Colonel Boni Aruma has been appointed Deputy Commander of Australia’s 3rd Brigade – the first time a Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) officer has been promoted to such a senior command position in the Australian Army.
CAPTION: Deputy Commander 3rd Brigade Colonel Boniface Aruma being promoted by his wife, Cynthia, and daughter, Hannah, at the Army Museum North Queensland, Townsville. Story by Captain Brittany Evans. Photos by Corporal Guy Sadler.
Speaking at the promotion ceremony at the Army Museum North Queensland last week, Commander 3rd Brigade Brigadier Dave McCammon said the significance of the promotion reflected the relationship between the ADF and PNGDF.
“We have a relationship that has endured wars together. This promotion is a reflection of the strength between the PNGDF and ADF,” Brigadier McCammon said.
“The ADF has previously embedded PNGDF officers at varying ranks. The key difference with this appointment is the seniority and being in a position of command.
“Boni is involved in the day-to-day management of the 3rd Brigade, which is currently going through important changes. He will be integral in supporting this.”
CAPTION: Commander 3rd Brigade Brigadier David McCammon congratulates Deputy Commander 3rd Brigade Colonel Boniface Aruma on his promotion, held at the Army Museum North Queensland.
Speaking at the promotion ceremony, PNG’s Defence Adviser to Australia Colonel Siale Diro said the promotion was a quantum leap that “sets a platform for how we must face oncoming challenges in our region together”.
“The relationship between the Australian Army and Papua New Guinea Defence Force is strong, and it will always be strong,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Brent Hughes, who worked with Colonel Aruma while posted to PNG, said he had great leadership qualities.
“He is a smart guy, has a great heart, is very honest and trustworthy; these qualities breed friendship, which is very important in that role,” Lieutenant Colonel Hughes said.
“His knowledge of the region will aid in training for specific terrain types, and what will be of greatest importance is his leadership.”
Colonel Aruma said he was looking forward to learning and offering his experience to the ADF.
“I’m looking forward to absorbing as much as I can and hopefully bestow my own knowledge to the 3rd Brigade, in particular the mindset of improvisation on the go,” Colonel Aruma said.
“Both countries share common interests, values, history, and it’s the human beings that drive these for our nations.
“I am grateful to have been offered this opportunity.”
CAPTION: Deputy Commander 3rd Brigade Colonel Boniface Aruma with his family outside Jezzine House in Townsville following his promotion.