Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr has issued a message to the Army encouraging them to look after themselves and their families – but prepare for a new fight.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers support New South Wales Police with quarantine compliance checks in Sydney. Photo by Corporal Chris Beerens.
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“COVID-19 is a serious challenge that will impact us in many ways. It is real, it is serious, and we all have an individual responsibility to act,” Lieutenant General Burr said.
“There are many things we will need to do, but first and foremost we must protect our people – you, your families – so that we can preserve our capability. We need to be fit to fight.
“There is a lot of guidance and direction out there that we all need to follow.
“Put simply, your actions must demonstrate that we are all committed to stop the spread of this pandemic that is so threatening to our society.
“This virus does not discriminate, and the only way to reduce its spread is to strictly adhere to the direction given, which is regularly updated on the COVID-19 app the government recently released. It is simple and it is clear and applies to everyone.
“Across Army, and across Defence, we need to adjust to the new environment. We have a responsibility to continue to function within these necessary restrictions.
“On 31 March, the CDF released direction regarding ADF essential functions, social distancing measures and training.
“Subsequently, I have issued instructions to meet this direction and prepare the Army for an operation to assist the national effort to protect citizens against this threat.
“I do not know the details of the tasks that Army will be asked to do in the coming weeks and months.
“Many of them will be different to the tasks you are specifically trained for.
“However, I am completely confident that you will step up, adapt to the problem, serve the nation with pride and selflessly support our communities during what will be difficult times.
“The themes of Army in Motion and Good Soldiering should resonate with you as you perform these duties.
“This will be a tough time, and we will ask a lot of you and your family. So please, use the time that you have now wisely.
“Get yourself organised, help build family readiness and resilience and help your team become more ready to deal with these forthcoming challenges.
“Lead by your example and improve your confidence and capability to respond when needed.
“If you need help just ask. Your chain of command are here to support you.
“Working remotely will require innovation and self-discipline.
“Teams need to stay connected, learning needs to continue, the obligation to serve and be ready is undiminished – indeed it is ever more important.
“The nation and our communities associate the reassuring presence of our Army with safety, security and hope.
“It will be no different with COVID-19.
“Thank you for all that you are doing. Look after your teams, your families and yourselves.”