1 RAR Association Incorporated


Lieutenant General John Caligari AO, DSC (Ret'd)

John Caligari retired from the Australian Regular Army in mid-2015 at the rank of Lieutenant General (3-star general) after 36 years’ service. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon as an infantry officer and served all of his field career in the 3rd Brigade located in Townsville, at every rank including CO 1 RAR and Brigade Commander.

He has served on combat operations in Somalia as the 1RAR Operations Officer of a 1000 strong force providing security in support of the distribution of humanitarian aid; as CO 1RAR in East Timor as the commander of a 1100 strong force protecting the people of the newly independent East Timor from a disaffected militia; and in Afghanistan as the Australian national commander of all Australia military forces and civilians deployed to that theatre, including during the handover in Urizgan Province between 7RAR and 1RAR. His last job in Defence was managing the requirements and integration of Australian Defence Force warfighting capability including balancing a $100bn capability plan and capital budget.

For his service to Australia in Somalia he was awarded the Chief of Defence Force Commendation and for command of the Battalion Group in East Timor he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for command and leadership and elevated to Officer of the Order in 2014 for his continuing contribution at the highest levels in Army and the Department of Defence. John has a Bachelor of Arts and two Masters Degrees. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and while serving was a Certified Practicing Portfolio Executive of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

Since leaving the Army, John has established his own consultancy and is a director on several company boards. He is the patron of Townsville Legacy and the 1st Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment Association. He devotes all of his spare time to supporting the transition, connection and integration of the 15,000 strong veteran community in Townsville, principally as Chairman of The Oasis Townsville, a charity serving as a concierge service to navigate civvy street for soldiers. 

He is married to Narelle and they have three children, including twin sons both of whom are officers in the Australian Army, and a daughter who is a lawyer.

Previous Patrons

Major-General William Brian 'Digger' James AC, AO(Mil), MBE, MC (Retired)







Brigadier Ivan Rupert 'Lou' Brumfield CBE, DSO (Retired)






Major General Cedric Maudsley Ingram "Sandy" Pearson AO, DSO, OBE, MC (Retired)





Major General Paul Alfred Cullen  AC, CBE, DSO & Bar, ED (Retired)