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Encyclopedia > Chief of the Defence Force (Australia)
Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, current CDF
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Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, current CDF
For other uses of "CDF", see CDF (disambiguation).

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) is the most senior appointment in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The CDF commands the ADF under the direction of the Minister of Defence, and is notionally coequal with the Secretary of Defence, the most senior public servant in the Department of Defence. The Australian Defence Force numbers about 53,000 full-time active duty personnel plus another 20,700 reservists. ... List of Australian Ministers for Defence (see Australian Defence Force, Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian Air Force. ...


It is a fixed term appointment of three years, and is ideally rotated between the three services (Navy, Army and Air Force). However in practice this has not been the case: in the past 18 appointments, 10 have been from the Army, 5 from the Navy and only 3 from the Air Force. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. ... The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ... The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. ...


The CDF is the only four-star officer in the ADF (General, Admiral or Air Chief Marshal). He is assisted by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, and the individual service chiefs (Chief of Navy, Chief of Army and Chief of Air Force), all of whom are three-star officers. A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... An Air Chief Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Chief Marshal is the most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force (RAF) today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams Air Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger Air Marshal Sir Neville McNamara Air Marshal Angus Houston This article is about the Royal Australian Air Force appointment Chief of Air Force. ...


The CDF is appointed by the Prime Minister under advice of his cabinet. The appointment is politically neutral, as are all military positions, and not effected by a change of government.


Prior to 1958 there was no CDF or equivalent, as the three services were run separately.


Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (March 1958 - February 1976)

  • Lieutenant General Sir Henry Wells KBE CB DSO (March 1958 - March 1959)
  • Vice Admiral Sir Roy Dowling KBE CB DSO ( March 1959 - May 1961)
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger KBE CB DSO AFC (May 1961 - May 1966)
  • General Sir John Wilton KBE CB DSO (May 1966 - November 1970)
  • Admiral Sir Victor Smith AC KBE CB, DSC (November 1970 - November 1975)
  • General Sir Francis Hassett AC CB CBE DSO MVO (November 1975 -February 1976)

Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Vice Admiral is a naval rank of three star level, equivalent to Lieutenant General in seniority. ... An Air Chief Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Chief Marshal is the most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force (RAF) today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ...

Chief of Defence Force Staff (February 1976 - October 1984)

  • General Sir Francis Hassett AC KBE CB DSO MVO (February 1976 - April 1977)
  • General Sir Arthur MacDonald KBE CB (April 1977 - April 1979)
  • Admiral Sir Anthony Synnot KBE AO (April 1979 - April 1982)
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville McNamara KBE AO AFC AE (April 1982 - April 1984)
  • General Sir Phillip Bennett KBE AO DSO (April 1984 - October 1984)

A General is an officer of high military rank. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. ... An Air Chief Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Chief Marshal is the most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force (RAF) today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Sir Phillip Harvey Bennett, AC, KBE, DSO (27 December 1928) was the Governor of Tasmania from 1987 to 1995. ...

Chief of the Defence Force (from October 1984)


 
 

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