The Chief of the Defence Force made a detailed announcement in relation to the report and findings arising from the IGADF inquiry into Special Operations in Afghanistan over the period 2006 - 2013. I feel that it is important to convey to you several personal messages.
The Chief of the Defence Force made a detailed media announcement to the Nation today at 1100h (local Canberra) in relation to the report and findings arising from the IGADF inquiry into Special Operations in Afghanistan over the period 2006 - 2013.He has undertaken to ensure that due process for the force elements and individuals named in the report is followed.
I will not speak to the details of that report as I am not privy to that information. However, I feel that it is important to convey to you several personal messages.
Firstly, as President of the SOER Association, I remain immensely proud of our Serving and ex-Service men and women; their families; and their support networks. This will never change.
Secondly, nothing that has been raised as part of this inquiry will change the fact that the Association stands by to support its membership and the extended IRR / SOER family. I need everyone to look after each other in the coming weeks and months as the repercussions of this report are realised; and work together for encouragement without judgement.
Thirdly, I know that this inquiry has - and will continue to have - a marked effect on the Association's membership and the wider Special Operations community. It has generated great sadness, confusion, disappointment, anger, and frustration. I would encourage anyone who is inclined to make formal or informal commentary about the inquiry, its recommendations or the ADF's position - via formal process or social media - to think deeply about the words and messages that you convey; their implications; and the second order effects of such commentary. There will be a significant amount of media emotion in the coming weeks, and our ability to fight for and support our community needs a balanced and predominantly non-emotive approach.
Lastly, as the IRR / SOER Unit Commander over much of the period in question, I remain humbled and amazed by the magnificent men and women who served within the Unit and the broader SOCOMD Group. Their bravery, commitment and dedication were beyond reproach, and I will never forget their effort and sacrifice.
Please take care.
SOER Association President