Major-General John Cantwell

  • John Cantwell , Military Speaker

    Major General John Cantwell was a brilliant soldier, serving in the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq in 2006 and as commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan in 2010 before retiring in 2012. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership in action in Afghanistan, been made a Member of the Order of Australia and an Officer of the Order…

    Location: QLD, Australia
    Fee Range: 5001 - 10000

About Major-General

Major General John Cantwell was a brilliant soldier, serving in the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq in 2006 and as commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan in 2010 before retiring in 2012. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership in action in Afghanistan, been made a Member of the Order of Australia and an Officer of the Order of Australia, and received the United States Legion of Merit.

As a country boy from Queensland, John Cantwell signed up to the army as a private and rose to the rank of major general. He was on the front line in 1991 as Coalition forces fitted bulldozer blades to tanks and buried alive Iraqi troops in their trenches. He fought in Baghdad in 2006 and saw what a car bomb does to a marketplace crowded with women and children. In 2010 he commanded the Australian forces in Afghanistan when ten of his soldiers were killed. He returned to Australia in 2011 to be considered for the job of chief of the Australian Army.

Instead, he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. He had seen too much war and it finally broke his heart. He suffered a severe case of post traumatic stress that he was able to hide from everyone but his wife. ‘Exit Wounds’ is the book he wrote to explain and understand what happened to him on the frontline of so many wars.

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