Colonel Kelly

Most readers would be aware that I’m a retired Army officer and may be surprised when I say I agree with Carr in his criticism of ‘Colonel’ Kelly. When I first read of the ‘Colonel’ I was embarrased that a professional Officer would put aside his duty to be apolitical and publically critisize a politician. What is the world coming too? I ask myself. Next we will have military officers critisizing the Government about the conduct of the war. Todays letters in the Australian make much of this matter with statements like “Soldier should stay clear of politics” and “what is serving army officer like Colonel Mike Kelly doing sending a letter…….? Norm Barnwell from Merriweather says, and I quote in full; When we have professional soldiers meddling in political affairs we have serious problems. As a lesson Colonel Mike Kelly should be brought home and made to face either a court martial or at the very least be returned to Duntroon to learn the politically correct behaviour for a soldier in Australia’s army Norm is dead right……except it is unlikely that Colonel Kelly is a professional officer, he is a lawyer. Lawyers don’t graduate from Duntroon, they don’t even go to Duntroon. They get their law degree from a main stream university and then volunteer for a commission. They do an extremely short course that teaches them how to salute and how to wear a uniform and are then let loose on the soldiery with all their uni days baggage. Notwithstanding this, he is expected to act as if he was a professional officer and he has made a professional gaffe. He should be brought home and his resignation called for so he can be free to stay with the ALP (he is a member) and play politics at the bar and at the club on friday night. Having said all of the above, there are exeptions to the rule and I do know of officers who have graduated from Duntroon and then subsequently studied for a law degree. You will never hear from these guys as they are professional officers first.