The new Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin (left) shakes hands with retiring CDF General David Hurley during a press conference in Canberra, Friday, April 4, 2014. Prime Minister Tony Abbott annouced the changes today. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING
The new Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin (left) shakes hands with retiring CDF General David Hurley during a press conference in Canberra, Friday, April 4, 2014. Prime Minister Tony Abbott annouced the changes today. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING ALAN PORRITT

Changes at the top tier of the Australian military

AFTER more than 40 years with Australia's military forces, General David Hurley AC will retire from his position as Defence Force Chief, to make way for his second-in-command this July.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the changes at the top tier of the Australian military in Canberra on Friday.

He said he would recommend to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove that Vice Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin take over when Gen Hurley retires on July 4.

Air Marshal Binskin, a previous Chief of the Air Force, will hold the position for four years, overseeing the final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.

Mr Abbott said Gen Hurley was an "exceptional military officer", having overseen operations in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands.

The changes will also see Vice Admiral Ray Griggs likely promoted to Vice Chief of the Defence Force and Rear Admiral Tim Barrett to the Chief of Navy role.


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