The editor of CONTACT doesn’t get a lot of fan mail or – I’m sure he’s grateful – much in the way of complaint either.
So when a disgruntled subscriber takes time out to quote the Defence Force Discipline Act at the editor of a civilian newsletter, one must assume the offence is grave…
Please note for your consideration.
The term ADF Member should not be used, only use Defence Member as per the Defence Act and Defence Discipline Act. The term ADF Member is deprecated and colloquial slang.
Term: Defence member
Definition: As defined in section 3 of the Defence Force Discipline Act (DFDA) 1982, is a person who is:
1 …a member of the Permanent Navy (PN), the Regular Army or the Permanent Air Force; or
2 …a member of the Reserves who:
(1) is rendering continuous full-time service; or
(2) is on duty or in uniform.
Term: Defence employee
Definition: A person employed in the Australian Government Department of Defence under section 22 of the Public Service Act 1999
Term: Defence personnel
Definition: All Defence APS employees, Defence employees engaged locally overseas, Defence civilians, Defence members and the equivalents from other Defence organisations on exchange to Defence.
I presume the story on ‘Transition Services’ prompted your email?
Can I also presume you will be passing on your advice to the author of the piece, who seems to be quite keen on the terminology – Minister for Veterans Affairs Dan Tehan (though, to be honest, I’m pretty sure all his colleagues are partial to the same terminology).
For that matter, a search of the Defence web site for the term “ADF members” (including quote marks) yields 4360 results where “ADF members” is used, obviously liberally and without hint of deprecation, in official Defence text and headlines and document titles.
So, can I assume you will also be sending out an urgent ‘all-staff memo’ to educate recalcitrants inside the wire too?
Or is ‘self-deprecation’ allowed in official Defence communications and on the official Defence web site, but not by anyone else?
Is that why (I assume) you only pick on civilian publications (who did little more than transcribe an official Defence press release)?
Here in civvie street, plain talking, Queen’s English, logic, and established and accepted norms including ‘colloquialisms’ are often used – and required – so that the lay man can understand and navigate often ridiculous and confusing Defence jargon, acronyms, abbreviations (often capped for no good reason), overuse of capital letters etc etc (classic example, calling the Royal Australian Navy the ‘Permanent Navy’ with a capital P as if it were a proper noun! You won’t find that ludicrousness in CONTACT).
As editor of CONTACT I am, of course, a civilian.
But, you may or may not be aware that I have been, and still am, a proud ADF member for the past 27 years – and this is the first (and probably last/only) time I’ve ever heard that the term ‘ADF member’ was deprecated and so frowned upon as to cause a hard-working Defence ****** to take time out of his busy day to quote the DFDA at a civilian.
All that said, and after nano-second consideration, I won’t be following your advice in this matter – at least not until I see ADF members and their ministers lead by example.
I do hope you realise (but I will point it out here, because sarcasm and nuance is often lost in emails) I am only yanking your chain with all of the above) – but am grateful for the opportunity to unleash Sir Jeffrey Armiger in my defence 🙂
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