Intellect and innovation for warfighting capability.

DEF Australia

DEF Australia is a network of serving and defence personnel for conceptual innovation in the profession of arms. Detailed information here.

150 Years On – What’s Left to Learn from the ‘Letterman Plan’?

January 16th, 2018 by Nick Alexander

The story of MAJ Jonathan Letterman and the ‘Letterman Plan’ should exist forever in Combat Health lore as one of the professions most magnificent tales of innovation and success. Appointed as Medical director of the Army of the Potomac in ...

A Month On From #DEFAus17: An Officer Cadet Breakin’ It Down

January 2nd, 2018 by Brent Moloney

This post was first published on Central Blue. Reposted here with thanks to Central Blue for their permission. #DEFAus17 is the key event for the Australian Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), affiliated with the US and UK branches as well as the Kiwi ...

Driving Innovation Forward: Why Tempo Is Everything

January 2nd, 2018 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 ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 5 – Innovation and Strategy – ‘Learn and Adapt but Still Lose’ – Professor Daniel Marston

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Innovation and Strategy – ‘Learn and adapt but still lose’ – Professor Daniel Marston Daniel Marston BA MA (McGill) DPhil (Oxon.) FRHistS holds a Professorship in Military Studies and is also the Principal of the Military and Defence Studies Program ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Sessions 3 & 4 – Practical Innovation

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Group Captain Jerome Reid Jerome Reid is a self proclaimed disrupter and the new Director of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Plan Jericho. Plan Jericho provides the strategic framework for Air Force’s transformation to a 5th-generation integrated fighting force. Through ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 2 – Innovation and War – Why We Innovate, How We Fight and Ethics

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Why We Innovate – Lieutenant Colonel Clare O’Neill Clare O’Neill is a Royal Australian Engineer and has been the Chief of Army Scholar and Fulbright Scholar in Australia-United States Alliance Studies at Georgetown University. Clare is the Founder of Grounded ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 1 – Innovation and the Future Fight – Cyber, Artificial Intelligence and Gamification

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Innovation and the Future Fight – Cyber, Artificial Intelligence and Gamification Cyber – Alastair MacGibbon Mr Alastair MacGibbon is the Cyber Security Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia.  He leads the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, aiming to transform ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Welcome Address – Junior Leaders and Innovation – MAJGEN Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Welcome Address – Junior Leaders and Innovation by MAJGEN Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO Major General Burr is the Deputy Chief of the Australian Army, a position he has held since January 2015. Graduating from the Royal Military College—Duntroon in ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – THE MILITARY MINDFULNESS APP

December 11th, 2017 by Annie Collins, Steve Funnell and Chrisafina Rick

You are a physically strong, focussed and resilient individual. You know how to maintain and grow your physical health but how do you maintain and grow your mental health? How do you keep your mental muscles strong and flexible? The ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – INNOVATING A WINNING EDGE – PART 3: OUR VISION FOR CHANGE

December 10th, 2017 by Chris Elles

What the future of ADF innovation looks like and our journey to get there. “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” Iterated quote attributed to Charles Darwin Introduction: ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – INNOVATING A WINNING EDGE – PART 2: A CASE STUDY OF CHANGE

December 9th, 2017 by Robert Morris

Introduction In Part 1, we outlined the case for why we need to innovate just to stay in the same place, let alone improve. We also noted that despite a clear intent at the highest levels of the ADF, we ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – INNOVATING A WINNING EDGE – PART 1: THE NEED FOR CHANGE

December 8th, 2017 by Luke Morton

Why does innovation matter? For the last several decades, Australia–a small country with a mid-sized economy–has depended on a small, highly professional and technologically-superior military to maintain an edge over potential adversaries. As we approach the future, however, it seems ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – THE MODULARISED LAND FORCE: BEYOND THE FORCE GENERATION CYCLE

December 7th, 2017 by David Caligari and Zach Lambert

The land force’s Force Generation Cycle may no longer be optimal, but the next step is clear. Future resource scarcity and increasing soldier capability requires a more tailored force delivered rapidly to the fight. This tailored force is the future ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – PLUGGING THE GAP

December 6th, 2017 by Geoffrey McMillan, David Ashmore and Bryan Masters

Introduction Voice communications is essential to effective Command and Control (C2) in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). In the deployed environment, Secret Voice over Internet Protocol (SVoIP) is the primary means to achieve this. It is also the ADF approved ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – Electrifying the Force

December 4th, 2017 by Harry Wagner and Zac Hucker

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2017 (TS17) brought the most advanced technology of Australia and its global partners to Shoalwater Bay in a spectacle of military capability. On the receiving end of this stood a small mobile force tasked with the defence ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – BRINGING RANGE SAFETY INTO THE 21st CENTURY

December 1st, 2017 by Andrew Wallace

“Dropping bombs, shooting guns and missiles, and employing laser range finders are inherently risky activities which the military manages by conducting rigorous and frequent training exercises. Every day, military units around the globe are conducting training exercises to prepare for ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – Rapid 3D Imaging of Remote and Hostile Regions

December 1st, 2017 by Nicola Bilton and Joyce Mau

Importance of 3D imaging During war, it is highly critical to have a real-time update of the ever-changing environment in order to have an advantage over the adversary. Airborne 3D imaging provides valuable information of the terrain or scene which ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – 360 Degree Reporting for Field Forces

November 28th, 2017 by Benjamin May

What is 360 Degree Reporting? 360 degree reporting is a professional reporting tool traditionally utilised by civilian organisations to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation from the perspective of the employees. It achieves this by provide feedback on ...

#DEFAus17 Booklet and Registration

November 27th, 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 – Creating a multi-user virtual reality training system

November 27th, 2017 by Andrew Smith

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality training solutions built specifically for military training are beginning to surface in the wild. The benefits of these systems are considerable – the ability to train combat and small squad tactics, peacekeeping and policing scenario ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – Military Ethics Education Playing Cards

November 26th, 2017 by Anthony Hogan

Ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is concerned with questions of how people ought to act, and the search for a definition of right conduct (the one causing the greatest good) and the good life (a life worth living or a ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – Land Force Insights Team: Collaborating to Success

November 26th, 2017 by David Caligari

The land force needs forward-thinkers and innovators to develop the intellectual edge for future conflict. These thinkers are professional soldiers who solve challenging problems to develop our intellectual edge. Placed in one team—the Land Force Insights Team—they are a focal ...

#DEFAUS17 IDEA PITCH – A new approach to character development

November 20th, 2017 by Richard Thapthimthong

The Australian Army (and ADF more broadly) is not developing individual character in a way that is objective, tangible or measurable. The reason is not due to a lack of trying, but rather an unfortunate relationship that we as an ...

#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 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 ...

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 ...