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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
US Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper meets with members of the Afghan special forces to observe their training at Camp Commando, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, 2019

Pakistan’s Unconventional War Failure


Since 2009 the Afghan government, with international support, has pursued a policy of opening the door to a political solution to the war in their nation. That policy decision was backed up by a massive push to professionalize the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and to continue to militarily pressure the taliban and others on the battlefield. The underlying premise was that the Taliban movement (senior and low-level members) would be forced to react to the legitimate Afghan government olive branch in many ways.

Jason Criss Howk
3 min
A Trinitarian framework to aid in the future of war and warfare fields

Future War – A Trinitarian Framework


In grappling with the future of war and warfare it is useful to have a mental framework to consider the potential impacts of the matters at issue. In considering futures those matters range widely from large scale societal changes through to narrower next generation technological advances that continue the service of legacy fleets.

Grant Chambers
3mins
Defence Product Innovation Success - Summary

Product innovation success in the ADF – an exploratory study

It is possible for Australian defence companies and the Australian Defence Organisation to achieve greater success and better mitigate the financial, technical and schedule risks in developing new, technology-based  equipment and services for the ADF.

The research leading to this conclusion was based on case studies of 20 successful and unsuccessful Australian defence projects, and addressed three key questions:

Dr Gregor Ferguson
3mins

Defence materiel sales - an exploration of the ethical challenges

(Note: This paper is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of Defence nor the Australian Army. I pose this paper to invoke discussion on the topic).


Research, development, manufacture and selling of military materiel, in particular systems that are designed to deliver kinetic effects and bring harm to others, has always been a contentious issue for members of the public of Western democratic nations - especially during long periods of perceived peace.

Anthony Watson
3mins
The Runway image

Air Force launches The Runway

The Runway, Air Force’s new professional development platform designed to foster a broad community of learning was launched on 31 Oct 19 by Commander Air Force Training Group, Air Commodore Glen Braz.

Air Force, Australian Defence Organisation and other government agency personnel are invited to engage with the curated content and take the opportunity to participate in a whole-of-government discussion around the key topics affecting the delivery of air and space power for Australia’s future.

The Runway
2mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'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)

CDRE Justin Jones, RAN
3mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'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.

CDRE Peter Leavy
2mins
More than just a hashtag: the criticality of developing an Intellectual Edge

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.

LTCOL Greg Colton
2mins

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
Reflections on Command

Reflections on Command

This short, and hopefully helpful addition to The Forge, targets those who are about to assume unit command appointments. It should be broadly relevant to other levels of command, as well as a broader audience interested in military command approaches. Rich Barrett.

COL Richard Barrett
2mins

'Why We Write' Series: Intellectual Preparation for War – It’s a Team Event

LTCOL Clare O’Neill
6mins