Sir Peter John COSGROVE AK, CVO, MC

COSGROVE, Peter John

Service Number: 235341
Enlisted: 26 January 1965
Last Rank: Major General
Last Unit: INTERFET
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia , 28 July 1947
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Waverley College, and Royal Military College, Duntroon, ACT, Australia
Occupation: Soldier, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Business Executive, Author, Governor General of Australia
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Non Warlike Service

26 Jan 1965: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2)

Vietnam War Service

2 Aug 1969: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
2 Aug 1969: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
2 Aug 1969: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341, 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, Vietnam
19 Aug 1969: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
20 Aug 1969: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
20 Aug 1969: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341, 9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR)
20 Aug 1969: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
28 Sep 1969: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
29 Sep 1969: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341, HQ 1st Australian Task Force, Vietnam
29 Sep 1969: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
29 Sep 1969: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341
30 Jul 1970: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN 235341

Peacekeeping Service

15 Oct 1999: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Major General, INTERFET, INTERFET (International Force for East Timor) / UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Authority, East Timor)

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

During his time at Waverley College Peter Cosgrove was a Cadet Under Officer in the Cadets and after leaving the College entered the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1965.

This was 50 years after the ANZAC landing and the same year the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment  (1RAR) went to South Vietnam. With Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War escalating, Officer Cadet Cosgrove would have encountered numerous returned officers and NCO instructors before graduating as a Lieutenant 1968.

In December that year he was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment where he no doubt put into practice much of what he had been taught about Infantry at RMC and subsequently learned a lot he had not been taught at Duntroon during his first overseas posting to Malaysia.

In 1969 he was posted to South Vietnam where as an infantry platoon commander in the 9th Batalion (9RAR) and for his actions in the field during combat was subsequently awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.

Following his service in Vietnam,  Cosgrove was promoted to the temporary rank of captain on 21 September 1970, and served as an aide-de-camp to the then-Governor-General Paul Hasluck.  He was promoted to substantive captain on 31 October 1974 and major on 11 December 1978.

The 1980's saw himpPromoted to lieutenant-colonel on 7 December 1981 and commander of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

It was his leadership of the international forces (INTERFET) peacekeeping mission to East Timor in 1999 that brought him national attention. The mission's success made him one of Australia's most respected and popular military leaders. He was promoted in 2000 to lieutenant general as Chief of the Army and in 2002 to general as Chief of the Defence Force.

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