Australian Rear Admiral addresses NU community

RADM GatesThe Norwich University community received a first-hand glimpse of Australia when Rear Admiral Raydon Gates CSM RAN, Head of Australian Defense Staff - Washington, gave a talk entitled "A View From Down Under." The event, held December 7th in the Plumley Armory, was part of the University's ongoing Leadership Speaker Series.

President Schneider opened the session by presenting Norwich University gifts to exchange students from the prestigious Saint Cyr Military Academy in France: Olivier LeDuc, Cedric Bernia, and Sebastian Burette.

"You have helped us with our mission of being American in character and global in perspective," Schneider told the three students, who are returning to France at the end of the week. "You have shared a little of your country with us, and we have shared a little of our country with you."

Before introducing Rear Admiral Gates, President Schneider announced to the audience that Norwich was in the process of arranging an exchange student program with a military school in Australia.

"I encourage all of you to follow the link to the Australian National Academy that is on CLiC, to find out more about this school," Schneider said.

Rear Admiral Gates gave an informative presentation, describing the geography, history, and people of a country that is on the other side of the world but which shares many of the values of the United States.

exchange students from St. Cyr"The United States and Australia have been allies for many years," Gates said. "We have been beside the United States in every military conflict since World War I. This is something that we are very proud of. We support the same values as the United States, and we will stand together well into the future."

Gates said that Australia has 50,000 full-time military personnel stationed all over the world on peacekeeping and security missions.

"Today, our countries have to address the changing face of warfare, such as the situation in Iraq," Gates said. "This is not a major military conflict like World War I or World War II, but we are losing people every day."

Gates said that the Australian Prime Minister was in Washington, DC, on the day of the September 11 attacks, and that his country takes the war on terrorism personally.

"We're prepared to stand up to terrorism," Gates said. "We are living this war every minute of the day, and soon it will be the job of some of you to fight it."

malbury@norwich.edu, December 2004

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