Flat White

The challenge of Anzac Day, 2021

25 April 2021

4:00 AM

25 April 2021

4:00 AM

The extended ADF community has possibly never been so divided against itself as it is right now.

The ADF’s current “leadership” — a severely overstated assessment — may have finally met an equally formidable opponent in tyro Defence Minister Peter Dutton.

The mere mention of Dutton’s name is enough to drive Australia’s effete leftists into paroxysms of unreasonable rage.

Never mind the generals.

Dutton has overturned the CDF’s edict to withdraw a Meritorious Unit Citation, which is a group award, not individual “medals”.

He should now restore the affected unit to the order of battle until all disciplinary matters are exhausted.

Much has been said and published in recent weeks about the quality of Australian political and military leadership, most of it defamatory.

Much of it relates to a presumed RSL role in the conduct of the royal commission into defence suicides.

Much of it has been unreasonably directed at the national RSL president who, as an experienced senior counsel, probably knows more about the royal commission process than all but a few others equally knowledgeable in the law.

This has reached a crescendo in the lead-up to Anzac Day when the same individuals demand the RSL tell governments how Anzac Day must be run. What they fail to understand is Anzac Day is not the exclusive property of either the RSL or government.

It belongs to the communities from which those who served were drawn. Rather than sit about whinging about what “they oughtta do”, those critics should get off their backsides and run it the way they want to.

If you want it done your way, just do it — carpe diem.

United you stand but divided you fall.

Ross Eastgate OAM is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon and military historian who writes a weekly column on defence issues and blogs at Targets DownThis piece is reproduced with permission of The Townsville Bulletin, where an earlier version appeared.

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