Ex Commander of All Australian Forces in the Middle East, Ex-Commander of RMC Duntroon, Ex-Deputy Chief the Army, Public Speaker, Author of Exit Wounds and A Careful War.
Starting as a private soldier he rose through the ranks to become a Major General. Along the way he held and excelled in a diverse range of command and senior management appointments, including Commanding Officer of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Commander of the 1st Brigade comprising combat units totalling 3000 troops, Deputy Chief of the Army, and most recently he was the Commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East area of operations.
Cantwell served in three distinct wars: combat duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1991; as the Director of Strategic Operations of the Multi National Forces in Iraq in 2006 (for which he was awarded the United States Legion of Merit); and as the Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East in 2010.
Major General Cantwell is a skilled and engaging public speaker. His compelling interview for the Four Corner’s television program A Careful War in 2010 dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan won wide praise. He lectures on command, leadership and crisis management to a variety of defence, business and academic audiences.