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What follows is a short opinion piece that covers off on the most effective way for the ADF to become relevant to the young people of this nation. It speaks to our existing culture and makes suggestions for improvement.


The Australian Defence Force (ADF) needs to make itself it more relevant to the demographic from which it seeks to recruit new members. Its’ values need reinterpreting in order to conform to the emerging woke consensus that is coalescing around world-altering concepts such as White Fragility, the unacceptably lingering prevalence of heteronormativity in today’s society; and the imperative for Australia to remain at the forefront of progressive thought and action.

This article considers the patriarchal, authoritarian and politically incorrect stance of the Australian Army and its’ adherence to outdated and cisgender Judeo-Christian norms and attitudes. It will look at a 20th century example to outline a proposed way forward for a Defence Force that is truly non binary and politically correct, which resolutely turns its’ back on our shameful and racist past, expressing ongoing self-critical contrition for our shortcomings; and which is, finally, prepared to fight any battle the 21st century throws our way.

It uses the example bequeathed to us by that exemplary paragon of progressivism – the sadly now-defunct Workers and Peasants Red Army of the former Soviet Union, particularly with reference to the need to abolish all forms of the Judeo-Christian religious delusion in our ranks.

The strength of any armed force lies in total conformity to political correctness and the correct use of gender-neutral pronouns, not the quality and structure of its’ chain of command. At present, the ADF relies on outmoded concepts of training and education designed to produce free thinking officers and non-commissioned officers. In order for true progressivism to take root in the ADF, all forms of free thought must be eliminated. To further that aim, a cadre of political officers must be created and appointed. The Red Army called them Zampoliti. They exercised control over the military commanders of the units to which they were posted by virtue of their loyalty to the State, not the Army.

At present, our chain of command is hierarchical, and is characterized by upwardly focused loyalty with which the Red Army dealt decisively in the Great Purge of 1937 by eliminating all officers who had any individualist tendencies. We must create a 21st century force of zampoliti who will take up the same role as their predecessors during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.

The bourgeois concepts of Force Preservation and respect for the individual soldier have removed the concept of purges from our vocabulary – at least for now. Until we have liberated ourselves from these concepts, mired as they are in White Privilege and the delusion of individualism; we cannot effectively deal with recalcitrant members who refuse to conform to the usages and precepts of Social Justice. One other key thought is the ongoing usage in our ranks of the binary terms “Sir” and “Ma’am”. These are part of the patriarchy, and have feudal connotations which do not befit a modern, inclusive ADF. The best terms are those which are tried and tested. Hence, instead of Sir or Ma’am, or Ladies and Gentlemen – we should simply refer to everyone as Comrade.

In the short term, we must work with the tools we have. The two most effective tools are our young officers and noncommissioned officers and the astute, erudite members of the Inspector General Australian Defence Force (IGADF). At present, that organization is dedicated to investigative work for the Minister. A much more valuable role for the IGADF would be to set up a Bureau for Political Oversight (BPO). The new BPO should have a twofold tasking. First, it must set up a Commissariat to train and mentor the new Political Officers. These should be recruited from among the most promising and progressive students from our universities.

Any taint of White Privilege must bar any candidate from appointment as a Political Officer. Therefore, all candidates must be Persons of Colour, or members of the LGBTIQA+ community, proven activists with no taint of militarism or loyalty to the Army. The BPO will select and train these outstanding humxns, ensuring them unfettered access to a separate reporting chain which will enable them to report any instances of language, actions or attitudes that fail the inclusivity test. Any shortfall of ab initio university-based candidates could be filled pro tempore by trained Workplace Behaviour Advisors or Workplace Behaviour Managers who have been vetted for ideological suitability. These individuals, best described as “useful idiots”, due to their predisposition toward patriarchal militarism, should be dispensed with once the progressive university activists are fully trained, embedded and ready to commence purging and monitoring.

The most effective tool for a new PO to use will be the under-regarded 2014 report by the eminent Dr Elizabeth Thompson, Battling with Words[1]. In this seminal work, Dr Thompson details and derides our outdated emphasis on courage and heroism, noting that most of our stories of heroism are focused on white Anglo-Saxon males, such as the late Chief Petty Officer Buck Rogers, whose heroism lacked any sense of political awareness, and as such has no value to a progressive ADF.

A diligent PO will take to heart Dr Thompson’s recommendation that, “…junior officers should be trained in the identification, monitoring and management of marginalising talk, and encouraged to be mentors of inclusive talk…”[2] (author’s italics)

The Red Army zampoliti maintained a network of soldiers, unfairly labelled by history as “informers”, who listened to the conversations of their peers and superiors, and reported unacceptable speech and attitudes for further action by the zampolit. This is what PO in the BPO should be trained to do – recruit workplace monitors, pay them a small retainer for their services, and use the data gained to enforce political correctness in the units to which they are assigned.

An even more effective opportunity to achieve a totally inclusive ADF requires the elimination of all forms of the Judeo-Christian superstition from our ranks. An excellent source for this initiative is the paper published by Colonel Phillip Hoglin, CSC, titled Losing Our Religion: The ADF’s Chaplaincy Dilemma.[3]In this work, the author makes a number of suggestions, two of which would be particularly useful for the BPO. These are, “… the development of a command and governance structure for the provision of wellbeing support and pastoral care across the entire ADF that is not based on religious chaplaincy, but secular approaches; and the introduction of secular wellbeing support practitioners, such as social workers and counsellors, to provide support…as part of a greater wellbeing organisation….”

The command and governance role fits into the nascent BPO’s remit, and the secular wellbeing and pastoral care can be provided by the Political Officers, whose primary role remains however the elimination of individualism and the promotion of political correctness.

Colonel Hoglin also brings clarity to the dissonance inherent in our reluctance to wage total warfare. Such bourgeois concepts as Proportionality are based in the Judeo-Christian respect for human life. He notes that, “…A secular military unambiguously separates religion from one of the most fundamental activities of a military at war: killing….”[4] There is a sense of muscular Hegelian inevitability in Colonel Hoglin’s essay – he anticipates a religion-free and totally secularist ADF by the year 2030.

What logically follows from that is the ADF Chaplaincy must be abolished in toto, and all references to religion of any kind must be systematically removed from the ADF lexicon. Dr Thompson also notes that, “…unacceptable attributes, such as social categories like… religion…could be raised and warned against….”[5]

The benefits to the ADF would be immediate and profound. The ideas of Just War Theory and respect for individual human life could be replaced with objective woke concepts such as intersectionality and liberationism. Chapels should be stripped of all offensive religious artifacts and converted to BPO outposts for the indoctrination of unit workplace monitors and their PO supervisors.

In conclusion, it can be seen that the ADF is still a long way from the ideals of inclusivity and gender neutrality to which it allegedly aspires. Ruthless action is needed to purge the ADF of Chaplains, officers and noncommissioned officers with individualist tendencies, and to replace them with persons from politically palatable CALD groups, Political Officers and unit workplace monitors. Only when all traces of the Anzac legend are purged from our collective memory will the revolution in military affairs be complete.

Postscript

Anyone who has read thus far will be either enthralled or outraged, hopefully the latter. At this point, it’s relevant to note that this article is in fact a thinly-disguised satire. The ADF exists to defend the nation. We will do this by the professional application of lethal force when required, and by the provision of humanitarian support and civil defence when appropriate. None of these outcomes require political correctness. Members of the ADF do in fact represent the wider community from which we come, and to this point in time, Dr Thompson and Colonel Hoglin to the contrary, the majority of our members are white, male and have at least an acknowledgement of the Judeo-Christian morality, whether they are believers or not. That morality informs our doctrines of selfless sacrifice, protection of the innocent, and the proportionality which distinguishes us from our adversaries. We protect minorities both in our organization and in the wider community not by preferment, but by respect and professionalism devoid of the taint of politics.

 

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(Gardner, 2021)
Gardner, J. 2021. 'The New ADF – the way to the inclusive future'. Available at: https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/new-adf-way-inclusive-future (Accessed: 15 April 2024).
(Gardner, 2021)
Gardner, J. 2021. 'The New ADF – the way to the inclusive future'. Available at: https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/new-adf-way-inclusive-future (Accessed: 15 April 2024).
Jason Gardner, "The New ADF – the way to the inclusive future", The Forge, Published: November 15, 2021, https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/new-adf-way-inclusive-future. (accessed April 15, 2024).
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