John Baker (general)

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General
John Stuart Baker
AC, DSM
Born (1936-02-24)24 February 1936
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died 9 July 2007(2007-07-09) (aged 71)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Allegiance Australia Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch Australia Australian Army
Years of service 1954–1998 (44 years)
Rank General
Commands held Australian Defence Force
Director Defence Intelligence Organisation
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Distinguished Service Medal
Mention in Despatches
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Commander of the Legion of Honor (Philippines)
Distinguished Service Order (Singapore)

General John Stuart Baker, AC DSM (24 February 1936 – 9 July 2007) was an Australian army general. Entering the Australian Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1954, he rose to the most senior position in the Australian Defence Force before retiring 44 years later on 7 August 1998.[1] Some of his many significant achievements and appointments included Chief of the (Australian) Defence Force from July 1995 to July 1998, inaugural Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation from 1990 to 1992,[2] and author of the highly influential 1988 "Baker Report".[3]

Career[edit]

Baker joined the Australian Army in 1954, where he graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1957, enlisting with the Royal Australian Engineers corps[4] later graduating from the University of Melbourne with a degree in civil engineering.[5]

His first regimental posting was a one-year appointment in Papua New Guinea, and not long after he spent a year in Hawaii as an exchange officer. In 1970–1971 he was attached to the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit during the Vietnam War, where he was Mentioned in Despatches.[5][6] He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1971, Colonel in 1979, Brigadier in 1982, Major General in 1987 and General in 1995.[7]

The Baker Report[edit]

In 1987, the then Chief of the Defence Force, General P. C. Gration, tasked the then Brigadier Baker to:[8]

conduct a study of the existing ADF command arrangements in order to recommend further development to meet likely requirements into the 21st century for both low and high levels of operations.

One of the principal aims of this study was to determine the optimal command arrangements for ADF air power. The final report, commonly referred to as the Baker Report, was published in March 1988.[3] Despite extensive reference being made to the command and control challenges posed by air power, Baker did not provide definitive guidance on how the ADF should structure its command arrangements to optimise the development and employment of air power. However, Chapter 7 of the report strongly advocated the creation of NORCOM,[9] a recommendation that was soon adopted by the ADF.[3]

"The Baker Report" remains the seminal work on command and control in the ADF.[citation needed]

Honours and awards[edit]

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png DSM (Australia) ribbon.png

Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Vietnam Medal BAR MID.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png

DFSM with Fed Star.png National Medal with Rosette.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg

Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Philippine Legion of Honor (Commander) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) (1995)[10]
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (1990)[11]
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) (1980)[12]
DSM (Australia) ribbon.png Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) (1998)[13]
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasp Vietnam[14]
Vietnam Medal BAR MID.png Vietnam Medal with oak leaf for Mention in Despatches (Note 1) [14]
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasp Papua New Guinea[14]
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal (2001)[15]
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (5 clasps) (40–44 years service)[14]
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal with clasp (1977)[16][17]
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal (United States) [14]
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal (South Vietnam) [14]
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States) [14]
Philippine Legion of Honor (Commander) ribbon.png Commander of the Legion of Honor (Philippines) [14]
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) Distinguished Service Order (Military) (Singapore) [14]

Notes:

  1. The oak leaf for Mention in Despatches is not worn on the ribbon bar after the award of a superior medal, in this case the Distinguished Service Medal. (However, the oak leaf is worn on the ribbon of the medal when the full set of medals are worn.[14])
  2. All images of him show a significant delay between an award and his wearing a ribbon, and some were not worn at all. The medals displayed at his funeral do not show a medal for the Order of Australia, the Australian Defence Medal or the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang. However, the badges for Companion of the Order of Australia (Military Division), and for the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang, are shown. Note also that both the medal of the US Legion of Merit, and the badge of the Commander of the Legion of Merit are shown.[14]

Portrait[edit]

During General Baker's tenure as Chief of Defence Force, the Royal Australian Engineers arranged for his portrait to be painted by leading Australian 20th century artist, Sir William Dargie.[18] The portrait (1997) hangs at the RAE's School of Military Engineering in Sydney, but was also used at General Baker's funeral in Canberra at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 2007.[19]

General John Baker Complex - HQJOC[edit]

On 7 March 2009 the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, officially opened the "General John Baker Complex",[20][21] housing the Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) from which joint command of the Australian Defence Force is exercised by the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS). The complex is some 25 km from the national capital, Canberra, on the Kings Highway about half-way between the towns of Queanbeyan and Bungendore. After Mr Rudd named the complex, Mrs Margaret Baker unveilled a bronze bust of General Baker.[20] The bust was sculpted by Hal Holman.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Short biography (and service record) of General John Stuart Baker AC, DSM, 10 July 2007, Defence Media Release MECC 200/07, www.defence.gov.au
  2. ^ DIO Directors, www.defence.gov.au.[dead link] (Quoted page no longer contains this information.)
  3. ^ a b c Baker, J.S. "A Study into the ADF Command Arrangements", 1988. Also referred to as "The Baker Report".
  4. ^ Former ADF chief General Baker dies, The Australian, 9 July 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b ACM Angus Houston, CDF eulogy for General John Baker AC, DSM, 13 July 2007, www.defence.gov.au, accessed 31 March 2012.
  6. ^ Mention in Despatches. In 1970-1971 John "was project officer in the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit, where he was responsible for construction activities in Phuoc Tuy Province. In recognition of his work on this project, Major Baker was mentioned in dispatches. His citation reads that "Despite the short planning time, an extended supply system, a mixed workforce and, subsequently, a curtailed completion time, Major Baker—by his technical ability and dedication—brought the project near to successful completion before his departure from Vietnam. Throughout his management of the complex and difficult task, Major Baker displayed devotion to duty, professional skill and leadership qualities of the highest order which reflected great credit upon himself, his Corps and the Australian Army". Huston, "CDF eulogy", pg.2
  7. ^ Supporting Australian Defence, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, November 1998.[dead link]
  8. ^ Gration, P.C. "A Study into the ADF Command Arrangements — Terms of Reference", CDF 620/1987, 11 August 1987.
  9. ^ NORCOM, the ADF's Northern Command, was headquartered in Darwin.
  10. ^ Companion of the Order of Australia - Baker, John Stuart, 26 January 1995, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
    Citation: In recognition of service to the RAA as Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
  11. ^ Officer of the Order of Australia - Baker, John Stuart, 11 June 1990, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
    Citation: In recognition of service to the RAA, particularly as Director Joint Intelligence Organisation.
  12. ^ Member of the Order of Australia - Baker, John Stuart, 26 January 1980, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 31 March 2012.
    Citation: FOR SERVICE AS DIRECTOR OF AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING, HEADQUARTERS LOGISTICS COMMAND.
  13. ^ Distinguished Service Medal - Baker, John Stuart, 3 June 1998, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Medals and honours of General John Stuart Baker, AC, DSM, taken 13 July 2007 at his funeral service, accessed 26 August 2008.
  15. ^ Centenary Medal - Baker, John Stuart, 1 January 2001, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
    Citation: For service to Australian society as Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
  16. ^ National Medal - Baker, John Stuart, 14 July 1977, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
  17. ^ National Medal, 1st Clasp - Baker, John Stuart, 17 September 1980, Australian Honours Database (itsanhonour.gov.au), accessed 12 December 2006.
  18. ^ Portrait of GEN Baker by Sir William Dargie, 1977, Defence Image Library.
  19. ^ Funeral for Retired Chief of Defence Force General John Stuart Baker, AC, DSM, 13 July 2007, Australian Department of Defence, accessed 31 March 2012.
  20. ^ a b PM opens Joint Operations HQ, 7 March 2009, Australian Department of Defence
  21. ^ PM opens new Defence headquarters, 7 March 2009, ABC Online
  22. ^ Hal Holman website: Main page; Cast Metal sculpture; Biography.
Military offices
Preceded by
Admiral Alan Beaumont
Chief of the Defence Force
1995–1998
Succeeded by
Admiral Chris Barrie
Preceded by
Vice Admiral Alan Beaumont
Vice Chief of the Defence Force
1992–1995
Succeeded by
Vice Admiral Robert Walls