Standing on it

There’s a saying in the Army that describes in vivid Digger language ‘stupidity’.

I won’t finish it here.

But it starts like this: the general managed to stand on his own…

I’ll let you work out what the ‘…’ could be, but it appears that we have a general who’s done just that, realised the pain it has caused himself, and is now trying to rearrange his body parts without losing any more dignity or falling over.

I guess that’s because even the left-of-left Defence Minister, Marise Payne, can see that the incoming Chief of Defence Force has done something stupid.

From The Australian today:

But a spokesman for Defence Minister Marise Payne last night revealed commanders could apply for an exemption to the ban on death symbols. He said Senator Payne supported the intent of the Chief of Army’s minute but noted “that applications from unit commanders for exemption of a symbol or icon will be considered on a case-by-case basis”. It was not clear whether that policy was already in place or came in response to anger over the ban.

I guess that’s another way of saying that Lieutenant General Campbell’s directive banning images such as the one painted below on the face of posthumous VC winner, Cameron Baird, is already in retreat.

Cameron Baird VC MG

Along the way, however, it will cause confusion.

Units are removing works of military art and morale has taken a hit.

So will the new Chief of Defence Force’s credibility and reputation. The name ‘Care Bear Campbell’ is going to stick.

Afghan war art

Artwork at Australia’s Camp Baker at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in 2011 from the Australian War Memorial’s collection

T Shirt

A typical T-Shirt produced and sold at Camp Liberty, Baghdad, during the war in Iraq and probably now banned.
By the way, next to Camp Liberty was Camp Slayer – I spent 6 months there in 2008-09.

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. I suppose when we have our International UK Army exchange postings now our Ironside cousins from the 17th/21st Lancers cap badge ‘Death Or Glory’ (Skull n Cross bones) will have to be covered up in case they offend the CDF.

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  2. Guys, with all respect, would it be fair to say an Australian Unit would never be called a ‘Death’s Head’ unit, with that official badge, as opposed to unofficial or semi-official art/symbolism? This is due to historical sensitivities, as of course, ‘Totenkopf’ (deaths head, or skull) was the name of a WW2 Nazi SS unit, with unit badge to match.
    I’m all for you.

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    • This ban is like handing out “Speeding Tickets” at the Bathurst 1000.

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    • The skull & cross bones symbol goes back to Napoleonic times with the Prussian cavalry. This symbol was inherited by the Panzer corps & later hijacked by Himmler for the SS.

      Many Panzer crew POW’s had a devil of a time explaining they weren’t SS men – Read Otto Carius “Panzers in The Mud”

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  3. Care Bears are not gender fluid; they are gender uniform and that uniform is non-descript. Care Bears do not have proverbials. They wear happy signs: lollipops, rainbows, clouds, sunshine. This is not a good look for the ADF.

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  4. News Flash – Recruit Training at Kapooka is to be extended by a further 2 weeks to include flower arranging and aromatherapy !

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  5. I think Marise Payne has just thrown Care Bear Campbell under a bus. LOL

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  6. Next time he fronts a parade the soldiers should turn their backs on him. What a memorable way to start ur new job as CDF, sack him now before this goes any further???

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