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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
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
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

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
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
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Thoughts from The Edge

Mick Ryan is the Commander of the Australian Defence College. This column from Ryan and his contributors focusses on intellectually preparing members of the profession of arms for strategic competition and future conflict.

COMADC Mick Ryan
2min
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Social Contracts and the Australian Civil-Military Relationship

In Australia, troop deaths in combat remind the public of the terms of employment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and raise the question of commensurate compensation. One community group is committed to the task of developing a ‘military covenant’ to articulate these terms and compensations based on the idea that the ‘unique nature’ of military service is an invocation of a social contract. But is a social contract really at the heart the Australian civil-military relationship?

Cate Carter
10m
Fantasy battle scene

Dr. Phillip Karber on the Russian Way of War

Speaking to staff and cadets at the United States’ West Point Academy, Dr. Phillip Karber describes what he has learned about the Russian way of war from thirty trips he has made to Ukraine, including six months on the front lines of the war in the country's east. This lecture highlights how a re-imagined Russian military is conducting technologically advanced joint-land combat against a ‘near peer’ military – the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Modern War Institute
1h

CDLE Leadership Paper 2 - 2018

The CDLE Leadership Paper 2-2018 is Anne Goyne and the CDLE team addressing issues around negative leadership. The paper is couched in terms of a range of events including the JEDI Council, the ADFA skype incident, the F111 deseal/reseal, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) and the associated findings, which relate to many negative experiences of ADF personnel. The paper goes on to explore why the ADF culture has such negative leadership experiences and what to do about it.

Anne Goyne
2h
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No better friend, no worse enemy: How different organisational cultures impede and enhance Australia’s whole-of-government approach

Since 1999, Australia has increasingly deployed the military in joint, combined, interagency environments as part of a ‘whole-of-government’ approach. Despite some successes, a number of barriers between the contributing agencies continue to interfere with attempts to synchronise disparate elements of national power into a unified national effort.

Mark Smith
20m
Document being signed

Better Policy for Defence Officials

A series of videos describing how defence officials can better communicate and develop policy with government

ASPI Various
90m