CHARGED with the job of making battle-ready all of Australia’s military equipment used in overseas conflicts, Brigadier Peter Daniel has been recognised for his exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force by being made a Member (AM) in the Military Divison of the Order of Australia in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Since his nomination, Brigadier Daniel, who was educated at Canobolas Rural Technology High School, has been elevated to a more senior role, which puts him in one of the top three positions in the Australian Army.
As the head of army personnel in his role as director general, he is leading a push for cultural change in the Australian Army, including stamping out sexual discrimination.
“I am not only now responsible for cultural reform in the Australian Army, but I am also very conscious of being responsible for ensuring we meet the expectations of the wider community,” he said.
Brigadier Daniel says the task ahead of him means predatory behaviour in the service will not be tolerated at any level.
He says the Australian Army is undergoing great cultural change and not merely paying lip service to the spotlight that is on the armed services.
“All ranks now have a different mindset and rogue elements won’t be tolerated,” he said.
“The army of 2014 is a very different place to the army I went into 30 years ago after leaving school,” he said.
He is greatly encouraged by recent statistics that show more women entering the army than two years ago as part of the 30,000 regular and 15,000 part-time forces, for whom he has a high level of responsibility.
Brigadier Daniel’s interest in the army was sparked by a visit to the school from an Australian Army recruit team.
“I would never have thought I would pursue a career in the army until that happened,” he said.
“One of my teachers, Mr Edwards suggested I would make a good anthropologist.”
Brigadier Daniel said not only was he humbled by the Queen’s Birthday honour for doing a job he loved, but he was grateful for the opportunities his career choice provided.
“When I got the letter to say I had been nominated and would I accept, I nearly fell off my chair,” he said.
“I have been fortunate to travel the world in my job and see the most eye-opening things, from people living in abject poverty to the extreme rich,” he said.
Brigadier Daniel thoroughly recommends army life to anyone contemplating an exciting career.
“Even if you don’t want to do it full-time, there are some wonderful opportunities in the Army Reserve,” he said.