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New Military Appointments Announced

May 28, 2002

This is the text of a media release by the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill:


New military team for a new era in international security

Defence will have a new leadership team to guide it through the challenges posed by the changed international security environment following today's appointments of a new Chief of the Defence Force and service chiefs.

The Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, welcomed the three-year appointment of Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove as the new Chief of the Defence Force. General Cosgrove replaces Admiral Chris Barrie who is retiring on 3 July.

Head of Defence Personnel, Rear Admiral Russ Shalders, will be appointed Vice-Chief of the Defence Force for a term of three years. He will replace Lieutenant General Des Mueller on 15 July.

Rear Admiral Chris Ritchie, Commander Australian Theatre, will be promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral and appointed as Chief of Navy. He will replace Vice Admiral David Shackleton who will retire on 2 July after three years in the top Navy job.

Major General Peter Leahy AM, Deputy Chief of Army, will be promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed as Chief of Army.

Air Marshal Angus Houston, who was appointed in June last year as Chief of Air Force for a three-year term, will continue in that role.

Senator Hill said Admiral Barrie had done an outstanding job leading the Australian Defence Force during the past four years. "During his time as CDF, the Defence Force has been involved in more than 60 successful operations around the globe," Senator Hill said. "The most notable of these have been our leadership role in East Timor, the ADF's contribution to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting in Queensland and most recently the deployment of ADF personnel to assist our coalition allies in the fight against terrorism. "Admiral Barrie was also instrumental in the successful development of the Defence 2000 White Paper - which has resulted in a significant increase in funding to ensure our military is better trained and better equipped than ever before.

"I would like to thank Admiral Barrie, as well as Lieutenant General Mueller and Vice Admiral David Shackleton who are also retiring from the ADF, for their service to the Defence Force and the nation." Senator Hill said General Cosgrove's appointment and the new appointments to the Defence leadership team marked a new generation of military leadership for the ADF.

"Since September 11 the world security environment has changed," Senator Hill said. "I am confident that General Cosgrove and his team will be able to meet the challenge of these uncertain times and continue to build on the outstanding work done by Admiral Barrie.

"They have extensive military command experience and will bring strong leadership skills to the management of the ADF. I look forward to working with them to make Defence an even more effective and efficient organisation. "

Short biographies of the leadership team and stills photographs are available at http://www.defence.gov.au/media/appts/2002/

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