as the Chief Instructor for the Command, Staff Operations Wing at the Army All Corps Promotion Training Centre in Canungra.
Upon promotion to Colonel in October 1999, Morrison was appointed as Colonel Operations, Headquarters International Force for East Timor (INTERFET). On his return to Australia, he was posted to the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters (DJFHQ) as Chief of Staff. He left that position at the end of 2001 to attend the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, Canberra, where he graduated in 2002 with a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies.
Morrison was promoted to Brigadier in November 2002, and commanded the 3rd Brigade from December 2002 until December 2004. He was then appointed as Director-General Preparedness and Plans - Army (DGPP-A) and held that position until his promotion to Major General in December 2005.
Morrison took up the appointment of Deputy Chief of Army in February 2008, replacing Major General John Patrick Cantwell. He served in this position until December, when he was appointed Land Commander Australia (LCAUST). Following a re-structure in July 2009, the post of Land Commander Australia was re-designated as Commander Forces Command. Morrison was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List of 2010 for distinguished service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army.
Women in the military
In June 2013, Morrison ordered an investigation into several emails sent from Army accounts over a three-year period that were highly demeaning to women. At a 13 June press conference, Morrison announced that he had suspended three members of the Army, ordered action to consider the suspension of five others, and suggested as many as nine more could face disciplinary action. He described the emails as "explicit, derogatory, demeaning and repugnant," and suggested that the alleged conduct was even worse than the "Skype scandal" of 2011. In a video posted on the Army's official YouTube channel, a visibly angry Morrison described the alleged behaviour as a "direct contravention" of Army values. He added that he had been committed ever since becoming Chief of Army to making the Army an inclusive force. "If that does not suit you," he said, "then get out!" He also told anyone not willing to work with women and accept them as equals, "There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters."
His speech and stance on the issue have been widely hailed by Australian and American media, in particular comparing Morrison's aggressive response to abuse to the relatively guarded response of the U.S. military to similar accusations.
Honours and Awards
|Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)||26 January 2010|
|Member of the Order of Australia (AM)||1999|
|Australian Active Service Medal|
|International Force East Timor Medal|
|Defence Force Service Medal with 3 Clasps||(30–34 years of service)|
|Australian Defence Medal|
|Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)||2012|
- "Chief of Army - Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO". www.army.gov.au.
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 26 January 1999, It's an Honour
- Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 26 January 2010, It's an Honour
- "Army Celebrates Leadership". Defence Media Release MECC 263/11. Australian Department of Defence. 24 June 2011.
- Brendan Nicholson (26 October 2012). "More cuts a 'risk' to soldiers' lives, says army chief David Morrison". The Australian.
- Geoffrey Barker (22 November 2012). "Army Chief’s outcry tests boundaries". Australian Financial Review.
- "Australian military investigates 'explicit emails'". BBC News. 13 June 2013.
- Transcript of Morrison's press conference on 2013 email scandal, 13 June 2013, www.army.gov.au
- Chief of Army message regarding unacceptable behaviour, www.youtube.com
- Sean Power (11 June 2013). "Sexism in the Australian Defence Force". Mama Mia.
- Julia Baird (8 June 2013). "A Timely Halt to the War Within". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Harold Maass (13 June 2013). "Australia's army chief demonstrates how you address sex abuse". The Week.
- Mary Elizabeth Williams (13 June 2013). "This is how you talk about military sex abuse". Salon.com.
- Official High Resolution Photo, www.defence.gov.au[dead link]
- High Resolution Photo, images.defence.gov.au[dead link]
- Media related to David Morrison at Wikimedia Commons
Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie
|Chief of Army
as Land Commander Australia
|Commander Forces Command
2009 – 2011
Major General Jeffrey Sengelman
Major General Mark Kelly
|Land Commander Australia
2008 – 2009
as Commander Forces Command
Major General John Cantwell
|Deputy Chief of Army
2008 – 2009
Major General Paul Symon
Rear Admiral Mark Bonser
|Commander Australian Defence College
2006 – 2007
Brigadier Brian Dawson (acting)