Discouraging courage in the military

Yet another Defence report has been commissioned.

And yet another Defence report now recommends the further destruction of Defence capability.

Front page
The front cover of Defence’s latest report, ‘Battling with words’.

This one carries the title ‘Battling with Words’. It prides itself as a study of language use in Defence using social and linguistic theoretical frameworks to understand culture and cultural change. If we translate that into English, it simply means using the organisation charged with Australia’s security as a guinea pig in which to experiment with the latest radical social theory to emerge from Hippyville.

Hippyville, of course, has another name: elite academia. And it is located on the other side of the world from the ho-hum place known as Common Sense, where most people live and do useful but less trendy things than destroying societal norms.

This report states that the challenge facing Defence ‘is to build a more diverse workforce that is more representative of the Australian population.’ It’s written right there, at the start of the second paragraph of the summary on page XI.

That’s quite a bold and breathtaking assumption.

I would have thought that the challenge facing Defence was something quite different. Like protecting Australia in a world that is increasingly unsafe.

But no.

Forget the rise of the Islamic State.

Don’t worry about failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ignore the growth of China and the revolution in global power that goes with it.

And laugh off the increasing likelihood that we are staring down the barrel of the largest gunfight since 1945 with the increase in tension over events in Ukraine.

We must focus instead on the big problem. Simply put, this report identifies this as the fact that the Anglo-Australian male is the dominant demographic in the Australian Defence Force. And it goes on to single out Anglo-Australian male domination as a problem 36 times.

It does so while finding that 86 per cent of soldiers in the military are male with an Anglo-Australian background. But instead of thanking males with an Anglo-Australian background for defending our nation, this report instead states triumphantly that this has gotta change.

It all sounds rather racist really. Except that in the logical world of diversity and tolerance it is a foregone conclusion that it is impossible to do or say anything negative about male Anglo-Australians that could possibly be considered racist. Or anti-male. Or logical.

This report even states that the male-dominated, Anglo-Australian demographic in the military ‘is no longer desirable’. And it claims that it is not sustainable either. I can absolutely guarantee that an Australian Defence Force that no longer desires Anglo-Australian males is unsustainable. But that’s what the academics want. And Defence leadership is commissioning them to write these reports.

The report even recommends that blokes must be taught to be less blokey when they talk about their job destroying the opposition, so that others feel more welcome. Apparently, this is because Defence will be better at closing with the enemy, capturing or killing him, by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain if there are less Anglo-Australian males in it. That means a military with more women, more homosexuals and more people with diverse language and cultural backgrounds (or Muslims in less fancy language).

Capture 2The Royal Australian Navy now offers an Islamic uniform.

I didn’t read anywhere in this ‘study’ about the evidence to support this reasoning. Maybe I just missed that part. However, I’m sure it was not overlooked.

Anyway, this report, like the others before it, puts diversity on a pedestal.

It leads to the logical conclusion that Defence would be better off if it had more Islamic State sympathisers in the ranks and made them feel welcome. That’s about as diverse as you can get.

Lest you laugh this off as some hysterical ranting, remember that the Australian Defence Force leadership has stated publicly that our military needs more Muslims and now both the Navy and Air Force have even allowed them to have their own uniform.

This is why it should come as no surprise that the Australian Defence Force also has the dubious honour of being the first Western military to train a soldier for the Islamic State.

Caner Temel was his name and he did us all a favour when he died in Syria earlier this year. But I do admit that his decision to go AWOL and travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State is right up there in the diversity rankings. If it didn’t hit ‘hipster cool’, it can’t have been far off the mark.

Unfortunately, there’s likely to be more Caner Temels while Defence leadership commissions flawed studies that use mumbo-jumbo to confuse everyone about Defence’s role. This report states that ‘Defence does not represent the community it services’ because it has different demographics than the Australian population.

It implies that Defence’s role is to reflect accurately everybody in our society, including the growing demographic of Muslims with Australian passports signing up to fight in black ninja suits in Iraq.

But Defence’s role has absolutely nothing to do with reflecting society’s demographics. Every part of its role is about schwacking bad guys and keeping us safe. And the best way of doing that is by training lots of young men to fight and win wars. Defence is not a game. Yet in every game of strength, males dominate completely. And in team games, it is no surprise that the teams where everyone is on the same side do better. It is no different in the brutal life and death contest on the battlefield.

Reflecting Australia’s demographics does not even enter into the equation when it comes to warfighting. If it did, every deployed unit would have its quota of infants, octogenarians and paraplegics. Breast-feeding mothers would be in demand. And so would dole-bludging drug addicts.

For a whole bunch of very good reasons, these people and many others do not form part of military units. Mostly, it is for reasons of their own volition. But even if they did want to sign up and ship off overseas, they would be told no anyway, notwithstanding their national pride. In the real world, we can’t all do whatever we please. Sometimes the best way to help is to accept that others can do a better job.

Of course, this report pretends that Defence would be better off if it reflected Australia’s demographics and then immediately goes on to decide that it should not reflect Australia’s demographics at all. Just the chosen categories for promotion get a mention: women, homosexuals, Indigenous Australians and recent arrivals (although it did have a bit of a swing at the fact that Defence’s soldiers are primarily hetero-normative, able-bodied males, so limbless lesbians should just bide their time).

But these chosen groups are just used as a smokescreen for the report’s real purpose: reducing the number of Anglo-Australian males in the military.

Perhaps the most astounding thing about this report is that it states Defence directives and doctrine need to ‘counter the ideal identity of the Anglo-Australian male soldier renowned for acts of courage’.

And you did read that right. This report recommends that Defence spend less time promoting battlefield courage because it leads minority groups to feel less welcome. It even states that the focus on the courageous battlefield hero is unnecessarily exclusive.

Welcome to the Australian Defence Force of the 21st Century: a military where the attribute of courage is now disparaged and males are the enemy. It’s a direct result of the denigration of the courageous role that the Anglo-Australian male has made to our nation’s defences for the last 100 years.

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Author: Bernard Gaynor

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50 Comments

  1. I keep a frequent ear to events in Britain around Islamisation, Muslim grooming and rape gangs, creeping sharia, virulent political correctness, loss of British democracy and sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, the cowardly murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, indifference of Labor and Conservative politicians etc., etc., etc. , . . . . . . and I get quite despondent and hopeless. However sometimes I let my mind take a flight of fancy where I imagine a time when British Defence force personnel, tough English, Welsh and Scottish lads, having been patient for far too long, take matters into their own hands and enact a military coup followed by a period of martial law whereby things are put right and sanity is restored, civilisation’s moral compass set true again. I can see men in camos marching into the incubators of hate and terror (Mosques) without removing their shoes, and dragging out Ajem Choudary and his followers, crying for their mommies and Allah’s intercession. I can see various politicians hiding under their beds as they hear the armoured personnel carriers pull up outside . . . . I can see it . . I can see it. I then let my mind contemplate a similar scenario here in Australia . . . a coup enacted by ADF personnel surgically removing the reason-resistant immoral cancer that has long been killing our nation . . .I can see it . . . I can smell it, my despondency evaporates and a hopefulness for my children’s future pervades my whole being. However I will imagine this no more, less than twenty four hours on your blog has rudely snatched be back into the horror of my reality. An ADF riddled with political correctness, incompetence, a chronic refusal to learn what political Islam is, mistreatment of soldiers such as yourself, and Liz Thompson’s above described Battling with Words manifesto disparaging courage and heroism. Dreaming I was, a fool. No cavalry is coming. No hope for my children.

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    • But a conservative government would kill this stupid nonsense and bin it without a second thought..wouldn’t they? if they didn’t,who is pulling their strings,,and ours?

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    • ” I can see it . . I can see it. I then let my mind contemplate a similar scenario here in Australia . . . a coup enacted by ADF personnel surgically removing the reason-resistant immoral cancer that has long been killing our nation . . .I can see it . ”

      Sorry Geoff your dream is flawed and could never happen. The social engineers and bleeding hearts have succeeded in selling our country out and as a result the ADF no longer has leaders at the top only kowtowing PC merchants.

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    • Geoff, thank you for what you said, I’m with you, I can smell it as well. I think Britain has lost the battle already, there are Islamists marching around waving placards “behead the non believers” etc. why the hell they don’t get arrested I don’t know. Soon Islamists will find their way into politics and sharia law will become law. What a pack of murdering bustards Islamists are.

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    • I am guessing that this report was commissioned by the last federal government and also that the author ticked wall the right boxes, i.e. feminist, multicultarulist, academic, communist leanings etc..

      I suggest that as there is no chance we can get the tax payers money back for this report, we make use of it and do the exact opposite to everything it proposes…

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    • Geoff, it’s not impossible – it could happen. It happened in Egypt when the Egyptian military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood that was in government…

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    • …but what a wonderful dream, Geoff.

      Now, what would happen, I wonder, if a substantial number of true Aussie citizens stopped paying income tax? Would we all be arrested? Would there be room in Aussie jails?
      Hey! There HAS to be an alternative answer!…and what’s wrong with my suggestion? 😠
      Can’t function without the Unwashed’s dollars!

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  2. Wake up for goodness sakes. Why can we not see what is
    Happening here??? I never thought I would see the day
    But here we are. We are losing our Country. I for one
    Am proud of our Aussie men & am so very thankful, I am
    So sorry that our country disrespects our arm forces this wa
    I know that us true Aussies do not condone this bs & don’t want
    Mueslims in our arm forces. We back our Aussie Boys 100%

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  3. The writer of the report does not appear to substantiate her fundamental thesis that the ADF would benefit from the ideas she proposes. To sell anything, you first must establish a need, and this report establishes no need.

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    • Spot on Tim. The author provides no evidence of need as her report has been commissioned purely to support the politically correct idea that Defence capability and public confidence and trust require a diverse and inclusive defence force make up. Also she argues for a radical change in values and defence icons, away from icons of courage and sacrifice to an inclusive culture where everyone is a hero, everyone is special, everyone gets a prize! This view originates from the discredited California Self Esteem movement and while ok when used in primary school classrooms it simply would not translate to a theatre of war where sadly not all are special or prize-worthy.

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  4. This is really unfortunate. It would seem that it is a blatant racist policy. But you can only be racist if you are white. As an ex Defence member, I’m not really sure what the problem was. I deployed overseas with Aboriginal, Fijian, Philippino, Asian backgrounds, Greek, Italians, Lebanese, Afghan, Timorese and of course Anglo from all different parts of the globe. We have stood side by side in all sorts of conflicts not even thinking about who is from where or religious backgrounds. But one thing I have found during my travels and that is the Religion of peace (Islam) has it’s believers turn on their own countrymen for being non-muslim or not radical enough. I would have anyone at my back, but I will never turn my back on a muslim. Too many have been killed in cold blood to change my mind.

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    • Trevor, you’ve hit the nail on the head. When I first joined, everyone was welcome and they learned to work as a team. Now the diversity police are destroying team cohesion.

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    • Just Google mohammad and you should get all your answers, or google swamp meet dave and see the difference between christianity and the Muslim religion. To my knowledge the muslims are the only ones who do not assimilate to our customs.

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  5. Excellent article, Bernard. After reading it I just had to google her and guess what she looked like and what her qualifications are. Red glasses? Tick. Sanctimonious smile? Tick. Canberra? Tick. No background in defence? Tick. Publications no-one has ever read aplenty? Tick. Taxpayer junkets? Tick. Never had a real job? Tick. Dr… of philosophy? Tick. You get the idea. So I had a quick read of the “highlights” of her work. Guess what, it’s a giant cut and paste with a few “find and replaces” thrown in.
    If you don’t do anything else, read page 129 of the report “the ideal identity” and “being special”. Marvel at how many times she uses “inculcate” and “construal”. The whole bloody report is a battle with words. But think of the money we’ll save on bullets when the words really kick in.
    If you want to tell her she’s an idiot her email is e.thomson@adfa.edu.au. I did.

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    • Thanks Shy Ted.

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    • Yes Shy Ted, I too noticed the cutting and pasting and agree its bogus. However it’s an “impressive” document and very pretty. I expect it will now position her as an “expert” in Australian Defence culture with a soon to come consultancy in Defence setting up a new arm of the Military Police Corp to monitor, supress and punish exclusionary white male banter and humour. Then onto a high level position in Defence and possibly a position as an advisor to the Minister. Great work if you can get it.

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  6. My Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather who were all in the Military and fought in the wars would be so disgusted and ashamed of what is happening to our Country now…. of all the blood that has been shed from our brave men and women to keep our Country safe and free, AND FOR WHAT!…. NOTHING it seems…. Our past and present Governments should be ashamed for letting it get this far…

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  7. The ever increasing numbers of this kind of person, and the fact they are afforded vast taxpayer resource to promote their waffle, was one of the reasons I left the Department of Defence.

    Three years on and given the choice between returning to a well-paid, reasonably senior position in Defence, or getting myself into shape and enlisting in the ADF (i.e., as enlisted pers, not officer) I’m choosing the latter. All things being equal I don’t have to give up my values in the ADF, regardless of what the thought police say.

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  8. For Australias sake what is going on ,what traitor paid this idiot to write this garbage ,they and her should be put against a wall and shot , traitors .AND WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWING THIS SUBVERSION TO OUR MILITARY ? . T Abbott forget the PC RUBBISH ,FORGET THE RACIST CRAP, OUR MILITARY HAVE SERVED THIS COUNTRY WITH DISTINCTION AND HONOUR ,THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY FOUGHT FOR . THE LEFTY TRAITORS INSTALLED BY LABOR INTO THE MILITARY MUST BE WEEDED OUT AND DISCHARGED AND REAL AUSSIE MILITARY MEN PUT BACK IN CHARGE . THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN SEDITION , WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD TRUST A MIDDLE EASTERN MUSLIM. ASK ANY IRAQ VETERAN , THEY ARE SNAKES.

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  9. I have read through Dr Elizabeth Thompson’s Defence Department report Battling With Words (2014), visited her UNSW webpage to ascertain her qualifications and academic publications, and performed a literature search on the two theoretical pillars that she cites as informing her methodology: Legitimisation Code Theory (LCT) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). I make the following observations.
    1. I agree that language is very much part of the process of playing the game of culture and that language impacts upon and is impacted upon by culture. However Defence is not a game and language is but one factor amongst many that determine human behaviour. Language analysis though is the only tool Dr Thompson possesses as evidenced by her qualifications and publication history.
    2. Dr Thompson’s prior research does not appear to involve any project whereby an analysis of language is mapped on to actual behavioural change. Nor can I find any peer reviewed journal articles relating to LCT and SFL where actual human behaviour has been assessed and then measured across points in time and with objective, measurable and observable behavioural criteria. Mapping theory onto real life and making predictions is central to the scientific method as it is how theories are appraised as valid and having utility. LCT and SFL appear to be very much still at the level of abstraction, lacking any non-academic practical application beyond getting one’s Masters in Philosophy and such.
    3. I noticed on one particular website dedicated to SFL, the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association, the left hand menu contains links to “Friendly” journal and book publishers so that those involved in this area of interest can find those of similar views and where one is of an increased likelihood of having one’s work published. This strongly suggests to me that that in regard to SFL at least, the theory is very possibly viewed as controversial or worse.
    4. I consider Dr Thompson’s qualitative methods as inherently problematic in that her method potentially contaminates her data. For example on page 110, example 5.12, the researcher asks “did you see this banter happening with people no responding positively and getting upset by it and then not losing – well, losing their role in the group? Did you see this happen?” This is the antithesis of best practice in anthropological or human behavioural research in that she is overtly priming the respondent and increasing the likelihood that the response will fit her language used in the service of Inclusion/exclusion thesis. This is a serious error for someone purporting to be language analysis authority. Also in this example banter and lack of understanding of banter is positioned as the causal factor in the behaviour of Agnes’s boss. Dr Thompson does not consider that other determinants could be at play, such as individual differences in personality such as extraversion versus introversion. The boss may simply be behaving in line with her innate behavioural and emotional preferences and need to isolate herself at times from the group. Banter can be very much experienced as aversive to introverts and as such it may not be causal in the manner (that is misunderstood or exclusionary) as suggested by Dr Thompson. Dr Thompson has no training to exclude non-language causal agents, nor is her research methodology set up to do so.
    5. Dr Thompson’s thesis and conclusions position banter, nicknaming and teasing as problematic thereby ignoring that such behaviours are very much social adaptations to evolutionary survival imperatives faced by humans throughout history. For our ancestors it was not the Sabre-tooth tiger or the like that was the most dangerous predator but fellow humans. Then as now, group inclusion and exclusion is of critical importance to one’s survival and reproduction, with behaviours such as banter, teasing and nicknaming being tools amongst many used by humans to assess others along dimensions such as friend and foe, producer versus freeloader, potential mate versus transient sexual liaison. Dr Thompson’s thesis characterises these innate and necessary survival skills as problematic and as established and well-practiced dominant group barriers to team inclusion when they are in fact the very process by group inclusion and species survival are mediated.
    6. Dr Thompson positions top down, managerial imposed language change as necessary for future defence capability and sustainability. She provides no evidence for her assertion and she cannot because there is none. Her thesis is purely speculative and impresses as having been written (consciously or unconsciously) to fit her preferred theoretical perspective along with what her Defence employers required politically. I suspect she knew and agreed with what and who the problem was prior to her research: white, Anglo male culture.
    7. Dr Thompson’s thesis very much fits the politically correct and moral relativist paradigm where language is the prime determinant of reality and truth is what each individual says it is. Also her top down managerially-imposed solution would require a language policing culture that effectively mutes natural spontaneity and perverts long evolve social group formation processes. I for one would wish to be working in such an environment.

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    • Ooops, the last line should read I for one would NOT wish to be working in such an environment.

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    • Aye rekon that you would both qualify for a M.O.B.S or even a D.O.B.S.

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    • Great reply. You have certainly done your homework, certainly more than the author of this lousy report. Crikey, she only interviewed 30 people.

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  10. Every children’s hospital in the country could do with some more money to save kids lives and we spend taxpayers money on this report!!

    seems to me if we have a problem with Anglo Saxons it is with academics from an Anglo Saxon background wasting taxpayers money like this report

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  11. Must ask my still serving rellies if they will now all take a back seat to cater for the “diverse” groups wishing to protect Australia. Sent the article to a brother who has lots of fruit salad to wear, his comments were such I had to remove my hearing aids….ant to think we pay for the crap this woman has written and we also pay for the top brass too timid to tell her to face reality.

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  12. Hey maybe she could look into the disproportionate amount of income tax paid by male anglo’s and get some diversity going there.

    Waiting, waiting …..

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  13. Bernard, Interesting article and it comes down to this – it’s simply window dressing for the Australian Public (who seldom understand how the real military works) and for the top brass to be seen to be doing things. Are they f-ing serious???? While it’s all well and good to put on pompous fan fare to garner a few media bon mots, the stark reality is light years away in a fully functioning military unit that is about to perform a DA (Direct Action) on the baddies. In the new 21st century “four block war” or hybrid warfare as it’s now coined (as opposed to COIN..(forgive the pun)), there is little room to accommodate thoughts about “will my comrades turn on me?” You want to know that the bloke (or woman) next to you (or providing Navy fire support from a distance) isn’t going to have second thoughts as you start the attack – based on their own ideaology.

    Look, these initiatives may be all well and good back in REMF land, but if we have a green on blue (or worse a blue on blue) then the senior brass will be held accountable. Oh that’s right, by the times these initiatives kick in, they’ll be out of the game enjoying their governship position(s) and we’re all left holding the bag….

    A similar thing happened with the Life Savers in Sydney with the “bhurkini” – after the media scrum departed – why I haven’t seen a Muslim lifeguard on Sydney beaches in a few years now – happy to be proven wrong. Apparently they’ve left their lifesaving jobs because their religion came first.

    The top brass would rather earn their AC or AO with these “cultural initiatives” , put the wider ADF offside and then retire to greener pastures oblivious to the dissent in the ranks.

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  14. the facts clearly state the majority of people willing to defend this country are male Anglo – Australians.

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    • Agreed. Also add other ‘western’ or ‘westernised’ Thinkers who truly love this Country.
      We are the majority, so, let’s stop the mindless minority take over completely.
      They are DANGEROUS!

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  15. Well, the sad truth is that this is where it is all going… making people feel better by indivulising them (to me thats racism)! but the ADF is well on its way down hill without that mainly with the new ADF policy of hanging thier members out to dry on the back of obserd alligations And the secertary of defence telling investigators to make people talk through administrative action beacuse the witnesses all say nothing happened!
    not a nice place or work enviroment anymore!

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  16. Take heart, Bernie. When country areas declare independence what’s the ADF going to do about it? Fire the odd angry shot and head back to the Defglis Club!

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  17. The paper in question is nothing more that the defense establishment attempting to show that it can talk ‘critical studies’ along with the best of them; critical studies is replete with the meaningless drivel that seems to dominate the report; but these are words for their own sake and are detached from the community in which they should have meaning…so to which community do they appeal? Why to the community of word manglers who aren’t content with society making itself, but who want to dictate the course of society from the position of cultural cringe: that is, our British based history and traditions are bad, and the place of the failed cultures that are represented in some migrant groups (which failure is the reason they are here) is asserted, but to no benefit and for no reason other than academic popularity. Its hollow undergraduate fawning dressed up in academic garb.

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  18. I wonder why the Defence Department continues to pay people (and lay people at that) to produce this sort of report. It does nothing to make our defence force a better outfit. Our defence forces are all volunteers, as such, members are selected from those who present themselves for service. We are never going to get a defence force which represents the community in exactly the same proportions. This paper is academic wishful thinking. It does not take into consideration the realities of military service. I want a defence force who are proud of who they are and of what they do. Successful soldiers are thinkers who can adapt to most situations. They don’t go around boasting of their experiences. They take pride in their successes but don’t shove them down peoples throats. I guess this is another of those reports produced to get the author published and therefore noticed. Well she’s been noticed.

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  19. If the defence forces bosses keep going the way they are, we’ll have three cream puff services, full of poofters & lesbians , & managed by shiny arses, who haven’t seen a shot fired in anger
    It’s a bloody disgrace, & so are the defence force management ,

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  20. What ever happened to “Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum”.

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  21. The mind Boggles….Glad I lived in the era I did….as I’ll be glad not to be a part of this ‘Lunatic’ new world….because it just won’t work, just as multiculturalism hasn’t worked, the ‘academic’ geniuses/lunatics will learn,eventually, that thousands of years of religious zealotry, barbaric culture, ignorance and basic ‘human nature’ will eventually overcome their ‘idealism’…in the meantime it is interesting to watch their ‘self flagellation’ and I wonder when any of ‘them’ will have to actually carry out the functions they advocate for the modern military, that is, to sign up and put their money where their mouths are…..I doubt it!

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  22. Another Politically Correct Left Wing Academic Wacko who was given a specific brief & told to find along those lines. Does anybody except other Left Wing Politically Correct Wackos take any notice of these people.

    I specifically like the bit about Nicknames. Supposedly a form of Bullying? Excuse me but in my 15 years in the Army I hardly could tell you anyone’s real name. Now if you said Johnno, Dinga, Grumpy, Jungles, Buddha, I’d know who you were talking about straight away. Nicknames were a badge of honour. If you didn’t have one you weren’t well thought of.

    The old joke about the Officer asking a digger why some privates referred to their Platoon Commander of Boss or Skipper instead of “Sir”, comes to mind. The answer, of course going over the head of the Officer asking. The Digger reply, “It’s to show that we have the greatest respect for them. Is there anything else I can help you with SIR,” comes to mind.

    Why do these Politically Correct Academics always assume the worst of people as a starting point.

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  23. There is no “I” in TEAM … There is “I” in ISLAM. There is no ISLAM in Team …. Wake up you academic IDIOTS and don’t cause us to train an enemy within. I spent all my working life in Defence of my country, over half of it in uniform. In the latter years of my service, equity and diversity was foisted upon us and it was readily accepted as equality of roles were recognised. BUT, we all wore the SAME uniform, and we all undertook the tasks required without fear of “OFFENDING” anyone. My God … Give me back my country. This is GREEN enforced multiculturalism gone crazy. It’s time to repeal Section 18c and lets get back to living a free and normal life.

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  24. How disheartening.

    As a former soldier (East Timor 2001) journalist and academic, I found the report, “Battling With Words”, first and foremost to be a betrayal of the ADF.

    The thesis is simply full of academic jargon (“sociolinguistic approach”, indeed), no doubt due to the fact that the author’s background is purely academic.

    To cap that off, a background in languages and VET does not augur for a credible viewpoint. Any “real-life” analysis of what our Defence Force needs can not be achieved.

    Why must we build a more diverse Defence workforce? Who says so? The argument that changing the composition of Defence, via a new language construct to help efficiency is nonsense. Defence has been operating internationally for decades without problems.

    This is yet another watering-down of traditional Australian norms and I believe it sets a dangerous precedent.

    Even the sampling is ridiculously low. I wouldn’t consider 107 respondents and 30 formal interviews from an organisation of Defence’s size (more than 70,000. Source ABS, 2013) to represent Defence (what was the breakdown? How many serving personnel were there, or were they mostly public servants)?

    It’s airy-fairy, academic claptrap and does not belong in the Defence landscape.

    I, for one, hope it is filed in the basement.

    In any event, there are far more pressing issues at hand.

    Dr Greg Smith, PhD, MComms (PR)

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    • Greg I could not agree more with your comments. The biggest mistake we make is to demonise the culture of the ADF as anti Islamic, Homophoobic, and anti Female. The ADF is not any of these but reflects the beliefs of the majority of Australians, including those who serve in it. The debasement of the Australian culture as something that is wrong is what is the problem here. Australians are the most inclusive of cultures, and the most respecting of people’s beliefs, however don’t try and impose your beliefs on an Australian. That is the current problem here and academics need to respect the beliefs and feelings of the majority of the Australian people. We are not a racist or a sexist people but we believe in a fair go a for all, men, woman, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. anyone who challenges this or seeks to impose their will is un Australian. When academics challenge this and say it is wrong then they impose their own beliefs and do not represent the majority. Why does the majority not get heard in the mainstream media? Let’s have an open and honest discussion that reflects the values that this country was based n, and that reflects the beliefs of the majority of this country.

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  25. Your article is beautifully written. Thank you for bringing these matters to the public’s attention. Rarely am I lost for words but the photo of the Islamic uniform left me utterly speechless.

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  26. Mr Bernard Gaynor also forgets to mention that his commission had been terminated because the questionable manner in which he expressed his fervent Christian beliefs was inconsistent with ADF policies. This came as a directive by the former Chief General David Hurley. Makes you wonder about Mr Gaynor’s agenda. As a former ADF Member who retired as a POMT in the Fremantle Class Patrol Boats with 11 years’ service, with medals for OP Relex and ASM and a Transgendered member of our community I can quite clearly say Mr Gaynor does not have a clue and is deluded to think he does. He has no Idea how many existing members of the ADF are gay, lesbian, transgendered, bi-sexual, intersexed or queer. Judging people on the basis of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religious ideology and not the character of person is pathetic, and typical of the narrow minded white Anglo Saxon Christian superiority complex, such that Mr Gaynor has.

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    • Tanya, your assertion that Bernard has ‘forgotten’ to mention the termination of his commission – and the insinuation that he is, rather, conveniently leaving out relevant information – is misplaced here. Bernard has, on the contrary, been utterly explicit about the particulars of his termination in other areas of this blog; one would imagine that the majority of readers and responders to posts such as this one have previously read about Bernard’s termination; for those who haven’t, all have the opportunity to use their initiative, do a little mouse-clicking and find out for themselves – from Bernard’s own writings or further afield – what his professional background in Defence has been.

      If you’re in any doubt as to Bernard’s agenda, you might try re-reading this article, or any others he has previously published on his blog: they all outline his ‘agenda’ of re-injecting a little common sense, decency and justice into the sinking ship that is the Australian Army in more or less outspoken terms.

      Fee free to ‘quite clearly’ point the finger of cluelessness at Bernard with no other qualifications than your service record, list of decorations, and gender identity: Bernard’s own professional record is not less commendable, as I’m sure you are aware. You have used your admirable track record to support your diatribe, and yet you simultaneously dismiss Bernard’s because his termination came as a “directive by the former Chief”. A lengthy and highly-decorated service in the Army is apparently not a good leg to stand on, if you think or say anything that Defence leaders CLAIM is ‘inconsistent with ADF policy’. I hardly need add that one doesn’t need to be transgendered in order to have a valid opinion regarding issues that exist within the ADF… To make such a claim would be clueless and ‘narrow-minded’ indeed! Do you claim to know the real number of gay, lesbian, transgender…members in the ADF? Do you know the real number of long-serving, decorated, respected ADF members that have a problem with positive discrimination in the Army, and the abuse of ADF policy regarding political activity in uniform (for example)?
      It pays to remember that when you point the finger, there are three more pointing back at you.

      Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that you claim (without evidence) that Bernard has made personal judgements not based on character: in other words, that he is racist, sexist, a bigot…
      It’s a shame that you assume that Defence leaders are incapable of doing the wrong thing; of bending the meaning of (or flagrantly disregarding) ADF policy to suit themselves; of using positive discrimination to treat ADF members in vastly different ways; or even of having a private agenda or two of their own.

      I absolutely agree with you in one respect, though: a directive from the Chief of Defence, or from the Chief of Army, or from any of our Defence leaders, SHOULD carry with it the weight, competence, and integrity of someone truly deserving of the position they hold over other serving members. The former Chief of Defence’s undeniable disregard for certain ADF policy and …’questionable’ and arguably subjective treatment of Bernard’s case (which contradicted the advice of legal ADF legal personnel) demonstrate that, sadly, this is no longer the case.

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  27. The website advertises that all these new diversity measures are designed to attract and retain the best people to the ADF.

    Best people for the poster, or best people for the job?

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  28. are you an idiot? The speed at which globalisation is occurring means that countries are becoming more and more diverse and this will only continue. The reason there is such a focus on multiculturalism is because in an inevitably more diverse world there is safety in fostering an accepting culture. Alienating cultures when the world is increasingly more connected puts you at more of a risk because disaffected people are more likely to band together and react with violence. It is simple IR theory, this blog is bizarre.

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