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Department of Defence
Media Release


10/07/2007 MECC 200/07




General John Stuart Baker AC, DSM was born in Melbourne in 1936.  He joined the Australian Army in 1954, and graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, into the Royal Australian Engineers.


General Baker was a highly intelligent and dedicated military officer. He saw operational service in Papua New Guinea and undertook two tours in Vietnam. For his work in Vietnam with the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit, he was Mentioned in Dispatches for his devotion to duty, professional skill and leadership qualities of the highest order.


His career, spanning over 44 years saw him undertake a wide variety of command, staff and field appointments, including Director General Joint Service Policy, Director Joint Intelligence Organisation and Vice Chief of the Defence Force. In 1995 General Baker was appointed Chief of the Defence Force.


During his tenure as Chief of the Defence Force, General Baker led significant structural change with the implementation of new and more effective higher command and control arrangements. He was also responsible for implementing the Defence Reform Program and integrating civilian and military staff into a cohesive Defence team. General Baker retired from the Australian Defence Force in 1998. 


General John Baker was greatly admired throughout the entire Australian Defence Force. He garnered great respect for his compassion, determination and professional mastery.





General John Stuart Baker AC, DSM


1954                Entered Royal Military College

1957                Commissioned into the Royal Australia Engineers

1961                Graduated as a Civil Engineer from the University of Melbourne

1961                24th Construction Squadron

1963                11th  Field Squadron

1964                20th Commander Royal Engineer Works

1965                Exchange appointment with US 25th Infantry Division

1966                Instructor at School of Military Engineering

1967                Student Army Command and Staff College

1967                Staff Officer Directorate Engineers, Army Headquarters

1970                Project Officer, 1st Civil Affairs Unit, South Vietnam

1970                Mention in Dispatches for service in South Vietnam

1972                Staff Officer Directorate Engineers, Army Headquarters

1973                Student Joint Services Staff College

1974                Staff Officer Operation Branch, Army Office

1977                Instructor Joint Service Staff College

1979                Director Operations Branch, Army Office

1980                Director Combat Development – Army

1980                Appointed Member of the Order of Australia

1982                Director General Joint Service Policy

1985                Commander 2nd Military District

1987                Deputy Chief of Operations – Army

1987                Chief of Logistics - Army

1989                Director, Joint Intelligence Organisation

1990                Promoted to Officer of the order of Australia

1992                Vice Chief of Defence Force

1995                Chief of Defence Force

1995                Promoted to Companion of the Order of Australia

1998                Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal

1998                Retired, 7th August 1998


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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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