July 18, 2024

Gen R.A.Grey, AO,DSO

Lieutenant Colonel Ron A. Grey  took command of 7RAR on 25 November, 1968. He was educated at Perth Modern School, the educational institution of several other famous people including a former prime minister (R.L.Hawke) and a former governor general (Sir Paul Hasluck).

He graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1951. He served with 3 RAR from 1952 to 1953 as a rifle platoon commander and in the mortar platoon. He was wounded twice in Korea and then become an instructor at the 1st Commonwealth Division Battle School at Hara Mura in Japan from 1955-57.

He then served as adjutant of the 2/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry before being posted to the Royal Military College for three years. He then became an infantry officer instructor at the School of Infantry. He was posted as a company commander in 2RAR and was selected to attend the Staff College in Camberley, UK, in 1961.

After returning to Australia, he was posted to the Infantry Centre and to the Directorate of Infantry. He was then selected as the Deputy Assistant General (Operations and Maintenance) in Headquarters 17th Gurkha Division in Borneo where he was Mentioned in Despatches (MID). In his next posting in the Directorate of Military Training in Canberra he compiled two pamphlets that were to form the basis for much of the Australian minor tactics used in Vietnam: Patrolling and Tracking and Ambush and Counter Ambush. He was then appointed as the Chief Instructor of Battle Wing at the Jungle Training Centre at Canungra in 1967.

The Commanding Officer had a thorough knowledge of military history, particularly the campaigns of Wellington and the American Civil War. He had made three operational visits to Vietnam (in 1964, 1965 and 1968) seeing much of the whole country and some of Phuoc Tuy Province. He had made a detailed study of the French campaigns in Indo-China and Algeria. His particular enthusiasm was battle discipline, the demanding type of discipline that a soldier imposes on himself so that he does not let his mates down – exemplified by the tired sentry who would rest his chin on his bayonet.

Lieutenant Colonel Grey was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his service in Vietnam as Commanding Officer of 7RAR.

General Grey was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) on 26 January, 1983 for service to the Australian Army, particularly as Chief of Operations and as General Officer Commanding Field Force

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