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Today the Albanese Government takes another step forward in implementing the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) with the appointment of Major General Natasha Fox, AM, CSC, as the inaugural Chief of Personnel in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

As recommended by the DSR, ADF personnel management should be centralised into a single integrated system incorporating the five domains, headed by a Chief of Personnel reporting directly to the Chief of the Defence Force.

As Chief of Personnel, Major General Fox will take on this responsibility with the distinct aim of increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and cohesiveness of personnel management to achieve a more integrated ADF.

The DSR also recommended options be developed to change Defence’s recruitment framework.

This aims to improve the eligibility pool of potential applications and to align service recruitment requirements to military employment, especially in key technical and specialist trades.

Today’s announcement complements the Albanese Government’s $400 million commitment towards retention in the ADF with the Continuation Bonus initiative.

Major General Fox will be promoted to Lieutenant General and will commence in her new role on 5 June 2023.

Improving recruitment and retention of a skilled, valued workforce in Defence is an ongoing goal, and one the Albanese Government is committed to addressing.

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles: 

“Major General Fox brings over 35 years of experience in leadership, and personnel and workforce management to the new role of Chief of Personnel.

“We want more Australians to experience a rich and rewarding career with Defence. A Defence career is one that provides fulfilling and well-paid work, job security and world-class training and education opportunities.

“Major General Fox will play a critical role in ensuring we have an integrated end-to-end people system for all Australians who join the ADF.   

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh:

“I look forward to working with Major General Fox, alongside Deputy Secretary Defence People, Ms Justine Greig, to transform the Defence people system to continue to support and enable our Defence workforce and future capability,”

“As a Government we are committed to improving the welfare of serving and ex-serving members of our ADF, after all our people are our most important capability.”

“I wish to congratulate Major General Fox on her appointment and promotion. I look forward to working with her, and Ms Greig, to build a stronger, larger and more integrated Defence workforce.”

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  1. As someone who spent 27 years in the Defence Force I cannot see how this is going to work. Once again we are bureaucraticing the military to make it more and more like the public service. I remember working in defence and the public servants saying I was only a public servant in a fancy outfit. The people working at the coal face are just going to see this as another Canberra takeover. They will continue to leave in droves as they see the DSR as a political document.

    • I don’t know, but I suspect that you are correct. On a related matter, the ADF has accepted for years that the posting cycle is a major obstacle to retention, particularly for people with young families, but the system never seems to improve.

  2. After 17 years in defence there is no amount of retention bonus that will keep me in, turning 55 in 1 1/2 years and won’t think twice of any offers they make


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