First female Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army

Warrant Officer Kim Felmingham has been appointed as the first female Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army – RSM-A – in Australia.

CAPTION: The RSM-A’s pace stick is handed from incoming Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart to incoming Regimental Sergeant Major–Army Warrant Officer Kim Felmingham during the Chief of Army handover parade at Russell Offices in Canberra on 1 July 2022. Photo by Kym Smith.

The appointment became effective on 1 July 2022.

Outgoing RSM-A Warrant Officer Grant McFarlane, completing his tenure as Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army, thanked his soldiers for their support and service during his tenure.

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve with you, and I wish you all the best for your future endeavours,” Warrant Officer McFarlane said.

He formally passed the RSM-A’s pace stick to incoming Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Warrant Officer Felmingham during the parade that also saw the Chief of Army responsibilities change hands.

WO Felmingham has most recently been the Command Sergeant Major of Forces Command, since December 2019.

She enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in July 1986 and became a medical attendant in 1990.

She has had a balance of trade, instructional, regimental and operational appointments throughout her career.

Her first appointment as a Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) was in 2006.

Subsequent appointments have provided her the opportunity to gain extensive experience from the tactical to strategic levels of command.

She has extensive all-corps training experience, instructing at each level of Army’s All Corps Soldier Training Continuum from the Recruit to the Regimental Sergeant Majors Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Course.

Warrant Officer Felmingham has deployed on operations at every rank level from junior NCO to Warrant Officer.

Regimental Sergeant Major Joint Task Force 633 Warrant Officer Class One Kim Felmingham in Afghanistan on Mothers' Day 2013. Photo by Sergeant W. Guthrie.
Regimental Sergeant Major Joint Task Force 633 Warrant Officer Class One Kim Felmingham in Afghanistan on Mothers’ Day 2013. Photo by Sergeant W. Guthrie.

Warrant Officer Felmingham has had significant professional development opportunities across combat and combat-service-support environments, including attendance at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in 2007, Faculty Advisor, Military Operations Division in 2008, RSM JTF 633 in 2013 and attendance at multiple international seminars and leadership conferences in the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea and the United States of America.

In 2018, Warrant Officer Felmingham attended KEYSTONE at the National Defence University, Washington DC, which provided her development in current United States strategic interests, Department of Defense capability, foreign policy and military strategy.

Warrant Officer Felmingham was awarded the Nursing Service Cross in 2000, the United States of America Meritorious Service Medal in 2010 and the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2018.

A career highlight for Warrant Officer Felmingham was her appointment as the Regimental Sergeant Major, 2nd Division, where she was an ambassador for reform and change due to the division’s unique, integrated, diverse and dispersed workforce.

Warrant Officer Felmingham is a Director on the Board of the Army Amenities Fund which provides amenities and related services to Army members and their families.

Private Mark Spearpoint from 1RAR and Corporal Kim Felmingham, medic, administer measles immunisations in the Baidoa, Somalia, 1993. Photo by WO2 Terry Dex.
Private Mark Spearpoint from 1RAR and Corporal Kim Felmingham, medic, administer measles immunisations in the Baidoa, Somalia, 1993. Photo by WO2 Terry Dex.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

7 thoughts on “First female Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army

  • 08/05/2023 at 12:31 am

    Very happy to see the Army got it right. The best person for the job!! With a “Never give up” attitude, this lady is inspirational.

    Congratulations Maam.

    Rec James
    2Pl ACoy 1995

  • 05/07/2022 at 5:45 pm

    So very well done Kim, so proud you make all of us that have known you!
    Susan C Clarke

  • 05/07/2022 at 12:13 pm

    Congratulations Kim on an outstanding achievement. You have always had a great leadership style, a fantastic ability to impart knowledge and a passion for guiding others at all rank levels, in all environments. Don’t worry about the nay sawyers, thrive in the knowledge that if you weren’t the right person for the job it would not have been offered. You are now an inspiration to all soldiers and full deserve the accolades that you are receiving.

  • 04/07/2022 at 8:50 pm

    Warrant Officer Kim Felmingham NSC, OAM is an amazing leader and mentor and has always been an outstanding performer – well above expectations.

    As my CSM, she was always a brilliant example of how to just perform and excel, whilst supporting and guiding her SNCOs, JNCOs and soldiers. When I took a commission to LT Scientific Officer, she still ‘led” and gently corrected me when I would say I was a LT but ex-SGT. She reminded me, I was an Officer – full stop. When I became a Medical Officer, her support was once again very strong and I appreciated her guidance – and the fact she listened to me…… and my soldiers when as SCMA Rep she visited my platoon.

    Her career is appropriately varied and she has an array of training, representational and regimental posts. I will always stand proud that the first non-arms corps RSM-A was RAAMC! A little like the first Australian VC recipient!!! Paulatim.

    • 04/07/2022 at 9:53 pm

      This woman is gold, what a great achievement such a stellar career. Her career is the benchmark of what a soldier should be, such strong, wise and empathetic. Warrant Officer Felmingham you are the epitome of a great soldier, good luck in your career. Regard’s Samson

  • 03/07/2022 at 2:45 pm

    Kim has been an exemplar in organisation and leadership at all ranks. I first met her as a new medic and was impressed by her capability as a junior soldier to organise, and lead in both the barracks and field environments. She is an exemplar for all soldiers and an inspiration to the officer ranks to be better leaders. This promotion to RSM-A is well deserved IMHO.
    Congratulations to our newly appointed RSM-A WOI Kim Felmingham.


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