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Joint Capabilities Group

Joint Support Services Division

Biography - Head JSSD


Head Joint Support Services Division

Major General Douglas Laidlaw, AM, CSC

Douglas Laidlaw was born on 24 August 1965 in Sydney. His father was a serving officer in the Australian Regular Army and a ship’s master. He was educated at various schools throughout Australia and overseas. His secondary education was completed at Geelong High School where he was School Captain. He received a scholarship to Queen’s College, University of Melbourne and holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws and of Commerce.

He enlisted into the Army Reserve in 1986 and subsequently was commissioned from the Officer Cadet Training Unit and was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps.

In 1993, as Lieutenant, he was awarded the national Peter Stuckey Mitchell Award. His early Regimental postings were command at the platoon and sub-unit levels across both battalions of the Royal Victoria Regiment. During October 2004 to February 2005 he mounted and deployed Rifle Company Butterworth 68 to Malaysia. During this deployment he and elements of his Company were force assigned to Combined Joint Task Force 629 as part of Operation SUMATRA ASSIST. For service during 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami he and his Company received a Commanding Officer’s Citation from 324 Combat Support Squadron, RAAF. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Australia Day Honours, 2006.

He commanded the 8th /7th Battalion from 2009, during which time he deployed as a Task Group commander to Operation VIC FIRES and mounted and deployed a Coy Group to Operation ANODE. As Chief of Staff, Headquarters 4th Brigade, he deployed in the Victorian Floods crisis. In 2012 he mounted Timor Leste Task Group 4 for deployment to East Timor. In 2012 he deployed as Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force 631, Operation ASTUTE, East Timor. In 2013 he instructed as Joint Operations Module Manager at the Australian Command & Staff College (Reserve), where he developed the Joint Operations Module.

On promotion to Colonel, he was posted as Assistant Commander, 4th Brigade and oversaw the establishment of the initial Battle Group JACKA. He undertook additional duties with the Peace Operations Training Centre for which he has been awarded a Level 3, Group Commendation. In 2017 he was appointed Director of Army Reserve Training, RMC-A.

He commanded the 4th Brigade from 2018 and Joint Task Force 646 during OP BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-2020, including the period of the Call Out of Reserve forces. He was Director General Reserves – Army in 2020 and was appointed as Assistant Commander 2nd Division in 2021. On the 14th of June 2021 he was appointed Member in the Order of Australia for exceptional service as Commander 4th Brigade and Commander Joint Task Force 646. He was promoted to Major General on the 1st of September 2021 and took up the appointment  as Head – Joint Support Services Division.

In civilian life he is a self-employed barrister, practicing at the Victorian Bar. He is married to Joanna and they have six children, including twins. His sporting passions are cycling and sailing. He holds numerous community appointments and memberships.