You know things have become a complete joke when even Fairfax columnists lampoon Defence Chiefs as politically correct wowsers.
Tony Wright is the National Affairs Editor of The Age. And over the weekend he penned a satirical piece about our Prime Minister’s current misfortunes, pretending to tell the story of a panicked conversation in the Turnbull Potts Point mansion. In it, a desperate Malcolm calls for the military, only to be told:
“As for the military; none of our subs are working, the frigates and destroyers and landing craft are all employed searching for broken-down fishing boats to the north, the air force can’t get a plane into the air because of budget cuts to pay for ministerial flights, and the defence chiefs are attending a two-week conference on workplace safety and gender balance.”
Yes, in this satirical piece the Defence chiefs have let the PM down as they while away the hours fretting about gender balance.
The sad thing is that this satire is not without truth. In fact, it is the truth.
Late last year the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, stated:
“The number one priority I have with respect to recruitment is increasing our diversity; with a focus on women and Indigenous Australians.”
His goal is an Army that’s 25% female. He based his reasoning on the fact that lots of sheilas are jogging past him on his way around Lake Burley Griffin. Campbell then spoke in depth about how men and women approach shopping differently, before adding this:
“We only met 60% of our ARA general enlistment target for women. We also did poorly in officer entry. We only hit 67% of our target overall, and 55% and 10% for women and Indigenous candidates respectively. Not hitting anywhere near our targets for ARA women means that not only are we not on path to 25%. In fact, the actual percentage of women in the force in being is likely to decline.”
So, the Army’s push to recruit women is not only resulting in less women in the Army, but it is actually making it harder for the Army to meet its overall recruitment goals. That’s gotta hurt. And not just because these guys have staked their success on the flag of women’s lib. It hurts capability too. That’s slightly more important.
Not to worry. The Chief of Army did acknowledge that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was the definition of insanity. So someone should deploy a psychiatrist to Russell Offices pronto.
In March 2017 the head honcho himself, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin, is the keynote speaker at, you guessed it, the National Defence, Police & Emergency Services Women’s Leadership Summit 2017.
So someone better also let Turnbull know that the Defence chiefs ain’t riding to his rescue anytime soon.
By the way, if you do want to roll up and listen to Binskin et al as they burn their bras it will only cost you a cool $1,495…