Compass arrow pointing to the word coaching

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.

Richard Barrett
6min

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?

Samuel J. Cox
6mins
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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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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.

Liz Daly
8min
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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?

Callum Muntz
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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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

Teaching and Learning in the Australian Command and Staff course

The ACSC contributes to the development of the critical intellectual edge for the Australian Defence Force. It does so in a January-December full-time course at the Weston Campus of the Australian Defence College, in Canberra. 

The philosophy of the course is set out in the Australian Joint Professional Military Education Continuum (2019). In particular, the curriculum sets out the expectation for mid 04- mid 05 APS6-EL1 officers who are at this stages of their career moving from tactical to operational and strategic domains, within the broader Defence organisation. 

CMDR Paul Davidson, RAN
2mins

Learning Vulnerability

Learning to love learning requires passion and persistence. It can be a hard road, but intellectual endeavour is not just a personal challenge, it’s a challenge for the entire military community.

Dr Jack Bowers
3 min

On Resilience - After dinner address to ADFA 2 August 2019

When I informed my daughter that I was to speak to 300 ADFA cadets on the subject of resilience, she said to me:” ‘Don’t do it. They will see you as a dinosaur’. To which I replied, ‘well, dinosaurs ruled the earth for millions of years before becoming extinct, so they must have known something of value’.

Professor Michael Evans
4 min
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
General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC addressing ADFA Trainees

ADFA Presentation 2019 – General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC

The Governor-General of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC, addresses ADFA staff and trainees

Australian Defence Force Academy
53:06