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Philip Michael Jeffery is born

Today in Masonic History Philip Michael Jeffery is born in 1937.

Philip Michael Jeffery was an Australian Army Officer.

Jeffrey was born on December 12th, 1937 in Wiluna, Western Australia. He was educated at Kent Street Senior High until the age of 16. He then attended the Royal Military College in Duntroon which is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. He graduated from the Royal Military College in 1958. He served in a variety of junior positions until he was posted to Malaya in 1962.

From 1966 to 1969, Jeffrey served in Papa New Guinea. The duty was followed by a tour of duty in Vietnam. During his service he received the Military Cross. Regarding Australia's role in the conflict in Vietnam he stated, as recently as 2002, "I believe passionately that Vietnam was a just cause in the circumstances of the time." He said this in a speech he gave to Australian veterans of the war.

In 1972, Jeffrey was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In 1974 he was given command of the 2nd Battalion of the Pacific Islands Regiment. He served in the position until 1975. In 1976, he assumed command of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR or sometimes SAS), an elite special forces unit of the Australian Army. After leaving in 1977, he was promoted to colonel. In 1979 he was named the first Director of the Army's Special Action Forces. In the position he was instrumental in developing the surveillance concept for Northern Australia and helped prepare the development of the Australian counter-terrorist concept and capability.

In the 1980's Jeffrey headed the Australian national counter-terrorist co-ordination authority. In 1985 he was promoted to major-general and was appointed to command the first division in 1986. In the 1990's he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff, the second highest appointment in the Australian Army. He retired in active service in 1993. He is still considered an honorary colonel in the SASR and holds the ceremonial role of inducting new soldiers into the regiment.

In 1996, Jeffrey was appointed Governor of Western Australia, which is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in state. During his seven years in the position he was criticized for making public statements regarding his conservative views on various subjects including marriage and education.

In 2003, Jeffrey was appointed as Governor-General of Australia. This made him the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in all of the Commonwealth of Australia.. He was the first soldier to be appointed to this position. During his time as Governor-General he was made Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, which was previously held by the Queen. It is expected future Governor-Generals will hold this position. He was also named Chief Scout of Australia, a non-political role it is a ceremonial position for the Scout Association of Australia. The Scout Association of Australia is part of the global scouting movement which includes organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, although the two are not directly affiliated.

In 2008, Jeffrey stepped down as Governor-General. He continues to be active in a variety of non-profit organizations of which he is either a member or founder.

Jeffrey was initiated into St George No. 6 in 1994. The lodge is now JD Stevenson St George’s Lodge.