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General
Peter Courtney Gration
AC OBE
Born 6 January 1932(1932-01-06) (age 89)
Place of birth Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1949 – 1993
Rank General
Unit Royal Australian Engineers
Commands held Chief of the Defence Force
Chief of the General Staff
Director of Engineers
1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit
Battles/wars Malayan Emergency
Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Relations Air Marshal Barry Gration (brother)

General Peter Courtney Gration AC OBE (born 6 January 1932) is an Australian general who served in the positions of Chief of the General Staff and Chief of the Defence Force; the professional head of the Australian Army and Australian Defence Force respectively.

Early life[]

Gration was born in Richmond, Victoria, on 6 January 1932.[1] He attended Melbourne's Scotch College from 1945 until matriculation in 1948, during which time he was active in the school's cricket, football and athletics teams.[2]

Military career[]

Accepted into the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Gration began his course at the college in 1949. He graduated as a lieutenant three years later with the Queen's Medal, and was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers. During the following two years, Gration was a resident student at Ormond College in the University of Melbourne where he completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree; Gration subsequently completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Economics at the University of Queensland in later years.[2]

Gration saw active service during the Malayan Emergency, before attending the British Army Staff College, Camberley in 1964.[2] He completed a tour of duty during the Vietnam War between 1969 and 1970, during which time he was posted as commanding officer of the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[1] For his "distinguished services" in Vietnam, Gration was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1971.[3]

In 1973, Gration was appointed Director of Engineers. Following that three year stint, he was posted to a course at the United States Army War College. Gration was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 1984 Australia Day Honours List for his service as Assistant Chief of the Defence Force Staff.[4] Later that year he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed Chief of the General Staff - the professional head of the Australian Army.[2]

In 1987 Gration was appointed Chief of the Defence Force and promoted to general.[2] In the Australia Day Honours of 1988 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).[5] Following forty-four years of service, Gration retired from the Australian Army and active military service in 1993.[2]

Retirement[]

Since his retirement from the army, Gration has held various senior positions in companies and charities, including: Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial, Chairman of the Management Committee of Transfield Defence Systems, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Defence College, Director of Tenix Pty Ltd, Chairman of Tenix Toll Defence Logistics Pty Ltd, Founding Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, and National President of Toc H.[2]

In 1993 Gration was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of New South Wales. During 1994–1995, Gration served as a consultant to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and had primary responsibility for negotiation of a security agreement with Indonesia. During this time, he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Melbourne University Regiment, and made Representative Colonel Commandant of the Royal Australian Engineers during 2000.[2]

Since the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, Gration has been open in his criticism of Australia's involvement in the war. In an article he wrote for The Age, Gration declared: "... there are insufficient grounds for war, which is unnecessary and may lead to unpredictable and potentially disastrous consequences. It is not in Australia's interests to take part in such a war."[6] He was awarded the inaugural Peace Prize from the Australian Medical Association for the Prevention of War in April 2005 for his "outspoken criticism".[7]

Married with two sons, Gration is an Hononary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.[2] His brother Air Marshal Barry Gration was Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal Australian Air Force from 1992 until 1994.

Honours and Awards[]

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png

Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png DFSM with Fed Star.png National Medal with Rosette.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png Pingat Jasa Malaysia ribbon.png

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) (1988)
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (1984)
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) (1971)
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975
Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Medal
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945–1975
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal (2001)
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (5 clasps) (40–44 years service)
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal with clasp
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal (2006)
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal
Pingat Jasa Malaysia ribbon.png Pingat Jasa Malaysia

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "GRATION, Peter Courtney". Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans. Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.vietnamroll.gov.au/VeteranDetails.aspx?VeteranId=1225990. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "General Peter Gration AC OBE (’48)". Great Scot. Scotch College, Melbourne. http://www.scotch.vic.edu.au/Gscot/07maygs/47.htm. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  3. "No. 45276". 8 January 1971. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/45276/page/  (OBE)
  4. "Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=879670&search_type=quick&showInd=true. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  (AO)
  5. "Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=879446&search_type=quick&showInd=true. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  (AC)
  6. Gration, Peter (2 January 2003). "The case against war with Iraq". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/01/1041196687995.html. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  7. "Peter Gration". Centre for Policy Development. http://cpd.org.au/user/pgration. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 

External links[]

Military offices
Preceded by
General Sir Phillip Bennett
Chief of the Defence Force
1987 – 1993
Succeeded by
Admiral Alan Beaumont
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Sir Phillip Bennett
Chief of the General Staff
1984 – 1987
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Lawrence O'Donnell



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