Honour Monash - A great Australian
Promote him Posthumously to Field Marshal by 11 November 2018
294 Days to go


A Precedent for Posthumous Promotion


George WashingtonJohn MonashWhilst there have been many cases where a soldiers’ promotion has not been notified until after they had died; there is no precedent for deliberate posthumous promotion in the Australian Defence Force though the promotion of Colonel Henry MacLaurin to Brigadier General on 10 July 1915, he had been killed in action 27 April 1915 CLICK HERE for details. General Blamey was very sick and close to death, and returned to duty for the day when made a Field Marshal after World War 2. He had to sit up in his hospital bed to be photographed with his uniform and baton, but he was alive when the promotion was mooted and occurred.

The precedent for promoting an honoured citizen and soldier posthumously to a nation’s highest rank is in the USA where George Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies of the United States (a rank one higher than Field Marshal which is called General of the Army in the USA) in 1976. George Washington was the head of the Army that defeated the British and secured US independence, he became the first President serving 30 April 1789 – 4 March 1797. He died on 14 December 1799 and was promoted (Department of the Army Order 31-3, 13 March 1978) effective 4 July 1976. He had been dead for 179 years when the promotion was promulgated. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the document authorising the promotion.

In Australia John Monash is held on a position of historic respect at least equal to that of Washington in the USA. He deserves equivalent posthumous honour.

Australian Field Marshal Facts - Tim Fischer AC

When a window of opportunity comes along to correct a wrong that goes to the core fabric of the nation, then citizens should step up and seek to ensure action is taken to rectify the wrong. This window exists from now until 11 November 2018, the centenary of Armistice or Remembrance Day.

The Jerilderie Proposition relating to Sir John Monash sets out clearly the objective of the Saluting Monash Council and is detailed below, it seeks to right a wrong but first, some matters of fact should be laid out with regard to the rank of Australian Field Marshal :

The rank of Australian Field Marshal is not suspended or abolished, it exists today and there is one current living holder of that rank, the Consort of the Queen of Australia, Prince Philip is an Australian Field Marshal created by then PM Robert Menzies on 1 April 1954.

All Four Australian Field Marshals, 1925 Birdwood, 1938 King George VI, 1950 Blamey and 1954 Prince Philip were created in peace time and for symbolic reasons, at the time of their appointments none were in command of an AIF or ADF force of the size normally relating to Field Marshal command.

Minister Dan Tehan has recently laid out some observations on Field Marshal rank as follows below. The Minister admits the ‘implicit’ requirement to be living but it is not an ‘outright’ requirement, further emphasising one step in rank as a desirable aspect. Promoting Sir John Monash posthumously to Field Marshal would represent one step in rank and like Blamey, when he was promoted in 1950, some years had elapsed since he was on active command duty.

"The careful after- the-fact confirmation of General Blamey’s legal status as an officer on the Active List reinforces the importance of this requirement. Implicit in the requirement for the recipient to be a serving officer is the requirement that the person be alive." ENDS

In the 21st century it is clearly a matter within the capability of the ADF, Minister for Defence and the Australian Prime Minister of the day to make senior promotions and appointments, it is not a matter that Whitehall or the Palace can prevent or obstruct. It is essentially an Australian matter for determination, one way or another and with indirect precedent. Note Minister Josh Frydenberg has said that a precedent is not essential to complete but not alter history by the Monash promotion.

In 1976 George Washington was promoted from General to General of the Armies / Field Marshal +1 equivalent. Great Britain continues to appoint Field Marshals, the most recent is Lord Guthrie who was promoted to Field Marshal (Honorary) after he retired as head of the British Defence Forces. Staying with the limitation of one step in rank only, there are only some dozen Australian Generals ever appointed since 1901, three alive today, who notionally are eligible of one step in rank promotion to Field Marshal . In reality only one maximum two are within the remit for consideration of promotion to Field Marshal.

© Saluting Monash Council ABN 51 470 772 335, PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA Click to contact
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