Military Wiki
Vice Chief of the Defence Force (Australia)
Incumbent Mark Binskin

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) is the military deputy to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) of Australia, and acts as the CDF in his absence under standing acting arrangements.

The VCDF is a three-star officer in the Australian Defence Force (Lieutenant General, Vice Admiral, or Air Marshal). The position's standing responsibilities include: Joint Doctrine, Education, Training and Evaluation; Joint Logistics; Reserve Policy; and Joint Capabilities, Commitments and Concepts. When acting as Chief of the Defence Force, the VCDF attends the National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSCC) and Secretary’s Committee on National Security (SCNS).[1]

The appointment is made by the Governor General on the advice of his ministers under Section 9AA of the Defence Act (1903) and is for a fixed term of three years, nominally rotated between the three services (Navy, Army and Air Force); however in practice this has not been the case and the appointment has been held for longer or shorter periods of time. The role is politically neutral, as are all military positions, and is not affected by a change of government.

The position of VCDF was created in 1986.


Rank Name Post-
Service Term began Term ended Time in Appointment
Air Marshal Funnell, RayRay Funnell AO RAAF June 1986[2] January 1987 50000000000000000000 years, 7002214000000000000214 days
Vice Admiral Knox, IanIan Knox ACRAN RAN January 1987 September 1989 [3] 70002000000000000002 years, 7002243000000000000243 days
Vice Admiral Beaumont, AlanAlan Beaumont ACRAN RAN September 1989[3] October 1992 70003000000000000003 years, 700130000000000000030 days
Lieutenant General Baker, JohnJohn Baker AC Army October 1992 April 1995[4] 70002000000000000002 years, 7002182000000000000182 days
Vice Admiral Walls, RobertRobert Walls AORAN RAN April 1995[4] March 1997 70001000000000000001 year, 7002334000000000000334 days
Vice Admiral Barrie, ChrisChris Barrie ACRAN RAN March 1997 3 July 1998[4] 70001000000000000001 year, 7002122000000000000122 days
Air Marshal Riding, DouglasDouglas Riding AODFC RAAF 3 July 1998 [4] July 2000 70002000000000000002 years, 50000000000000000000 days
Lieutenant General Mueller, DesmondDesmond Mueller AO Army July 2000 July 2002 70002000000000000002 years, 50000000000000000000 days
Vice Admiral Shalders, RussRuss Shalders AOCSCRAN RAN July 2002 July 2005 70003000000000000003 years, 50000000000000000000 days
Lieutenant General Gillespie, KenKen Gillespie AODSCCSM Army July 2005 July 2008 70003000000000000003 years, 50000000000000000000 days
Lieutenant General Hurley, DavidDavid Hurley ACDSC Army July 2008 July 2011 70003000000000000003 years, 50000000000000000000 days
Air Marshal Binskin, MarkMark Binskin AO RAAF July 2011 Incumbent 70002000000000000002 years, 70033123000000000003,123 days


Mark BinskinDavid HurleyKen GillespieRuss ShaldersDesmond MuellerDouglas RidingChris Barrie (admiral)Robert Walls (admiral)John Baker (general)Alan BeaumontIan Knox (admiral)Ray Funnell

Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS)

Until September 2007, the VCDF was "double hatted" as the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS). In this role he commanded Australian Defence Force operations on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Force. In September 2007, The (Liberal) Minister of Defence, Brendan Nelson announced the formation of a separate three-star CJOPS position based at the Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) facility at Bungendore, New South Wales.[2][5]


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