COLONEL Shane Gabriel commandedf 7RAR from Dec 2006 to Dec 2009 and was born in Brisbane on 26 April 1967. After secondary education in Queensland, he completed 12 months of a Bachelor of Economics degree course at the University of New England. He was appointed as a RAAF Officer Cadet in the Ground Defence category in January 1986 and subsequently graduated from the Royal Military College in June 1987.
His RAAF service included postings to 2 Airfield Defence Squadron as a Rifle Flight Commander and as the initial Base Ground Defence Officer at RAAF Tindal. In May 1990 he transferred to the Royal Air Force Regiment for a six year short service commission. This included a variety of regimental and training appointments including service in a Light Armour Squadron, as a Regimental Depot instructor, multiple commander in Northern Ireland and as a United Nations Military Observer in the Former Yugoslavia.
On completing his UK service, LTCOL Gabriel transferred to the Australian Army as an Infantry Officer in March 1996. His initial posting was to the 5th/7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment where he served as Intelligence Officer, Mortar Platoon Commander and Adjutant. Following promotion to Major in 1998, he served as the Operations Officer at the Australian Defence Force Academy before returning to the 5th/7th Battalion in January 1999 as Officer Commanding B Company. He subsequently deployed with the Battalion Group during the INTERFET operation and the early stages of the UN mission. In 2000, he was the Battalion Operations Officer and then served as the Senior Instructor, Tactics Wing at the School of Infantry in 2001.
In 2002, LTCOL Gabriel attended Australian Command and Staff College and then completed 12 months as the Capability Systems staff officer for soldier modernisation. On promotion in 2004, he was posted to the Soldier Modernisation Program (LAND 125) project office in Land Systems Division. LTCOL Gabriel was awarded a Chief of Army Commendation for his service as the Project Director. In 2006, he was the Chief Instructor, Australian Defence Force Academy and assumed his current appointment as the Commanding Officer, the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment upon the de-linking of the 5th/7th Battalion, on 3 December 2006.
LTCOL Gabriel has been married to Karli since 2001 and they have a daughter, Grace (2005). He has two sons from a previous marriage, Liam (1992) and Kieran (1995), who live in Canberra. His interests include reading history, rugby, rodeos and shooting.
Subsequent to his Afghanistan service he was promoted to Colonel and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross