Care-bear Campbell’s not very good start

The good news is that Vice Admiral Ray Griggs will not become Chief of the Defence Force (CDF).

The bad news is that the new CDF has managed to get the entire Army offside within hours of being given the nod for the top job.

First the good news.

On Monday, Malcolm Turnbull announced that the next CDF will be Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, the current Chief of Army.

This is how the Sydney Morning Herald covered the announcement:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promoted the former head of Tony Abbott’s hardline anti-people smuggling program, Operation Sovereign Borders, to lead the Australian Defence Force as part of sweeping changes to the nation’s top brass.

Mr Turnbull named Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell, known widely as the inscrutable face of the secretive asylum seeker turn-back operation in 2013, the new Chief of the Defence Force from July…

…His elevation headlined a series of other promotions and retirements among the country’s military leadership, although, noticeably, there were no women placed in the most senior roles…

…The current number two, Vice-Chief of Defence Force, Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs, who has been the subject of salacious gossip and media attention over his private life, was overlooked for promotion. He will wind up his term in July.

Insiders denied that Admiral Griggs had been demoted in the shake-up, arguing simply that his current term as Vice-Chief of the Defence was merely coming to an end.

However, it is understood that recent attention on the collapse of his marriage, following an alleged affair with a more junior officer, had damaged his chances.

A couple of points here.

Firstly, it seems that the Sydney Morning Herald believes gender should play a role in the promotions of our senior military officers. How un-PC of them in this post-gender world.

Secondly, I have no idea whether the attention Griggs received on this webpage and in other media had any impact on this decision. Regardless, this webpage maintains that Griggs was entirely unsuitable to be CDF after he put his own personal interests and desires ahead of the welfare of those he commanded.

It’s impossible to maintain morale, discipline and effective command if a subordinate cannot trust his boss to act with integrity around his wife.

And that’s where we’ll leave it on Griggs.

Now to the bad news.

I was planning to write this piece a few days ago but was side-tracked by other pressing events, such as a High Court ruling. This is what I would have written if I had not been otherwise engaged:

Although I have written about Angus Campbell’s PC support in the past (for instance his call for more females in the infantry and his support of the pro-abortion lobby group White Ribbon), Campbell is still a far better choice than Griggs.

I hold little hope that Campbell will stop the rot, but at least he is unlikely to go running down the street in high heels like the former Chief of Army, David Morrison.

But I can’t write that anymore.

Within hours of being named the new Head Honcho, Campbell issued a directive banning unit symbols that depict mean and nasty things like the Grim Reaper (see the letter below). So it’s entirely possible that he may follow in Morrison’s footsteps while wearing stilettos.

Apparently, Campbell thinks such imagery is unnecessary in a professional Army. Like this one:


The 2/6 Cavalry Commando Regiment liked to put skulls and cross bones on their unit flags. And to (gasp) drink beer in front of it.

The image above was taken in New Guinea in 1945 after our Army had participated in winning the Second World War. Back then we won the big wars. And soldiers were also allowed to drink beer. In uniform. And out field.

Today, our soldiers are expressing themselves in other ways. On Facebook. Using Care Bears to make a point about their new boss.

This is just one of many images now flooding the ‘Digger Net’:

4 Pl 2 RAR

In fact, there is nothing I can say here that has not already been said better by those on the ground. So I’ll just refer you to the best of it.

There’s the blunt and truthful humour of the Digger:

Morrison Campbell

And there’s the From-the-Heart message of one who has been there and done that:

And there’s the keen-eyed and brutal take down from soldiers who can smell hypocrisy a mile away:

For those who may not understand the above image, it appears to show our new Chief of Defence Force leaving a military helicopter adorned with the image of the Grim Reaper…

…but some have pointed out that it is far more likely that he was departing the scene after coming into contact with the offending imagery.

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. My nickname for the last 31 years has been Reaper. Given to me at recruiting when I joined the RAAF. This arse clown will never change that.

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  2. What would Patton or Monash say?

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  3. OH dear will i be able to keep my Viet Cong hunting Club Badge,you know the one with the funny hat a small round one HMMMMM
    Nope it stays

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  4. On the one hand – ‘Care Bear’ Campbell (CBC) has banned any unit, sub-unit or section from having anything to do with Spartan helmets and related symbology.

    Too “militaristic”, apparently.

    Can’t have any of that sort of militaristic carry-on in the Army.

    But on the other hand, CBC also permits – indeed, enthusiastically encourages – all ADF members to attend in uniform an annual event where there are plenty of people running around, dressed up as Spartans and Roman soldiers and Gladiators etc.

    And that would be the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

    So what’s the new CDF going to do?

    Will he stick by his “no proximity to Sparta” rule – and ban any future uniformed ADF attendance at any future Sydney Mardi Gras where the atmosphere positively reeks of sandals and leather and Spartan helmets and ancient militarism, all in the fabulous glittering confines of modern homosexual celebration?

    Or will he wilt before the PC tsunami of venomous fury he will no doubt cause, go as limp as a flaccid lettuce leaf and continue to allow uniformed ADF members to cavort with Roman Soldier wannabees?

    Fascinating dilemma.

    Stay tuned.

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  5. Ask the current Chief of Army about the GLAM course, females are only allowed to attend, no male members at a cost of $1000 per member conducted over three days.

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  6. One detects input from Marisa Payne, the overweight female Minister of Defence, in this prohibition, giving effect to the female Sex Discrimination Commissar’s recommendation to wind back the warrior ethos in Army which creates an unsafe place for females.

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  7. The Care Bear is rainbow fluid, non-racist, non-Islamophobic and safe space friendly. Soy boyz accept the care bear as an essential social accessory. Feminists are OK with that – for boyz.

    Despite what our snowflakes are taught in Gender theory, violence does solve problems.

    The sooner the image of the ADF returns to Badass the better. But even if they get stuck with the care bare logos and symbols, there is still plenty of fun to be had.
    Ewoks Capture an Imperial Walker

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    • I agree there could be fun to be had using Care Bears as symbols. Anyone know the Latin or Greek for “Don’t poke the Bear”?

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      • Ursus dormiens nunquam titillandus

      • From Goole translator


  8. As Trump has said “So sad, So sad” and we had high hopes that the Campbell would turn the ADF around.

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  9. The spartan symbol is usually just a helmet.

    Isn’t that just appropriate PPE?

    As long as it issued of course!

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  10. Limb removal.
    At member’s expense.
    Of course.

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  11. So my question is now that Care Bear Campbell has issued this order will soldiers be reimbursed the cost of previously approved sub unit PT shirts that feature such imagery ???
    Secondly, will this policy creep over to soldiers with tattoos depicting Spartans, Crusaders,Vikings,Samurai, Ninja, Any Superhero/Super villian or Ned Kelly etc ?
    What happens then??
    Laser removal at soldiers expense?
    Discharged from service?

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  12. No doubt the CDF was a great soldier, but i get the impression that he his now a mere ‘Yes’ man content on taking it easy and eventually enjoying his cushy retirement. Shameful behavior, if you ask me. Even scarier is the fact that we have a defence minister who is totally unqualified and has had no experience in defence matters.

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    • To the best of my knowledge Angus Campbell has never seen combat, except from real-time drone imagery,like most officers at around his level. He has always been very ambitious and a skilled sycophant who has always said what his superiors want to hear. It will be interesting to see his management skills as CDF.

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      • ‘…….It will be interesting to see his management skills as CDF.’ And this very very current issue will be a key indication of his management skills. Has he got the testicles to carry through! We’ll see.

  13. Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference between a death squad or a bikie gang and an infantry unit does not not belong in a disciplined fighting force.

    This kind of iconography undermines the unit focus on mission and encourages soldiers to think of themselves as dealers in death. That contributes to an alienation from society that will destroy their lives when the fight is over.

    Campbell’s order is essential for mission focus and mental health. If we cannot hold moral high ground the war is already lost and Australia is irreparably damaged.

    These soldiers need to be encouraged to think beyond themselves, not encouraged to think of themselves as above the law.

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    • I get ya.

      It’s ok to associate with this:Mardi Gras

      But this needs to be covered up:2 CE Sqn

      And of course the soldiers shown in the article above from WW2 obviously had difficulty working out they belonged in a disciplined fighting force…

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      • I think the previous poster’s first line sums it up. After that, the rest goes downhill.

        I think history has shown that our troops are easily able to distinguish between the three and this same history has shown our troops to be among the finest in the world over several conflicts.

        They are regarded as brave, skilled and professional. So how does this iconography compromise that? The death of the enemy is their job. What do you think the military should be, a green SES?

        Those men who struggle when they get back to normal life don’t do so because of a patch or a tattoo.

        Those of us who don’t have personal insight into the daily life of our combat troops should probably let them be, to build their camaraderie in their own way.

        What is it? “Good people sleep soundly in their beds because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

        His last two sentences are drawing a long bow. Or are bows not allowed because of the image they portray? If we were attacked by another nation out of the blue and their troops didn’t have iconography and ours did, would that give them the moral high ground?

        I think our troops have well and truly thought past themselves as they prepare to defend us to the last drop of blood.

      • Excellent reply Bernard?

    • What a load of Baloney! Your entitled to your opinion but it’s ‘cock and bull’ mate!

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    • Do you want to know what death squads and bikie gangs have that the ADF also has? Guns. Icky, icky guns. Giving someone a gun gives them the belief that they are a dealer in death. It just alienates soldiers from society, to which it will be difficult to return after they leave service.

      Therefore, for the sake of mission focus and mental health, our military should not be permitted to have guns. By claiming the moral high ground through its military not having guns, Australia is certain to prevail in any war.

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  14. So grim, scary things are out.
    Presumably, soft, cuddly, fluffy things like baby rabbits and newborn kittens and rainbows and unicorns and cartoon figures like Bambi and the Care Bears and Snow White are all allowed.
    Snow White in particular, because she’s female to boot.
    Wait until the troops find out what’s going to happen to military drill.
    All that “Left! Right! Left!” stuff?
    Absolutely got rid of.
    Because you don’t need any of that when the new drill sees soldiers and sailors holding hands and skipping.

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    • PS – Bernard, I reckon your nickname for the CDF-designate is spot on.
      “Care Bear Campbell”.
      So it shall be recorded.
      So he shall be named.
      So it shall be done.

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    • Signs of the times,the politically correct agenda and shaming male values.Thay are not all good I admit,but without gonads there is little progress made.Female values are equally important but are of a different nature. Women soldiers is an oxymoron.Women can be fierce I know to my cost but without the male inherent desire to create a and destroy we fall into mediocrity. The Hindus Have is right with Durga,a goddess who creates and destroys.

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    • The Left Right stuff will be out.It will be replaced with Left Left,Left Left Left Left!

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  15. Someone else said it better:
    In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
    Let pry through the portage of the head
    Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
    As fearfully as doth a galled rock
    O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
    Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
    Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
    To his full height.

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    • None of that wild-eye and flared-nostril stuff here, mate.
      Your ADF isn’t like that.
      Oh no.
      It’s kind and gentle and fluffy and warm and oh-so-in-touch with its feminine side.
      You remember Michael Jackson?
      Pop star?
      The guy who used to stand on his tippy-toes, grab his crotch and loudly trill “Ooooooh!!”?
      Well, one of his most famous lines was “I’m a lover, not a fighter!”
      I’m pretty sure that’s in one of Care Bear Campbell’s favourite songs.
      Sings it in the shower, that sort of carry-on.
      Not sure if he does the tippy-toe-and-grab thing as well, but.

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