Rear Admiral David John Campbell

Deputy Chief of Navy (1994-1995)

RADM David John Campbell

David John Campbell was born in Brisbane in 1945 and joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 15-year old cadet midshipman in 1961. He graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, as a Queen's Gold Medalist. After fleet experience in HMA Ships Anzac, Vampire and Melbourne during the Malayan Emergency, he took part in the first RAN/USN midshipmen's exchange program, serving in USS Essex. This was followed by further training at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and Sub Lieutenants' specialist courses in the Portsmouth area.

Postings as a junior officer, ashore and afloat at home and abroad, followed. He served in the training establishment, HMAS Cerberus, at Fleet Headquarters; in HMAS Hobart during the Vietnam War; and in HMAS Supply. He was then appointed to the staff of the RAN College, HMAS Creswell, before joining the staff of the Australian Naval Attache in Washington. While in the USA, he undertook advanced logistics training and upon his return to Australia in 1976, he served as the inaugural Integrated Logistics Support Director in the Naval Material Division. His next appointment was to the Directorate of Naval Officers Postings in the Naval Personnel Division.

Promoted commander in 1979, he was seconded as Military Secretary and Comptroller to the Governor-General for three and a half years. He then became the first Director of Naval Supply Research and attended the Australian Joint Services Staff College. This was followed by a posting to the flagship HMAS Stalwart, as Secretary to the Fleet Commander. In 1985, he was promoted captain and appointed as Secretary to the Chief of Naval Staff at Navy Office in Canberra. He was promoted commodore in December 1988.

For the next three years, he served as the Naval Attache in Washington, a position that included command of HMAS Waratah and being Naval Adviser, Ottawa. Largely in recognition of that service (which spanned the First Gulf War), he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). This posting was followed by two years as the Director-General Intelligence Operations in the Defence Intelligence Organisation, Canberra.

David Campbell was promoted Rear Admiral in January 1994 (seniority backdated to July 1993) and appointed as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff - the Navy's general manager and chief operating officer. He became the Naval Support Commander in July 1995 and in that capacity was responsible for the Navy's shore establishments, administrative and logistics infrastructure, and repair and refit of the fleet. His Command numbered some 8,300 people and had an annual budget of $700 million. In May 1997, he was appointed as the inaugural Head of Strategic Logistics in the Australian Defence Headquarters in Canberra but he resigned shortly afterwards in order to pursue a second career.

He attended the National and International Security Program at Harvard University in 1991 and the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of many professional societies. He has served on boards as diverse as those of the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Australian Naval Institute and the NSW Australia Day Regatta.