What ‘RIGHT’ Looks Like: Linking Command and Moral Authority
…you don’t follow an order because you know for sure it’s gonna work out. You do what you are told, because your CO has the moral authority that says you may not come back. But the cause is just, and fair, and necessary.
The Defence Coach
This article follows WGCDR Jacqueline Carswell’s excellent contribution to the Forge ‘One Step to Maximising our People’s Potential’ of 15 Jul 19.
Six Golden Rules for Media Interviews
Media content is being consumed and produced in greater quantities than we’ve ever seen. That means your chances of being asked to step in front of the microphones and cameras are growing. This article provides six golden rules to assist those in Defence if they find themselves fronting the media.
An Introduction to Moral Injury in Defence
The difference between an individual who returns from a deployment morally injured, and an individual who returns unharmed, may be defined by whether they can answer the following questions: ‘what do I really believe? Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my purpose?’. Can you answer those questions?
Unsurprisingly, ‘knowing thyself’ is not a standardised training package delivered by Defence. Should it be so the ADF can craft efficient personnel encapsulating the totality of fitness: physical, intellectual, moral/ethical, and spiritual?
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?
Kill them with kindness - Emotional intelligence as a leadership enabler
One of the most important success factors for any military organisation is the ability to identify and select effective leaders. The purpose of this article is to discuss the role that emotional intelligence can play as a leadership enabler for officers and recommend how it can be incorporated into the officer training continuum. The article provides an overview of the current training curriculum and highlights the advantages of developing emotional intelligence from the ab-initio training level to application in real time situations.
The Thinking Combat Brigade: A Dominant and Prestigious Force
Our command teams are charged with constant decision making, on which hinges the success and failure – the life or death – of battles, operations and campaigns. What if the frames of reference we all possess, imposed on us from our similar training, experiences, and culture, could be hindering our ability to make the best decisions? What if we are not as smart as we think we are?
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.
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.
'Why We Write' Series - Why I Should Write More
‘Share your ideas. Share your thoughts. Tell your story! All of us who have served have ideas. We all have a story to tell. It might be technical, it might be tactical, it might be right, it might even be wrong. But get it out there and let’s debate it.’
Admiral Jim Stavridis, USN (ret)
'Why We Write' Series - Why I Write
Why I write is a good question. There are many reasons, but the main one is something that took me far too long to appreciate. I write because it helps my thinking. Sounds simple and obvious, but it took me quite a while to consciously realise that writing ideas and thoughts down forced me to engage my brain first. Writing lines of argument or facts and figures gives me much greater focus on the intellectual underpinning of whatever I am trying to say and on the accuracy of those facts and figures.
More than just a hashtag: the criticality of developing an Intellectual Edge
The current landscape
For some reason, the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) seems particularly susceptible to buzzwords. It would appear that for any new idea to have a chance of sprouting on what can often be somewhat barren ground, then it must have a catchy moniker. The prevailing thought seems to be that without one, an idea has little chance to gain traction against all the other good ideas being touted in Defence Headquarters.