Strengthening the intellectual foundation for our profession of arms.

Blog

Posts and lesson reports on established and trending topics. Learn more

Leadership in Focus – Emotional Intelligence, Leadership and Resilience

October 10th, 2016 by Jason Moriarty

It was a popular belief in the past that to build a soldier, we must first break the individual down and re-build them, removing all signs of the civilian, and constructing a warrior. Although this warrior ethos seemed to work ...

Future Thinking – Adaptive Tanking

October 8th, 2016 by Lucas Guglielmi

The evolution of Russian armoured combat power since 1991                                                               ...

Leadership in Focus – The Timeless Leadership Question

October 5th, 2016 by Jason Moriarty

The frequently asked leadership question, ‘Are great leaders born or created?’ consistently creates vigorous, robust discussion. So what is the answer? Warren Bennis believes that leaders are made: The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is ...

Future Thinking – Cyberspace: A Contested Domain

September 30th, 2016 by Dave Cave

Australia and Australians are targets for malicious actors—including serious and organised criminal syndicates and foreign adversaries—who are all using cyberspace to further their aims and attack our interests – The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister, April 2016 ‘the ADF ...

Future Thinking – Recruiting the Uniformed Cyberwarrior

September 28th, 2016 by Luke Blackmore

The recently released 2016 Defence White Paper prescribed a re-balancing of 1200 Australian Public Service positions to be generated to support growth in intelligence, space and cyber security across Defence. The Army, RAN and RAAF continue to grow their respective ...

The Resilience Adventure

September 22nd, 2016 by Jeremy Barraclough

The first occasion a soldier faces real fear must not be on the battlefield. Just like any other skill, managing one’s fear and stress requires investment and practise. Roosevelt said it best when he declared that, ‘Courage is the ability ...

Idea Pitch – Online Short Courses for Professional Military Education

September 22nd, 2016 by John Shipp

The Problem – the ‘Fire Hose’ Approach to Education As the recent Ryan Review noted, the Australian Army’s current system of Professional Military Education (PME) is not broken, but needs reinvigoration. There are long stretches between officer promotion courses when ...

Future Thinking – Attrition and the Next Air Defence Battle

September 14th, 2016 by Mike Squire

The forces that we prepare today will be the forces that we take into the battle tomorrow. For the Air Defence capability, that battle may last a matter of seconds; however, the effect of that first battle may be decisive ...

Risky Business: Equipping Junior Leaders to Exploit Risk on the Battlefield

September 9th, 2016 by Garth Gould

‘In the art of war, lesser men are schemers, who avoid risk with mediocre results.’[i]  Napoleon Bonaparte Introduction To an extent unmatched by any other human endeavor, combat compels leaders to deliberately expose their subordinates to destruction to achieve success. ...

Future Thinking – Space Culture: What do we need for the Future Fight?

September 5th, 2016 by Richard Harrison

Space is a domain that is increasingly contested, congested and competitive. As the cost and technical barriers to space diminish, the range of states and non-state actors able to access space (either directly or by leveraging another’s capabilities) continues to ...

Innovation Toolbox – Innovation: Why do we need it in the military? (Part 1 of 3)

August 29th, 2016 by Jamie Martin

The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbable ideas it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit. Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide ...

Information – DEF Aus: What You Need to Know

August 21st, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Short of time and can’t read the whole post? BLUF: Here is the DEF Aus Information Pack Here is where you can register for DEF[X] Aus in Canberra from 08-09 December 2016 If you have further questions then email: defaustralia@gmail.com ...

Social Media in the Military: Opportunities, Perils and a Safe Middle Path

August 21st, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan, AM and Brigadier Marcus Thompson, AM

Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.  Margaret Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science Introduction Social media has revolutionised global communication and professional discourse.  It has demonstrated a capacity for penetration that is historically unprecedented, especially compared ...

Tune in, Listen up and Learn.

August 11th, 2016 by Sharon Mascall-Dare and Mick Cook

Like radio, the podcast creates a ‘theatre of the mind’. Imagination is a powerful tool when learning, creating new neural pathways that fuel understanding. ...

How Electronic Learning Environments Can Support Professional Military Education

August 6th, 2016 by David Bullock

Social media is commonly being used by the future leaders of Army for Professional Military Education (PME). Blogs have been accepted as a professionally and socially acceptable form of communication for both formal and informal PME. Against this backdrop, Officer ...

Professional Military Education and Innovation – An Historical Perspective

July 31st, 2016 by Anthony Lias

After recently embarking on a new phase of professional study I have developed a renewed appreciation of the importance that historical lessons can play in understanding the future of war. History presents us with many lessons relevant to the role ...

Cauldron of Complexity – Are germs the next #FutureFight?

July 27th, 2016 by Jasmin Diab

As I cough and sniffle, suffering the effects of a Canberra winter, I remember that germs have two effects on us. First, they help us build an immunity to the common cold and illness and, second, they have the ability ...

Less is More: The Enabled Combat Brigade Headquarters

July 24th, 2016 by Brad Spiel

INTRODUCTION The Army must be a force capable of exerting ‘land power for strategic effect across the modern spectrum of peace, crisis and war’. To this end the Army must be able to defeat peer forces in a conventional setting as well ...

DEF Australia Letters from HAMEL Part 3: The Operational Level of War. What is it Good For?

July 12th, 2016 by Tom McDermott

The Op HAMEL intervention is ending.  With the Kamarian Armed Forces in retreat and the International Boundary restored, peace is steadily returning to East Cultania.  Grateful Cultanians line the streets, thanking the ANZUS (and British) coalition for their help.  For another year the Australian Army has trained for what is probably the most ...

DEF Australia Letters from HAMEL Part 2: Just War and Tactical Ethics in a Brutal World 

July 10th, 2016 by Tom McDermott

Many of you who read this will be tacticians.  Congratulations, and good luck.  You’ve volunteered for one of the hardest, most illogical and least predictable jobs going.  Every tactician is, at heart, a problem solver.  The problems you face may vary in context, but the ...

DEF Australia Letters from Hamel Part 1: The Duel, the Enemy and Psychological Mastery 

July 8th, 2016 by Tom McDermott

I’ve just watched a Rehearsal of Coordination (ROC) Drill on Ex HAMEL, and I’m struck by a thought.  I had the same thought when teaching tactics and planning at the British Staff College.  The thought is as follows: As western militaries ...

How Large Land Force Exercises Hone a Small Army

July 5th, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan

This week the Australian Army commenced its annual Exercise Hamel in South Australia.  A large scale land, air, sea, info-war and cyber activity, it is ostensibly designed to evaluate the Army’s high readiness forces.  This ensures the capacity of land ...

Redefining ‘Mountains of Steel’: The Utility of Disaggregated CSS in Contemporary Warfare

June 19th, 2016 by Kane Wright

Army’s logisticians have operated under an obsolescent doctrine for decades that is out of touch with a rapidly accelerating technological arms race between combatants. Tendency to concentrate critical logistic effects around single nodes removes redundancy, exposing major sustainment nodes to singular, ...

How do you see the #FutureFight?

June 16th, 2016 by Tom McDermott

The next conflicts will be won by intelligent people with the courage to challenge our current thinking and outlooks. This foundation of innovative people starts with thinking about what our future operating environment looks like. Imagining the future is a tough ask; however, ...

A Review of Army’s Education, Training and Doctrine – Needs for the Future

June 2nd, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan

In 2014, the Australian Army commenced an intellectual pivot designed to review the lessons of the past 15 years, better understand the future operating environment and ensure Australian soldiers could prevail in ‘the first fight of the next war’. Elements ...

Junior Leadership in the Australian Army

May 29th, 2016 by Scott Holmes

Do we know why it works or are we doing what we’ve always done? The current Australian Army leadership model is an effective means of developing officers and non-commissioned officers (NCO) for operational service. Despite ongoing success, it is worth ...

Introducing DEF Australia

May 25th, 2016 by Tom McDermott

About Tom Tom McDermott is the Director of Activities for DEF Australia. An Australian Army officer who also served for 15 years in the British Army, he is a passionate advocate of the Profession of Arms. He believes that rapid ...

Fiction vs History: Enduring Features of the Future Fight

May 22nd, 2016 by Jamie Martin

A properly schooled officer never arrives on a battlefield for the first time, even if he has never actually trod the ground, if that officer has read wisely to acquire the wisdom of those who have experienced war in times past. LTGEN P.K. Van ...

Training to Innovate – Innovating to Win

May 18th, 2016 by Mick Cook

How will you fight in the future? As a junior military commander you are responsible for training your team to meet the needs of the future fight. What is that future fight and how do you prepare for it? How ...

But I’m in the Military … How can I be an Entrepreneur?

May 3rd, 2016 by Jasmin Diab

Google ‘entrepreneur’ and what do you get? Besides the offers to study business at a university and the wiki definition, the common thread about entrepreneurs is that they seem to leave their full time employment working for “the man” to ...

Exchange Programme Long Look

April 20th, 2016 by Scott Atkinson

I was privileged to be selected to attend Exchange Programme Long Look (LL) in 2015. LL is an incredible professional development opportunity for junior officers and NCOs. Each LL experience will be different and processes may vary, but here are ...

Time Wasted and Lessons Learnt

April 12th, 2016 by A Junior Officer Contribution

It takes considerable knowledge just to recognise the extent of your own ignorance. Thomas Sowell[1] Introduction The leadership, readiness, resilience, mental toughness and moral courage of Army’s junior leaders are topics that entice passionate debate. The result of these robust discussions ...

Why Reading Science Fiction is Good For Military Officers

March 23rd, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan

The 1143 year long war had begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate. Once they could talk, the first question was, ‘Why did you start this thing?’ and the answer was ‘Me?’ The ...

Case Study – Army Strategic Scholarship – Johns Hopkins SAIS

February 25th, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan

This case study by Brigadier Mick Ryan links to a series on Grounded Curiosity about the Chief of Army Scholarship Program and highlights the opportunities at John Hopkins SAIS through the Army Strategic Scholarship. Williamson Murray has described the profession of arms, and ...

Army Foundation Scholarship

February 21st, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

General Outline The Army Foundation Scholarship is one of four strands to the Chief of Army Scholarship Program. It was previously known as the Chief of Army Scholarship and is awarded to high performing individuals at the rank of Sergeant-to-Lieutenant ...

Erudite Warrior

February 18th, 2016 by Erudite Warrior

One of the key differences between a professional and an employee is a commitment to the pursuit of professional knowledge – beyond that which is formally delivered.  Erudite Warrior is a new social media resource intended to “foster the study of the profession of arms”. Basically, ...

Episode 5 – Brigadier Mick Ryan AM

February 13th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

This podcast features great insights from Brigadier Mick Ryan AM. The podcast begins with Brigadier Ryan discussing his roles in the Australian Army including as Commander 1st Brigade, and building networks through educational opportunities at the Marine Corps Command and Staff ...

Global Voices

February 8th, 2016 by Nicholas Barber

Global Voices is a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote Australian youth engagement in international diplomacy and foreign policy discussion. In the past five years, Global Voices has sent over 35 delegations to 18 of the most prestigious international conferences ...

Online Military Blogs and Websites

February 4th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Here is a list of online resources to get you started exploring avenues for your self-initiated or team professional military development: Land Power Forum – short posts published by the Australian Army on topics including modernisation, future of land power, strategy, emerging ...

Chief of Army Scholarship Program

February 3rd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

The Chief of Army Scholarship Program is awarded annually in four strands: Trooper Jonathan Church Award. Awarded to junior soldiers and junior officers (Private to Captain) who personify Army’s core behaviours. Army Foundation Scholarship. Awarded to Sergeants to Lieutenant Colonels for ...

Facebook Accounts to Follow

February 2nd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Here are some Facebook accounts to follow in order to get you started in the world of social media for professional military use: Australia: Grounded Curiosity Erudite Warrior Dead Prussian Podcast Security Scholar The Lowy Institute for International Policy Australian ...

Manoeuvre Self Study Program

February 2nd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Want to self-initiate your professional development? Stuck in a posting to the Back of Bourke with no-one to help with your professional development pathway? Check out the Maneuver Self Study Program brought to you by the U.S. Army Maneuver Center ...

#CCLKOW – Weekly Online Professional Development Discussion

February 2nd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Need quick ideas for professional development/discussion in 2016? Ideas from ‪#‎CCLKOW‬ may help – a weekly conversation on military affairs jointly hosted by the Center for Company-Level Leaders (CCL) at the US Military Academy at West Point and the Kings ...

Military Reading Lists

January 30th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Looking for some military reading lists for inspiration? Want to know what senior commanders think we should be reading? Here are some lists to get you started: Australian Chief of Army’s Reading List – philosophers of war, character of land warfare, ...

Future Strategic Writers Competition ($2,500)

January 18th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

The Future Strategic Writer Competition is run by the Institute for Regional Security (IFRS). The prize is awarded to the best article, essay or comment submitted by an author under 35 years of age. The prize of $2,500 is announced at ...

Jonathan Church Award

January 17th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

The Chief of Army’s Jonathan Church Ethical Solider Award is awarded annually to junior soldiers and junior officers who personify Army’s ten core behaviours with emphasis on compassionate and ethical soldiering. The award is named in honour of Trooper Jonathan ...

Army Capabilities Integration Centre – Weekly Professional Development

January 15th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Don’t know what to run for professional development with your team? Read thoughts, insight and advice from the master of Soldier-Scholar leadership – Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. Click here to check it out at the Army Capabilities Integration Center’s weekly online professional development ...

Robert Chaloner Prize for Outstanding Young Strategic Leadership ($1,000)

January 15th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

The Rob Chaloner Prize is awarded by the Institute for Regional Security (IFRS) annual in recognition of outstanding young strategic leadership. The prize of $1,000 allows the recipient to undertake further personal development of their choosing. The process is via nominations ...

Future Strategic Leaders Congress

January 14th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress Interested in behind-the-scenes information on strategic affairs in our region? The Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress, run by the Institute for Regional Security (IFRS), is one of the few opportunities for military junior leaders to engage directly with ...

Case Study – Fulbright Scholarship

January 12th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

This post is written to provide both inspiration and also some of the practical realities about applying for prestigious academic scholarships. I acknowledge that this post will not be widely nor completely read from start-to-finish. I do; however, fervently hope that one of you out ...