Christian army officer Bernie Gaynor pays the price for marching out of step with top generals

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul Sheehan wrote this article in response to the Defence Force’s decision to terminate my commission.


The Australian Army will terminate Major Bernie Gaynor’s commission tomorrow. It is not difficult to see why. Gaynor has accused the army’s higher leadership of cowardice.

He has made the claim publicly, repeatedly, and in various forms. He has predicted the moral cowardice of the army’s leadership would inevitably lead to a complete waste of the service and sacrifices made by thousands of Australian military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This has not gone down well. On June 30, the chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, AC, DSC, on his last day in the job, wrote to Gaynor detailing why he was no longer fit to serve in the Army Reserve.

Gaynor served three tours of duty in Iraq while serving in Army intelligence. In a column published on March 17, I quoted a speech he had given to a conference in Melbourne: “It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that the Australian Defence Force has a fundamentally broken approach to religion, an approach shaped partly by the triumph of bureaucratic administration over battlefield considerations but mostly by political correctness…”

“The ADF has a fundamentally flawed understanding of Islam. Just look at Iraq. I was one of the last Australians to serve there. All the politicians and military hierarchy were saying the withdrawal of Western military force was based on success. And yet al-Qaeda today controls more of Iraq than it ever did while Western forces were in the country …”

That was four months ago. It is much worse now. What Gaynor has predicted has spread, deepened and metastasised into Afghanistan.

“While everyone is watching the spread of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, we’re not noticing that areas where British and American troops fought and died in Afghanistan are being taken by the Taliban even before NATO forces have left the country … Helmand Province is being overrun by the Taliban. It is next to Oruzgan Province, where the Australian military was deployed and 40 Australians died.”

During the past week, The Washington Post and news agencies have reported dozens have been killed in fighting in Helmand Province as the Taliban committed hundreds of fighters to attacking Afghan army posts.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Not a bad piece of journalism – a bit surprising it was even published in the usually pro-sodomite, pro-“choice” SMH.

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  2. To Bernie Gaynor — I pray that all Nations and the church will come back to her first Love and realize the way back is through true repentance. That we will respond to God pursing us. Repentance that brings change!
    This is not about a single day of true repentance, but it is about a lifestyle journey of letting our hearts awaken and allowing God’s very breath to fill us. It is understanding we have strayed from God, our first Love, and realizing the only way back is through true heart-felt repentance. Repentance that brings change and realizing that repentance has many depths to it. It’s about forgiving one another and not allowing the enemy to rule us through offences. Realizing there is diversity in unity. It is about knowing who we are in Christ! That He first loved us and He still loves us and is pursuing us to come back to Him. We are soldiers for Christ and our battle is in God’s Kingdom.

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  3. Go for it now Bernard, sue for wrongful dismissal.
    You can tell Hurley for me that he sickens me and what he has done to the uniform that as a Vietnam veteran I once wore with pride.
    There is not a hope in hell I would follow him or his like anywhere let alone into battle and further more I would not let him follow me, I would wish for someone I could trust to cover my arse, someone with guts, moral fibre and character all the things required of a good soldier, none of which I believe he possesses.

    Take care now until you are back in uniform. Angus..

    PS…. I am not of your faith Bernard, the point is you have been thrown out for your religion and beliefs against those of Hurley and other (so called) top brass who can not even adhere to “Army Standing Orders” that clearly states the uniform is not to be used for any personal or political purposes.

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  4. Major Bernard Gaynor’s bravery and tenacity to hold the armed forces leadership to account over issues of truth and the lives of it’s personnel, is absolutely remarkable. “Men of whom the world is not worthy” (Hebrews 11) comes to mind. I am deeply challenged by his uncompromising forthrightness and brilliant logic. I totally agree that our military leadership has been illogical,cowardly, totalitarian and infantile, in it’s dealings with the major. Shame, oh shame on the gutless wonders military ‘leadership’ who refuse to consider the great moral issues before them. Fortiter et fideliter Major Gaynor.

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  5. To Bernie Gaynor- Praise God for the trial you are going through and know that He is leading you to the perfect answer! Carrying His Name is always a costly endeavour and worthy of every sacrifice. If we stop and let the reality sink in, it’s both mind-boggling and heart-wrenching. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, Proverbs 31:8 tells us. So let us cry out to Him for these precious lives and speak up for righteousness and justice in our nations.

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  6. Time to form a outside of military association perhaps

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