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Clash of Cultures: The Digger Legend of the First Australian Imperial Force

Were the values that came to embody the digger legend of the 1st AIF incompatible with the expectations of British command? Did the traits required to command a less-than-conventional military force during the First World War require a less-than-conventional style of military leadership? This article explores the questions that arise regarding the leadership of the 1st AIF during the Great War - particularly that of General William Birdwood. Was his command effective given the unique circumstances, and were his opponents right to express criticism?

Luke J. Graham
10min
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A Year in the Life of a Staff Officer and a General

Many field grade officers will serve as a Staff Officer / Military Assistant during their career within a single service, joint headquarters, or in an interdepartmental position. This article offers our perspective on the working relationship between Staff Officer and General. We hope it will be useful to those who are stepping into these roles in the future.

Kate Tollenaar and Ian Langford
10min
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Synchronising Counterinsurgency Ops with Effective Intelligence

All combat operations need real-time, concrete intelligence, but the counterinsurgency operations’ (COINOPS) margin of error runs thinnest. In their fast, multidimensional context, COINOPS demand more comprehensive intelligence at platoon/company levels than conventional warfare does. This article explores the need for tactical unit leaders fighting insurgencies to have more intelligence assets available in the field in order to offer swift analyses to aid decision making in highly fluid environments.

Anant Mishra
6mins
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Scharnhorst and Professional Mastery


To me, being 'professional' has meant striving for excellence at my everyday job. Until I attended Command and Staff Course at the Australian War College last year, I did not appreciate that being good at my job was not the same as being a military professional. The course broadened my understanding; being a professional requires one to embrace continual learning in all aspects of the profession. I became conscious that through professional mastery, individuals, even those in junior roles, can influence organisational outcomes beyond their job.

SQNLDR Agam Sheldon
3mins
Military History

Changes in warfare in the 16th and 17th centuries - a ‘military revolution’?

The 16th and 17th century was a period of significant change in the character of war. The drivers accounting for these changes were not all based in military reforms, despite Western Europe being engaged almost continuously in war. While tactical applications is interesting, it was the beginnings of some profound changes in the development of warfare; the professional military, the standing army, scale of warfare and subsequent emergence of the state (Crown) owning the monopoly on violence and the arrival of proper naval forces.

COL David Edwards
6 min

The Importance Of Strategically Focused Force Design

BRIGADIER IAN LANGFORD- DIRECTOR GENERAL FUTURE LAND WARFARE

“People, Ideas, Machines…in that order!”

Colonel John Boyd

BRIG Ian Langford
5 min
Title Why “To Change an Army” Still Matters

Why “To Change an Army” Still Matters

A short piece on why the 1983 article by General Don Starry retains contemporary relevance to future-focused, adaptive national security institutions.

COMADC Mick Ryan
3 min
Spectacles on an open book

2019 ADC Suggested Research Topics

If you are thinking of researching or writing on a topic that matters to Defence, have a look at this list. Every topic has been identified by a Service or Group as being important to them in 2019. The list will be particularly useful to Defence or ADC students who are required to choose research paper topics. The list provides a great opportunity to ensure that your work is of strategic interest, furthers professional discourse and may be relevant to your future career.

COMADC Mick Ryan
10min
Two groups of people facing off against each other, one holding a US flag and one holding a Chinese flag

US Defense Implications of Expanding China

This U.S. DoD report assesses China’s global expansion efforts and the implications for the U.S. in terms of military access, logistics, force posture and training. The report has generated discussion and various assessments can be found online across the national security community.

Various
1 hr
Lightbulb resting on a blackboard

First Principles Review - Creating One Defence

The Review Team were tasked with ensuring that Defence is fit for purpose and is able to deliver against its strategy with the minimum resources necessary. Using a structured framework, the team have conducted an end-to-end holistic review based on the outcomes required of Defence and founded on the first principles agreed by the review team.

Department of Defence
2h

Australian Interagency Preparedness Framework

As Australia’s involvement in international response and recovery operations has increased over the past decade, so has the number of government agencies contributing specialist capabilities and expertise to these operations. In this context, the need for effective interaction and enhanced preparedness between agencies is crucial to the success and effectiveness of operations.

Alan Ryan
2h
Open book with spectacles on top

Military Culture, Learning and Adaptation during the Burma Campaign 1942-1945

This essay discusses how military culture and learning and adaptation on both sides affected the outcome of the Burma Campaign 1942–1945. The British 14th Army developed a military culture of learning and adaptation which led to their victory while the Imperial Japanese Army had an existing military culture based upon tenets of Bushido, which constrained their ability to learn and adapt and in turn led to their defeat.

Mathew Shelley
30m