Australia’s Army Birthday: Soldiers on the ground at a moment of heightened tension

Soldiers in the Australian Army celebrated the occasion of their birthday on Monday, while the Australian Government has been forced to acknowledge that some of its troops may have suffered psychological trauma.

Military chiefs and soldiers at the end of the month will be asked to give a report to the Parliament on the mental health of the army, which has been battling to maintain its military posture amid growing political unrest.

Australian Defence Force chief Gen Peter Cosgrove said the report would focus on the “continuing needs of the Australian Armed Forces and on the role of the Armed Forces in society”.

“There are some very serious issues,” Gen Cosgroves said.

“The Australian Government’s responsibility is to make sure that it doesn’t exacerbate those problems.

I think we will see the Army have a very clear view of what needs to be done to ensure that we’re taking these issues seriously and making sure that the Army’s role is being properly taken forward.”

But the Government was forced to admit it had not had a report on the Army since the end “of the year”. AAP/ABC

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