1st Armoured Regiment Association
MAJ GEN Craig Orme DSC,AM,CSC
Major General Craig Orme DSC AM CSC (Retd)
Honorary Colonel 1st Armoured Regiment
Patron 1st Armoured Regiment Association
Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission
Major General Craig Orme entered the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1978. He has extensive operational, overseas, and command experience including tours in Malaysia, Iran, Germany, United Kingdom, Kuwait, USA; and as Commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan, the Gulf and Iraq. He is an Armoured Corps officer with a background in tanks and cavalry as well as significant experience in senior Army and Defence Personnel appointments. He retired from the Army in January 2015 and in February 2015 became the Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
On graduation from the Royal Military College in 1981 Major General Orme joined the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and served in B Squadron 1st Armoured Regiment for three years. This period included detachments to the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment as a Rifle Platoon Commander in Malaysia, and also to the United Kingdom with 16/5 Queen's Royal Lancers as a Guided Weapons Troop Leader. He then served in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment for four years in various appointments including Adjutant and Regimental Operations Officer. Major General Orme then had the opportunity to round out his experience as a junior officer with a deployment as part of the United Nations Iran/Iraq Military Observer Group in Iran, and a subsequent appointment as Aide de Camp to the Chief of the General Staff.
On promotion to Major he was appointed Officer Commanding Long Tan Company at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. His subsequent attendance at the Australian Command and Staff College in 1992 was followed by an exchange posting with the British Army. During this posting he served as a Tank Squadron Commander in the 4th Royal Tank Regiment in Osnabruck, Germany; and then as a Tank Squadron Commander in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth, UK. While with the British Army he had the rare opportunity to take his British Exchange tank squadron on exchange to the US Army at Fort Stewart in Georgia, where his squadron converted from the UK Chieftan tank to the M1 Abrams tank. On return to Australia he was the Second in Command of the School of Armour. In mid-1995 Major General Orme was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the Senior Career Adviser at the Directorate of Officer Career Management.
Major General Orme commanded the 1st Armoured Regiment (Tank) in Darwin from December 1996 to December 1998, for which he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross. On completion of command he deployed as the Australian Liaison Officer to the Coalition Joint Task Force in Kuwait, after which he served as the Australian exchange instructor at the US Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 2001 Major General Orme was promoted to Colonel to the appointment of Director of Senior Officer Management in the Defence Personnel Executive. This appointment was interrupted when he was seconded to serve as the Australian Senior National Representative in the US Central Command Headquarters as part of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Major General Orme attended the Australian Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in 2003 and subsequently oversaw Army's contribution to the Senate Inquiry into the Military Justice System before being promoted to Brigadier and taking up the appointment of Director General Personnel-Army in 2004. He assumed command of 1st Brigade in December 2005. In January 2008 he was appointed to lead a White Paper Companion Review dealing with Workforce issues. He was promoted to Major General in October 2008 and appointed as Head of People Capability. He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in January 2009 for his service as Director General Personnel Army and as Commander of 1st Brigade.
In 2011 Major General Orme was tasked to conduct a review of personal conduct in the Australian Defence Force in the aftermath of the ADFA “Skype Affair.” His report, “Beyond Compliance” provided a policy response for change in the ADF based on the Profession of Arms and an “Operations focussed” culture. On completion of the review he was appointed as the Commander of the Australian Defence College.
In September 2013 Major General Orme took command of Joint Task Force 633, responsible for all Australian forces in Operation Slipper, encompassing Afghanistan and the Gulf. He commanded the Joint Task Force for 15 months which included overseeing the Australian withdrawal from Uruzgun Province, key counter piracy and counter narcotics operations with the Combined Maritime Force, as well the management of initial operations in Iraq against the Islamic State. For this service he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross.
After his return to Australia in December 2014 Major General Orme retired from full time service in January 2015. In February 2015 Major General Orme took up the appointment of Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission, a statutory appointment for five years.
Major General Orme met this wife Theresa in his first year as a cadet at Duntroon and they have been married for over 34 years. They have two children; Alexandra aged 25 and Harry aged 23. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Military) from the University of New South Wales, a Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from Deakin University, a Masters in Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Deakin University.