Strengthening the intellectual foundation for our profession of arms.

DEF Australia

DEF Australia is a network of serving military personnel who debate future concepts and progress ideas into tangible action. DEF Aus 17 will be held on 14-15 Dec 17 at the Australian Defence College, Canberra. Detailed information here.

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – Understanding a link between munitions terminal effects and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

November 15th, 2017 by Mathew Brooks and Steven Anthony Schmied

What would you say if there was a physical symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder? A tangible aspect that can be understood and potentially treated which was linked to a physical event? Current research has indicated that this may be true. ...

#DEFAus17 Booklet and Registration

November 7th, 2017 by DEF Aus Committee

Here is your #DEFAus17 Booklet – a one-stop shop for #DEFAus17 with updated information on: Idea Pitch Process and Timelines Key Activities Registration and Ticketing (last page) Read online, save to your pdf reader (best way to view) or print as a ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – PEOPLE CAPABILITY: REINVIGORATING ADVENTUROUS TRAINING IN THE ADF

October 31st, 2017 by Oliver Schulz, Dan Fussell and Emily Champan

Adventurous Training (AT) has been a recent and recurring topic on The Cove, with effort being made to draw attention to the benefits of AT across the continuum of military service. Further reflection recognises that Unit Adventurous Training Leaders (UATL) ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – ADF BLOCKCHAIN COMMUNITY (ABC)

October 29th, 2017 by Chris Elles

“The leader’s job is not to know the future, but to design the platform that will discover it.” BIll Barnett, Stanford University GSB Pitch: Create and nurture an ADF Blockchain Community (ABC) within the services to exploit the transformational potential ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – REBOA IN THE ADF: IMPLEMENTATION AND TRAINING

October 25th, 2017 by Abhilash Chandra and Andrew Moses

The Role of REBOA in the ADF Complex trauma management, especially in patients with severe non-compressible junctional, pelvic, and abdominal trauma, can be particularly challenging with combat casualties in austere environments. Up to 20% of fatalities are consequences of uncontrolled ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – The Digital Vuee Tuee

October 5th, 2017 by Jay Douglas

We live in a connected world, with access to endless amounts of information at our fingertips. We connect with friends, family, local and global businesses, entertainment and education, all from our mobile devices. Being part of an organisation with highly ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – Joint Capability Education Proposal

October 3rd, 2017 by Clifford Brown and Matthew van der Vloet

The Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force are worldwide competitors in strategy, technology and serious contributors to global order. Achieving ground-breaking capability is only possible by linking the technological element of capability to its people. It ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – What about a Defence University?

September 13th, 2017 by Andrew Schaverien and Ashley Medway

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela The ADF is committed to supporting the lifelong learning of its members. This is illustrated by the intent of Defence Senior Leadership to ...

#DEFAus17 – Pragmatic Innovation for Military Strength

September 10th, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

BLUF: Access #DEFAus17 Booklet here. Introduction – Who we are There is a culture of innovation and professional curiosity running through the veins of our defence force. We see it when junior leaders conspire together in messes to solve the challenges of ...

Partners In Innovation: Observations From ‘Across The Ditch’

September 3rd, 2017 by Gareth Rice

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) second annual Army Innovation Competition at Linton Military Camp. The competition formed the centerpiece of a recent drive in the NZDF to promote an innovative military ...

#DEFAus17 – Idea Pitchers Webinar, Mon 18 Sep 1900hrs AEST

August 27th, 2017 by DEF Aus Committee

Are you a creative or innovative ADF member? Have you been tracking the launch of the DEF Aus Forum 2017? Seen the #defaus17 hashtag starting to trend? Got an idea that you think you want to pitch, but you’re not ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – Gamefying Individual Readiness

August 24th, 2017 by Solomon Birch

  Some kinds of inevitable change are hard to notice, in the same way that while walking through a forest the type of trees might slowly change until you’re actually walking in a completely different type of forest without realising ...

Driving Innovation Forward: Why Tempo Is Everything

August 2nd, 2017 by Tim Jones

A commander must accustom his staff to a high tempo from the outset and continually keep them to it. If he once allows himself to be satisfied with norms, or anything less than an all-out effort he gives up the ...

DEF Australia Letters from Talisman Sabre: The Four Currencies of War

July 13th, 2017 by Tom McDermott

Introduction: Ex TALISMAN SABRE and the Beast The Australian military is about to conduct its largest multi-national amphibious operation since the landing of the 7th Australian Division in Balikpapan, Borneo in 1945. Over the next two weeks 33,000 Australian, American, ...

DEF AUS 16 – The ‘where are they now’ special

July 9th, 2017 by Jasmin Diab

  Like all good TV sitcoms after the last episode has aired and the cast has moved on to bigger and better things, we get dragged back to see where they are now and reminisce about how spectacular that show ...

Silos of Intellectual Excellence – A Response

July 2nd, 2017 by The Central Blue

Republished with permission from The Central Blue A response to Silos of Intellectual Excellence In her post on joint professional development, Emily Chapman made a powerful argument for closer collaboration between single service outlets, in order to expand intellectual horizons ...

Imagining the Future – Global Security in the Age of Autonomous Machines

June 4th, 2017 by Alistair Dickie

FOREWORD Clare O’Neill 2017 It can be a difficult and daunting activity to visualise the future operating environment when there are a myriad of different possibilities and problems at play. It can also be difficult to openly debate your ideas knowing the future may well ...

The Perils of Centralising Defence Innovation (and how to overcome them)

May 25th, 2017 by Tim Jones

As innovation gains momentum throughout defense forces, a common theme seems to be emerging. Militaries, in particular Western ones, are increasingly seeking to centralise their dispersed innovation cells into single innovation ‘hubs’ in order to better coordinate and deliver innovation ...

Silos of Intellectual Excellence

May 12th, 2017 by Emily Chapman

Republished with permission from The Central Blue  In this post, Emily Chapman makes the case for increased ‘jointness’ in professional education, outlining a number of proposals to increase collaboration across the services and prevent silos of intellectual excellence.  A single RAAF Officer pitched to a ...

Rethinking Force Structures: Delivering Tailored Forces

May 4th, 2017 by David Caligari

If our forces in action are to have utility, we need to organise our standing forces to reflect the change in paradigm and accommodate the need to form an appropriate force for each operation. General Sir Rupert Smith, The Utility ...

Enhancing Junior Leader Education Through Distributed Short Courses

April 7th, 2017 by Nicholas Waugh and John Shipp

BLUF. The Australian Army’s education of junior leaders is heavily focused on general outcomes, rarely fostering an environment that compels us to use our cognitive, analytical and intellectual abilities. The Australian Army should establish a series of short courses for ...

47 Pieces of a Puzzle: Reflections on DEF Aus 2016 and the Written Word

January 22nd, 2017 by Tom McDermott

The written word was the key weapon of the DEF Aus Forum 2016.  Over the course of seven months the DEF Australia Idea Pitchers and committee members wrote, proofed and published an impressive 47 original articles. These short pieces (none ...

DEFx 2016 Next Steps: ADF Mentoring Groups

January 18th, 2017 by Kathryn Christie and Kate Tollenaar

DEFx Australia 2016 was a forum on 8-9 Dec 16 where ranks up to Major presented their ideas for an enhanced ADF. The forum demonstrated a ground swell of interest in building Human Capability but also highlighted the gap between our Senior Leaders’ strategic ...

Reflections on the inaugural DEF Down under

December 22nd, 2016 by Brigadier Mick Ryan

From 08-09 December 2016, the inaugural Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) for the Southern Hemisphere was held in Canberra, Australia.  It was an exciting two days and ensured we all finished the year with an intellectual boost.  The first DEF [Aus] ...

Future Thinking – Crowdsourcing for Defence

December 8th, 2016 by Tim Jones

Innovation has always been a factor of military thinking to one degree or another, however in recent years it has been gathering momentum again. With increasingly complex operational environments, commanders are becoming more aware of the importance of innovative thinking. ...

Idea Pitch – Deployable Health and the Internet-of-Things: Ground Up Recommendations for the ADF’s Deployable e-Health Management Systems

December 6th, 2016 by Nick Alexander

Introduction ‘…compassion and technology aren’t necessarily incompatible, they can be mutually beneficial… machine oddly enough may be medicine’s best friend’ Dr. Atul Gawande – Complications1 I am first and foremost a clinician (a physiotherapist to be exact) and as such, ...

Idea Pitch – Humans Are More Important Than Hardware: Human Performance Optimisation in Army (Part 2)

December 5th, 2016 by Harry Moffitt

This is the second of two blogs by Harry Moffitt in support of his DEFx Idea Pitch.  In the first blog, Harry introduced the idea of Human Performance initiatives, and how they might be used to make the most of ...

Idea Pitch – Posting Teams NOT People

December 4th, 2016 by Johnny Ozols and Tom Day

Introduction Advances in the field of psychology are allowing experts to discern, more accurately than ever, the characteristics of an individual’s personality. In human resources, this is allowing people to be matched to vocations they enjoy, as they are more ...

Idea Pitch – Fighting Power, Intellectual Mastery and the Challenge of Teaching (Part 2)

December 2nd, 2016 by Steve Cotterill

Introduction My first blog explored the reasons why I think Army is not realising the full intellectual potential of the personnel in our force. I explained how I felt that Army does not deliver or teach knowledge from doctrine or on individual ...

Idea Pitch – Future Vertical Lift: Shaping the Australian Defence Force’s Rotary Future

December 2nd, 2016 by Robert Andrew

Introduction From the beginning of the Korean War, and in every major theatre of conflict since, the battlefield helicopter has proven its worth and enhanced combat operations. To the colonial Americans of the 19th century, the names Kiowa, Apache, Blackhawk, ...

Idea Pitch – Humans Are More Important Than Hardware: Human Performance Optimisation in Army (Part 1)

December 1st, 2016 by Harry Moffitt

Introduction Human Performance (HP) describes efforts to maximise the potential of people in contributing to organisational objectives. HP is a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon that requires an approach that is multi-disciplinary and interdependent. The tangible benefits of human performance optimisation are, ...

Idea Pitch – Fighting Power, Intellectual Mastery and the Challenge of Teaching (Part 1)

November 29th, 2016 by Steve Cotterill

Introduction Throughout 2013 and 2014 I had the privilege to be an instructor at RMC-D. During this period I watched hundreds of staff cadets study diligently to learn a huge amount of information in six weeks of theory lessons. I ...

Idea Pitch – Local Mentoring Nodes – Developing Human Capital

November 29th, 2016 by Kathryn Christie and Kate Tollenaar

Introduction BLUF: A pilot Barracks Mentoring Group provides a model for joint professional military education, to engender cultural change and facilitate mentoring at the tactical level. This model can be established as an ADF wide initiative as a way of ...

Idea Pitch – A Joint Professional Military Education Association

November 29th, 2016 by Emily Chapman

As a passionate advocate of Professional Military Education (PME), I commend the efforts of the Australian Army personnel who have established The Postern Association. Founded in a desire to build intellectual mastery within the Australian Army, there is little doubt ...

Idea Pitch – An ADF Leadership Development Institute: Developing the Next Gen Leaders for the ADF and Australia

November 28th, 2016 by Tom Larter

Introduction For years I have pondered about the way we train leadership in the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force (ADF). How much of our success is testament to the experiential training model, and how much is attributed to ...

Idea Pitch – All Eyes (Ears and Tongues) on the Not-So-Far-East

November 24th, 2016 by Jonathan Hibbert

Disclaimers: The figures used here are drawn from the most recent figures attained from education administrators, and the Manager Languages – Army. To limit the scope of this topic, the discussed niche is the Officer Corps, though the rationale used ...

Idea Pitch – Cultural Training in the Army

November 22nd, 2016 by 2nd Cavalry Regiment

The Chasm: Physical and Human Terrain, Training and Reality We believe that Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is not a desirable capability – it is critical. Cultural training through Army’s force generation (FORGEN) system is (we believe) inadequate, providing a surface deep, ‘just-in-time’ ...

Idea Pitch – Battlefield Mobility and the Flyboard Air

November 18th, 2016 by Matt Whitwell

Introduction On 30 April 2016 French jet ski champion Franky Zapata broke the world record for the longest hoverboard flight on his newly designed craft. Zapata piloted his Flyboard Air a distance of 2252m in less than seven minutes. Video ...

Idea Pitch – Improving the Less Than Lethal Shotgun capability

November 16th, 2016 by James Alexander

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has fulfilled a wide range of tasks across the spectrum of conflict and military operations. This is not likely to change in the future and therefore it is incumbent upon the ADF to train and ...

Idea Pitch – A Cultural and Regional Training Continuum

November 8th, 2016 by James Haw

Bottom Line Up Front – An Australian Regional, Culture and Language Familiarisation Program (RCLF) The Australian Army’s ability to operate in complex and human-dense environments is enhanced through cultural and regional training. If the Australian Army is to become a ...

The Postern Association – Framework (Part 4 of 4)

November 2nd, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

Thanks for the feedback so far on the Postern Association – it’s been a great response! We are very excited about the prospect of gathering the intellectual and innovative minds from around our Army at the DEF[X] in December in ...

The Postern Association – What’s In A Name? (Part 3 of 4)

November 1st, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

There are many practicalities in choosing a name for a new association. Thankfully many smart minds were on hand from the DEF team to firstly set the criteria for the name and then muse (and sometimes argue robustly discuss) the ...

The Postern Association – The Vehicles for Intellectual Mastery (Part 2 of 4)

October 31st, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if ...

The Postern Association (Part 1 of 4)

October 30th, 2016 by Clare O'Neill

This year a small and dedicated team of Australian Army personnel has been bringing together the DEF Australia activities. This team believes that professional development and innovation are best done as collective activities, and also that initiatives need to think beyond short term ...

Taking A Step Forward On Drones

October 27th, 2016 by Tim Jones

Last week two French soldiers were wounded and two Kurdish fighters were killed in Iraq by a weaponised Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) drone[1]. This has sent shock waves across Western defence forces, with many looking for an innovative means ...

Idea Pitch – Head Up, Eyes on Target, Hands on Weapon

October 11th, 2016 by Robert Morris

Augmented Reality and the Future Australian Soldier The augmented reality (AR) game Pokémon GO was recently released in Australia, and became an instant sensation. Quietly, on the other side of the world, the Israeli Army purchased its first two sets ...

Future Thinking – Adaptive Tanking

October 8th, 2016 by Lucas Guglielmi

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

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 ...

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 ...