Leaders

Peter Cosgrove

 Peter Cosgrove

His Excellency General the Honourable
Sir Peter Cosgrove
AK, MC
Peter Cosgrove 2017 (1) crop.jpg
 
26th Governor-General of Australia
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 March 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Dame Quentin Bryce
Personal details
Born Peter John Cosgrove
(1947-07-28) 28 July 1947 
Sydney, Australia
Spouse(s) Lynne, Lady Cosgrove
Children Stephen
Philip
David
Residence Government House, Canberra
Alma mater Royal Military College, Duntroon
Religion Roman Catholicism
Military service
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1965–2005
Rank General
Commands Chief of the Defence Force (2002–05)
Chief of Army (2000–02)
International Force for East Timor (1999–00)
1st Division (1998–99)
6th Brigade (1992–93)
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1983–84)
Battles/wars Vietnam War
International Force for East Timor
Awards Knight of the Order of Australia
Military Cross
Complete list

General Sir Peter John Cosgrove, AK, MC  is a retired senior Australian Army officer and the 26th and current Governor-General of Australia.

A graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Cosgrove fought in the Vietnam War, receiving the Military Cross in 1971. From 1983 to 1984, he was commander of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), and he later served as commander of the 6th Brigade and the 1st Division. Cosgrove rose to prominence in 1999, when he served as commander of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), which oversaw the peacekeeping mission in East Timor during its transition to independence.

Cosgrove was Australia’s Chief of Army from 2000 to 2002, and then Chief of the Defence Force from 2002 to 2005, receiving corresponding promotions to lieutenant general and general. Cosgrove retired from active service following the end of his term as Chief of the Defence Force, and subsequently served as leader of a taskforce helping to rebuild communities in Queensland after Cyclone Larry in 2006. In January 2014, Cosgrove was named to succeed Dame Quentin Bryce as Governor-General of Australia. He was sworn in on 28 March 2014, and created a Knight of the Order of Australia on the same date.

Early life and education

Cosgrove was born in Sydney, New South Wales, on 28 July 1947. He was educated at Waverley College in Sydney, then followed his father, a warrant officer, into the Australian Army by attending the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1965. Cosgrove’s uncle, Bill Cosgrove, was a professional football player, but was killed in World War II.

Military service

Cosgrove at the Centenary of the Kangaroo March launch in 2013.
Cosgrove at the Centenary of the Kangaroo March launch in 2013.

Lieutenant Peter Cosgrove was commissioned on 11 December 1968 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Infantry. He arrived in Vietnam on 3 August 1969 and was posted to 9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on 20 August 1969. On 10 October 1969, Lieutenant Cosgrove was commanding 5 Platoon, B Company. The platoon located an occupied bunker system in an area where, because of the proximity of allied troops, indirect fire support was difficult to obtain. In spite of this, he led his platoon in an assault on the bunkers without indirect fire support, capturing the system and killing and wounding at least four enemy without sustaining any casualties. On 16 October 1969, 5 Platoon located another bunker system occupied by about a platoon of enemy. Lieutenant Cosgrove silently deployed his own platoon for an attack. His assault completely surprised the enemy causing them to flee, abandoning large quantities of food, stores and documents. The following day in the same bunker system a party of enemy approached his right forward section and was engaged by the sentry. Knowing that the remainder of the section was elsewhere on other tasks, Lieutenant Cosgrove ran to the contact area and personally conducted the fight against the enemy. As a result of his actions, two enemy were killed and three weapons and four packs containing rice were captured. He was awarded the Military Cross for these actions. In 1980 he was awarded the National Medal. In the mid-1980s he commanded the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

Cosgrove came to national fame in 1999 when, as a major general, he led the international forces (INTERFET) in a peacekeeping mission to East Timor. 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.

In 2004, the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer queried the judgement of Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty. Following a joint interview with the then Defence Minister Robert Hill, Cosgrove was accused of “playing politics” when he said that, on this occasion, he disagreed with Keelty’s point of view. However, Cosgrove expressed strong support for the Police Commissioner in his Australian best selling autobiography, My Story, published in 2006. On 3 July 2005, Cosgrove’s three-year appointment as Chief of the Defence Force was completed, and he was succeeded by then-Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston.

Post-military career

Cyclone Larry Taskforce

On 23 March 2006, Cosgrove was selected to lead the Queensland Government taskforce of rebuilding communities damaged by Cyclone Larry, a Category 5 tropical cyclone that devastated the Innisfail region of northern Queensland. “In recognition of the important contribution General Cosgrove made to the community of North Queensland following Cyclone Larry”, on 11 October 2008, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced that a new residential suburb in the Bohle Plains area of Townsville would be named Cosgrove.

Corporate leadership and community organisations

Cosgrove served on the board of Australia’s main airline Qantas between July 2005 and January 2014 and is on numerous other boards as chairman or member. He served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University between November 2010 and January 2014; and is Honorary Patron in Chief of the ACT Veterans Rugby Club and the Rosies Youth Mission. Peter Cosgrove was appointed as Patron to the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association in 2015.

Governor-General

Swearing in as Governor-General
Swearing in as Governor-General
Prince George with his parents and Sir Peter Cosgrove at Admiralty House, Sydney, April 2014
Prince George with his parents and Sir Peter Cosgrove at Admiralty House, Sydney, April 2014

On 28 January 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the Queen had accepted his advice to appoint Peter Cosgrove as the next Governor-General of Australia, to succeed Quentin Bryce in late March. On 25 March, Abbott announced that the Queen had also approved the reinstatement of the grade of Knight or Dame in the Order of Australia (she had abolished it in 1986 on the advice of Bob Hawke), and that the Governor-General would be ex officio the Principal Knight or Dame of the Order. The incumbent, Quentin Bryce, was immediately made the first new Dame of the Order. On 28 March Cosgrove succeeded Dame Quentin and was sworn in as Governor-General by Chief Justice Robert French, becoming Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Personal life

Peter and Lynne Cosgrove.
Peter and Lynne Cosgrove.
 

Cosgrove married Lynne Payne in 1976; they have three sons (Stephen, Philip and David) and one grandson, and lived in Sydney before taking up residence in Government House, Canberra. Cosgrove is a Roman Catholic and frequently attends Mass in the St Christopher’s Cathedral parish in Canberra.

Sir Peter is a strong supporter and member of the Sydney Roosters. He is also a keen follower of cricket and rugby union.

Titles, styles and honours

Viceregal styles of
Sir Peter Cosgrove
(2014–present)
Badge of the Governor-General of Australia.svg
Reference style His Excellency the Honourable
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

Titles

28 Jul 1947 – 1965: Mr Peter Cosgrove
1965 – 1968: Staff Cadet Peter Cosgrove
1968 – 1970: Lieutenant Peter Cosgrove
1970 – 12 February 1971: Captain Peter Cosgrove
12 Feb 1971 – Dec 1971: Captain Peter Cosgrove MC
Dec 1971 – Dec 1972: Captain Peter Cosgrove MC, ADC
Dec 1972 – 1976: Captain Peter Cosgrove MC
1976 – 15 January 1983: Major Peter Cosgrove MC
15 Jan 1983 – 26 January 1985: Lieutenant Colonel Peter Cosgrove MC
26 Jan 1985 – Jul 1988: Lieutenant Colonel Peter Cosgrove AM, MC
Jul 1988 – Jul 1989: Colonel Peter Cosgrove AM MC
Jul 1989 – Mar 1998: Brigadier Peter Cosgrove AM MC
25 Mar 1998 – 25 March 2000: Major General Peter Cosgrove AM MC
25 Mar 2000 – 16 July 2000: Major General Peter Cosgrove AC MC
16 Jul 2000 – 4 July 2002: Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove AC MC
4 July 2002 – 3 July 2005: General Peter Cosgrove AC MC
3 July 2005 – 28 March 2014: General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Ret’d)
28 Mar 2014 – present: His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC (Ret’d), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

Cosgrove’s full title: His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter John Cosgrove, Principal Knight and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, Military Cross, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Honours and awards

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Military Cross ribbon.png
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png

INTERFET Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png DFSM with Fed Star.png

National Medal (Australia) ribbon.jpg Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png

US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Tong-il Medal (South Korea) ribbon.png Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Cross BAR.png

Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Order of Timor-Leste.png GC.OrdineS.GregorioMagno.png ARG Order of the Liberator San Martin - Grand Cross BAR.png

 

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Knight of the Order of Australia (AK) 28 March 2014  
Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) 25 March 2000
(Military division)
For eminent service to the Australian Defence Force as the Commander of the International Force East Timor
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) 26 January 1985
(Military division)
In recognition of service as Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Military Cross ribbon.png Military Cross (MC) 12 February 1971 Infantry – 9 RAR – Vietnam
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of the Order of St John 28 March 2014  
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975   with Vietnam clasp
Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Medal    
Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal   with East Timor clasp
INTERFET Medal ribbon.png International Force East Timor Medal   (INTERFET)
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945–1975    
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal 1 January 2001 For service to Australian society as Chief of the Defence Force
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star   40–44 years service
National Medal (Australia) ribbon.jpg National Medal 16 October 1980 For diligent long service to the community in hazardous circumstances, including in times of emergency and national disaster, in direct protection of life and property
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal    
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg Vietnam Campaign Medal   Republic of Vietnam
New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) 5 June 2000 New Zealand
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander of the Legion of Merit   United States
Tong-il Medal (South Korea) ribbon.png Tong-il Medal of the Order of National Security Merit   South Korea
Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Officer of the Legion of Honour   France
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry (GCIH) 28 May 2002 Portugal
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Distinguished Service Order 7 September 2004 Singapore
Order of Timor-Leste.png Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste 30 August 2009 Timor-Leste
GC.OrdineS.GregorioMagno.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (GCSG) 7 February 2013 Holy See
ARG Order of the Liberator San Martin - Grand Cross BAR.png Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín 9 August 2016 Argentina
Other awards
  Australian of the Year 26 January 2001 He accepted his Australian of the Year award on behalf of all those Australians who served in East Timor: “I did a lot of the talking, they did all the working.”

Honorary military positions

  • Australia 2014–present: Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps
  • Australia 2014–present: Colonel of the Regiment of the Royal Australian Regiment

Honorary degrees

Victoria:

  • 2016 Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), Monash University

Related: terry carter  jean clouet  charles conder  george catlin  peter lalor  cosgrove primary school  governors of australia gov au  1967 referendum  australian democracy  governors of australia

From Wikipedia

 

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