Author Topic: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"  (Read 2921 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 416,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 21,945
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
Politicians of ALL stripes, take note -- this from AUS media ...
Quote
Australia's top-ranking soldier has pulled off a precision extraction of the military's top brass from a potentially hostile situation.

Drawing on years of experience as a crack SAS commander, Defence Chief Angus Campbell deftly intervened in a press conference to prevent his senior colleagues being in frame during political debate.

After a 40-year career, Air Marshal Leo Davies will soon finish up as Air Force Chief, and his senior colleagues had gathered outside their Canberra headquarters on Thursday morning to hear who would be getting his job.

Once journalists had finished questioning Defence Minister Christopher Pyne about the military leadership changes, their focus turned to what the Government's chief tactician thought of preference deals with One Nation.

Standing directly behind Mr Pyne was the Australian Defence Force's second in command, Vice Admiral David Johnston; the newly announced Air Force Chief, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld; and the next Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Greg Bilton.

General Campbell had been running late for the event having been held up by another longstanding commitment at the Australian War Memorial.

But he managed to scramble to the press conference just as the questions were turning to federal politics.

As the media began inquiring about the overseas travel habits of Nationals backbencher George Christensen, General Campbell decided it was time to stage a strategic intervention.

"Oh Angus," Minister Pyne exclaimed with surprise as the imposing soldier tapped him on the back.

"My apologies," the General whispered, in full view of the assembled cameras and microphones.

"I might just ask that the military officers step aside while you're answering these kind of questions.

"Yeah sure, please do," the Defence Minister agreed, excusing the top brass from their awkward nodding duties behind him ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Online Halifax Tar

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 47,813
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,903
  • Ready Aye Ready
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2019, 11:59:55 »
I dont think we could see such honorable actions in Canada.
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline Journeyman

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 548,140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,042
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 12:10:47 »
And for the politicians who couldn't read between the lines, the article concluded with:
Quote
A senior military official told the ABC the incident was a "timely reminder" for politicians not to attempt to use ADF personnel as props in an election year.
   :nod:

Offline FSTO

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 49,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,767
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 12:13:53 »
That's why I hate the nodding seals behind political leaders. BZ on the General.

Online ballz

    ...

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 118,896
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,289
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 12:23:13 »
Great work... personally I find this is something we're very horrible at in Canada. As an example, we seem to think its our job to show support for any decisions the sitting gov't makes vice remaining neutral... it might be more subtle than disagreeing but it is partisan nonetheless and therefore unprofessional in my opinion.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 140,625
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,641
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 12:45:48 »
I dont think we could see such honorable actions in Canada.

No. We are rather the other way around. I remember fuming a few years ago when a political announcement was made at, and on the occasion of  an international defence conference in Halifax, and the Canadian minister making the announcement was surrounded, in a line-up behind him by various seamen and soldiers in uniform. There was no way these seamen/soldiers would have been in attendance at that conference. They were obviously sent there by "higher authority" for that specific purpose (they may have been there to do service work, but not to participate in the conference).

I was discussed by the spineless officer who had agreed to let them play political-selfie for the Minister. Had I been the officer tasked with providing such background people, I would have said NO!

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 175,745
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,187
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 12:47:05 »
I dont think we could see such honorable actions in Canada.

Maybe when Big Cod was CDS...
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Good2Golf

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 210,520
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,022
  • Dammit! I lost my sand-wedge on that last jump!
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2019, 12:51:25 »
Maybe when Big Cod was CDS...

Government learned pretty quickly to keep The Big Cod away from their own potentially contentious announcements, the reasons being two-fold: 1) He was excellent at seeing and voicing the difference between ‘Military Advice’ and Government Policy; and 2) he was likely to get far more attention and questions from the media correspondents than the politician making an actual announcement. 

Regards
G2G

Online PPCLI Guy

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 172,320
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,438
  • It's all good
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2019, 13:16:22 »
I dont think we could see such honorable actions in Canada.

Who is it that you assume is dishonourable in Canada?  Senior Officers, or elected Ministers of the Crown?
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Online PPCLI Guy

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 172,320
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,438
  • It's all good
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 13:17:31 »
Great work... personally I find this is something we're very horrible at in Canada. As an example, we seem to think its our job to show support for any decisions the sitting gov't makes vice remaining neutral... it might be more subtle than disagreeing but it is partisan nonetheless and therefore unprofessional in my opinion.

We?
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Online ballz

    ...

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 118,896
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,289
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2019, 16:41:35 »
We?

Yes. "We" as in the CAF (the group I was referring to), a group that includes me and therefore it's grammatically correct for me to say "we."
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Offline DetectiveMcNulty

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 58,450
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,487
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2019, 16:55:41 »
Who is it that you assume is dishonourable in Canada?  Senior Officers, or elected Ministers of the Crown?

A little of column A, a little of column B?


Online PPCLI Guy

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 172,320
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,438
  • It's all good
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2019, 23:47:46 »
Yes. "We" as in the CAF (the group I was referring to), a group that includes me and therefore it's grammatically correct for me to say "we."

Fair enough. 

Having said that, I too am in the CAF, posted in Ottawa where I spend more time than I would like in buildings with flags outside them, and (based on probabilities) am likely senior to you, and I do not feel compelled in the slightest to "show support for any decisions the sitting gov't makes vice remaining neutral".
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Online ballz

    ...

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 118,896
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,289
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 00:42:56 »
Fair enough. 

Having said that, I too am in the CAF, posted in Ottawa where I spend more time than I would like in buildings with flags outside them, and (based on probabilities) am likely senior to you, and I do not feel compelled in the slightest to "show support for any decisions the sitting gov't makes vice remaining neutral".

Not really sure what your beef is with that observation, or why you feel the need to point that out about yourself as an individual, as I never directed it at any specific individuals. I also never said anything about anyone being compelled to say anything, and I also don't feel like I'm compelled to. I think it's purely out a lack of understanding of the difference between a political question/answer and a military matter that leads to it, but that's unprofessional nonetheless. EDIT: Or perhaps a better way to put it, the difference between "supporting the gov't" by doing your job free of passion or prejudice, and "supporting the gov't" by being a lemming.

As an example, all of the questions during interviews when troops return from "x" mission... the classic "what would you say to Canadians who think we shouldn't be doing XYZ over there" which is basically a baited interview question asking the soldier whether he supports a very political foreign policy decision. The answer is always something on point with the government's position, but you know damn well if it wasn't there would be hell to pay, so it's a complete double-standard which encourages everyone to answer in a way that supports the government. Even if they truly agree with it, I still think they should not answer that question.. what's wrong with a good neutral statement like "well that's not really what I'm focused on as a Canadian Armed Forces member, that decision was (or is being) made by the elected government and I was just focused on delivering on the task we've been assigned." But most don't really seem to recognize the professional violation in *agreeing* publicly with the gov't, the same way they would recognize it if someone were *disagreeing.*
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 02:33:44 by ballz »
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Offline DetectiveMcNulty

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 58,450
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,487
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2019, 01:37:15 »
Fair enough. 

Having said that, I too am in the CAF, posted in Ottawa where I spend more time than I would like in buildings with flags outside them, and (based on probabilities) am likely senior to you, and I do not feel compelled in the slightest to "show support for any decisions the sitting gov't makes vice remaining neutral".

That is commendable. Is that sentiment shared by your 130+ peers and superiors though?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 01:40:15 by standingdown »

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 240,685
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,574
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2019, 03:07:32 »
That is commendable. Is that sentiment shared by your 130+ peers and superiors though?

An article about the US Military, but one that sheds some light on the struggles to remain apolitical the higher you go. I do not envy these Generals that part of their job (trying to remain apolitical) one little bit, and Gawd bless the good ones!:

"Political candidates will continue to seek retired generals and admirals to endorse them. In the competition for public office, politicians will always seek to surround themselves with as many credible allies as possible. But we retired generals and admirals should not heed their request. This is not something that needs to be fixed with law, policy, or administrative rule. All we have to do is say no."

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/08/keep-your-politics-private-my-fellow-generals-and-admirals/130404/
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Online Halifax Tar

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 47,813
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,903
  • Ready Aye Ready
Re: "Defence chiefs desert (AUS Def Min) in awkward press conference"
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2019, 06:10:55 »
Quote
Quote from: PPCLI Guy on Yesterday at 14:16:22
Who is it that you assume is dishonourable in Canada?  Senior Officers, or elected Ministers of the Crown?


A little of column A, a little of column B?

Yup
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way