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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Information – Register for DEF[X] Aus

August 21st, 2016 by DEF Aus Committee

We have been talking about DEF Australia for a while now but how do you register for DEF[X] Aus? It’s simple register at Eventbrite. We also strongly encourage you to read this DEF Aus post and the Information Pack for more detailed ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...