His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) was born in Wollongong, NSW in 1953 and graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975 into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He served in the Royal Australian Regiment, and early in his career went on exchange to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards (British Army). Upon his return to Australia he served with the 5th/7th Battalion.
In 1989 he served as the Mechanised Infantry Adviser, Australian Army Project Team Malaysia and, as a Lieutenant Colonel he assumed command of 1 RAR which he led during Operation SOLACE (Somalia) in 1993, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Following his promotion to Colonel, he attended the United States Army War College in 1996 and 1997, returning to a posting as Military Secretary to the Chief of Army.
His Excellency was promoted to Brigadier in 1999 and assumed command of the 1st Brigade in Darwin. From 2001 – 2003 he served as the Director General Land Development within Capability Systems, Head Capability Systems Division and Land Commander Australia.
In December 2003, he was promoted to Lieutenant General in the role of Chief of Capability Development Group and in 2007 was appointed Chief Joint Operations Command.
His Excellency was appointed to the position of Vice Chief of the Defence Force in 2008. In 2010, he became a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force and was promoted to General. He assumed his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011, until his retirement from the Australian Regular Army on 30 June 2014.
His Excellency holds the academic qualifications of Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013. He is married to Linda and has three children.