Head of Information Warfare
Joint Capabilities Group, Australian Defence Force
Major General Marcus Thompson was born and raised in country Victoria. On graduation from the Royal Military College in 1988, he was allocated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. He served in a variety of command, regimental, and Special Operations appointments including; Command of the 3rd Combat Signals Regiment, secondment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) as the Senior Advisor Defence Policy and Operations, Headquarters Special Operations as the Director General Special Operations Capability, and Commander 6th Combat Support Brigade.
Major General Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with honours from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Business from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Canberra, a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Deakin University, and a PhD in Cyber Security from the University of New South Wales.
Major General Thompson currently holds the appointment of Head of Information Warfare for the Australian Defence Force.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I’ve been a volunteer with Engineers Australia for three years.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I threw out a challenge to the General Manager of the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia to include more green uniforms in the 2016 National Convention stream on Defence, given the balance was not in Army’s favour! Understandably, the challenge was thrown right back at me, and here I am.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
Engaging with men and women studying and working in the profession, and providing leadership at a point in my career where my experience is valued. I relish the chance to meet and connect with young people in this field, and I’m reminded of the importance of contributing to the body of knowledge.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Raising the profile of Defence Force engineering, particularly Army engineering, within Engineers Australia, and forging a path for engineers to contribute to the increased security of our nation in the information environment.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
My career has really given me a great appreciation of the unique relationship between the military and the engineering profession. It’s also highlighted the diverse pathway an engineer can take in the military, particularly into emerging and future capabilities such as cyber security.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
With great difficulty! My current role as the Head of Information Warfare in the Joint Capabilities Group of Defence is incredibly challenging, which means my time is often limited. However, I’m reminded of the saying ‘if you want something done, give it to a busy person!’
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Don’t talk about it, do it. Engineers Australia offers a great opportunity for those with the skills, experience and dedication to give back to what is an incredibly rewarding profession.