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Vice Chief of the
Defence Force

Reserve and Youth Division

Biography - HRYD

MRear Admiral Bruce Kafer

Rear Admiral Bruce Kafer joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Cadet Midshipman in 1977. After initial seaman officer training he specialised in hydrographic surveying and, on completion of his basic survey course, served in hydrographic survey ships of the RAN and Royal Navy.

Highlights of Rear Admiral Kafer’s seagoing career have been his commands of the RAN survey ships HMAS FLINDERS and HMAS LEEUWIN, and his two-year exchange posting with the Royal Navy. He also saw active service in the Arabian Gulf on two occasions: initially during the Iran/Iraq War, when he participated in mine clearance operations whilst with the Royal Navy; and in 2008-09, when he had command of two coalition maritime task forces (Combined Task Forces 158 and 152) which were responsible for security and interception operations in the Gulf.

Rear Admiral Kafer has also had a variety of senior staff appointments ashore. He served for four years as Hydrographer of Australia and Commander of the RAN’s Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic Force Element Group. More recently he was the Chief, Combat Support Group in Fleet Headquarters. Between December 2009 and December 2013 he was the Commandant, Australian Defence Force Academy.

Rear Admiral Kafer transferred to the Naval Reserve in January 2014, and in November 2014 he assumed duties as Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in December 2016 and appointed as Head Reserve and Youth Division and Commander Australian Defence Force Cadets.

In 2005 Rear Admiral Kafer was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for services to hydrography, and in 2008 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his services as Chief, Combat Support Group.

Rear Admiral Kafer is married to Gerri; they have two adult sons.