Australia's Federation Guard

Australia's Federation Guard (AFG) is a tri-service ceremonial unit made up of members from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian Air Force. Formed in 2000 for the centenary celebrations of Australian federation, it is the first purely ceremonial unit in the history of the Australian armed forces, and has since represented Australia in various roles both at home and around the world, including providing the guard at Buckingham Palace in 2000.

Australia's Federation Guard
US Navy 110709-N-CZ945-602 Australia's Federation Guard performs at the opening ceremony for Talisman Sabre 2011
Members of Australia's Federation Guard during a display in 2011
Active7 March 2000 – present
Country Australia
TypeCeremonial Foot Guards
SizeOne augmented (tri-service) Company
Part ofAustralian Defence Force
Nickname(s)The Guard
ColoursGreen & Gold
EquipmentL1A1 SLR
Unit Colour Patch


Barack Obama reviews Australias Federation Guard
U.S President Barack Obama reviews Australia's Federation Guard in the forecourt of Parliament House during his visit to Australia in November 2011.

The posting strength of AFG varies, although the unit's authorised strength is around 170 personnel of all ranks.[1] A Royal Guard consists of 32 members from each service, one left marker, one right marker, two flag bearers and one parade officer. The Navy contingent of the Guard always appears on the left hand side of a parade, with Army in the centre and RAAF on the right. This reflects the seniority of the services.

Every member enlists into a specific trade in either the navy, army or air force, but puts those trades on hold for the duration of their service in the Guard. Although formed initially for the celebrations of the centenary, the standard of the Guard was such that it was kept on as a showcase for the ceremonial capabilities of the Australian Defence Force, serving in various public duties capacities.

For administrative purposes the unit is divided into four sub-units, a headquarters element and three single service "divisions". Each division is commanded by an officer from that service.


Although it is primarily a foot guards unit, equipped with the L1A1 SLR, the Guard also provides gun salutes. These salutes can be performed anywhere, although for practical reasons are usually only utilised in the Canberra district. Depending on the situation personnel from all three services, operate up to six guns, with four to six personnel servicing each gun under the command of personnel from the Royal Australian Artillery.

AFG also contains a Drum Corps. Made up from volunteers from all three services posted to the unit, Drum Corps members participate in additional training with the majority having no previous musical experience with percussion instruments. Drum Corps members perform their drumming duties in addition to their traditional Guard duties and will often support the Precision Drill Team in their training and performances.

In 2000, AFG provided the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace. In performing this duty, AFG was responsible not only for providing the first naval sentries (although the Royal Marines have in the past provided the guard, never had the Royal Navy), but also the first women to serve. The Guard alternated with the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, with each service providing a detachment on each day.

Precision Drill Team

Within AFG is a smaller group who form the Precision Drill Team (PDT). The PDT travel all over Australia performing for events like Careers Expos, charity functions and sporting events. The drills performed by the PDT are a combination of over 300 specific movements without any words of command being given to the Guardsmen. The Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that make up the PDT require a high level of skill, concentration and teamwork which is perfected through many hours of practice.[2]


Australian sailor and soldier wearing formal uniforms 2011
An Australian sailor and soldier wearing formal uniforms.

Members of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force posted to the unit perform their ceremonial duties in the standard ceremonial uniforms of their service as the variance between trades is minimal. A notable addition to the uniform is the white "Airman's Belt" worn by all Other Ranks.

For members of the Australian Army uniforms vary significantly between Corps with embellishments differing between silver, gold and black. All Corps have unique hat badges with some Corps having individual unit hat badges, for example the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. The Guard is considered a "non-corps posting" by the Australian Army and wears "non-corps" generic army embellishments for the sake of uniformity. These generic embellishments consist of miniature Rising Sun badges worn in place of Corps badges on the hat and collars, complemented by gold jacket buttons and rank insignia. A generic tri-service colour patch is worn by all Army members of the AFG as the unit colour patch.

A number of submissions have been made in relation to approving an official unit badge that would be worn on the hats of serving members but at this stage, none have been approved. An unofficial badge has been adopted by the unit and features the ADF tri-service crest in silver against a gold federation star.

Musical support

The Guard has the Australian Defence Force's only dedicated drum corps. However, the Guard does not have its own band. The majority of musical support for ceremonial duties within the Canberra region is provided by the Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. When performing in other parts of Australia, other Defence bands such as the Royal Australian Navy Band, the Australian Army Band Corps or the Royal Australian Air Force Band are tasked for musical support.

See also


  1. ^ "Australia's Federation Guard". Department of Defence. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  2. ^ "PDT". Retrieved 15 June 2012.

External Links

2011 Queen's Birthday Honours (Australia)

The Queen's Birthday Honours 2011 for Australia were announced on 13 June 2011.

† indicates an award given posthumously.

Airfield Defence Guards

The Airfield Defence Guard (ADG) mustering of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) performs specialist ground defence tasks to protect air power assets from hostile ground action. The mustering is composed of non-commissioned members, commonly called 'ADGies,' most of whom are employed within a Security Forces (SECFOR) Squadron (SQN). Their primary role is the protection of RAAF equipment, personnel, assets and facilities during operations. While ADGs train to counter special forces as the primary ground threat to the projection of air power, ADGs are themselves conventional forces. Other duties include training RAAF personnel in weapon handling and basic ground defence tactics.

ADGs are commanded by commissioned officers known as Ground Defence Officers (GRDEFO) who receive initial training at the Australian Army's Royal Military College (RMC), Duntroon. Following graduation from RMC, GRDEFOs undertake the Army Regimental Officer Basic Course (Infantry) prior to RAAF-specific training at the RAAF Security and Fire School (RAAFSFS), RAAF Base Amberley.ADGs do not operate anti-aircraft weapons, which are the responsibility of the Army's Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. They are comparable to the British Royal Air Force Regiment, USAF Security Forces, and the RNZAF Security Forces.

Australian Peacekeeping Memorial

The Australian Peacekeeping Memorial, located at the southern end of Anzac Parade in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Australians who have served on peacekeeping or peacemaking missions around the world. It was inaugurated on 14 September 2017 by the Governor-General of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC. The Memorial is a living memorial that commemorates the service of all Australian peacekeepers- past, present and into the future.

Ceremonial Guard

The Ceremonial Guard (CG) (French: Garde de cérémonie) is an ad hoc military unit in the Canadian Armed Forces that used to draw principally from the two Primary Reserve (militia) regiments of Foot Guards: the Governor General's Foot Guards (GGFG) from Ottawa (of which it is a sub-unit) and the Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG) from Montreal. However, since 2007 the Ceremonial Guard has been manned by a more pan–Canadian Forces approach: Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. Every summer, the Ceremonial Guard performs the Changing the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill and posts sentries at Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, with the National War Memorial being sentried by the NSP (National Sentry Program) which is carried out by the different regiments in order of Brigade throughout the summer until mid-November.

As with any guard unit in the Canadian Forces, uniforms originate from the Queen's Guard and rank insignia worn on the uniforms generally follow the pattern currently in force. Members of the Ceremonial Guard each carry an unloaded Colt Canada C7 rifle.

Foundation Day

Foundation Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the founding of a nation, state or a creation of a military unit. This day is for countries that came into existence without the necessity of gaining independence. Older countries that use some other event of special significance as their national day. This signals the use of a "class" of National Days, that are equally important in the foundation of the nation, and a "class" of less important official public holidays. This holiday can be symbolized by the date of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler (birthday, accession, removal, etc.) as the starting point of the nation's history. Often the day is not called "Foundation Day" but serves and can be considered as one.

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery is a First World War cemetery built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the outskirts of Fromelles in northern France, near the Belgian border. Constructed between 2009 and 2010, it was the first new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery for more than 50 years, the last such cemeteries having been built after the Second World War. The cemetery contains the graves of 250 British and Australian soldiers who died on 19 July 1916 in the Battle of Fromelles.

The bodies were discovered following historical research that included analysis of aerial photographs showing the presence of mass graves on the edge of Pheasant Wood (Bois Faisan), just outside the village of Fromelles. The presence of the bodies was confirmed in May 2008, and the bodies were recovered during excavation work in 2009. A specially convened Identification Board published a report on 17 March 2010 announcing the first 75 bodies to have been successfully identified using DNA analysis. Further identification continued until at least 2014.

In parallel with the recovery and identification projects, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was asked by the British and Australian governments to construct a new cemetery to house the bodies. Building work on the cemetery began in May 2009, and the main structural elements were completed by January 2010. The dead soldiers were reburied with full military honours in a series of funeral services in January and February 2010. The ceremonial first reburial took place on 30 January 2010.

Following this period of reburials, topsoil was added to the cemetery, and the horticultural elements planted and allowed to grow into place. One final reburial took place as part of the cemetery's dedication ceremony, which was held on 19 July 2010 to mark the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.

Guard mounting

Guard mounting, changing the guard, or the changing of the guard, is a formal ceremony in which sentries performing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries. The ceremonies are often elaborate and precisely choreographed. They originated with peacetime and battlefield military drills introduced to enhance unit cohesion and effectiveness in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Guard of honour

A guard of honour (en-GB), guard of honor (en-US), also honour guard (en-GB), honor guard (en-US), also ceremonial guard, is a guard, usually military in nature, appointed to receive or guard a head of state or other dignitary, the fallen in war, or to attend at state ceremonials, especially funerals. In military weddings, especially those of commissioned officers, a guard, composed usually of service members of the same branch, form the Saber arch. In principle any military unit could act as a guard of honour. However, in some countries certain units are specially designated for guard of honour duty.

Guards of Honour also serve in the civilian world for fallen police officers and other civil servants. Certain religious bodies, especially Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Methodist movement, have the tradition of an Honour Guard at the funeral of an ordained elder, in which all other ordained elders present "guard the line" between the door of the church and the grave, or hearse if the deceased is to be buried elsewhere or cremated. The practice of providing a guard of honour as a mark of respect also occurs in sports, especially throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.

Household Division

Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.

Jim Mattis

James Norman Mattis (born September 8, 1950) is an American veteran and former government official who served as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense from January 2017 through December 2018. He resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump. A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

Mattis was commissioned in the Marine Corps through the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps after graduating from Central Washington University. A career Marine, he gained a reputation among his peers for "intellectualism," and eventually advanced to the rank of general. From 2007 to 2010 he commanded the United States Joint Forces Command and concurrently served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. He was Commander of United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013. After retiring from the military, he served in several private sector roles, including as a board member of Theranos.Mattis was nominated as Secretary of Defense by President-elect Trump, and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2017. He needed a waiver from Congress to allow his nomination to be considered, as he had only been separated from the military for three years and U.S. federal law requires at least seven years of retirement for former military personnel to be appointed Secretary of Defense. As Secretary of Defense, Mattis affirmed the United States' commitment to defending longtime ally South Korea in the wake of the 2017 North Korea crisis. An opponent of proposed collaboration with China and Russia, Mattis stressed what he saw as their "threat to the American-led world order". Mattis occasionally voiced his disagreement with certain Trump administration policies, opposing the proposed withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and budget cuts that hamper the ability to monitor the impacts of climate change.

List of army units called Guards

This is a list of past and present army units whose names include the word guard. Border guards, coast guards, Home Guards, national guards, honour guards, republican guards, and royal guards are listed under their own articles. See also Presidential Guard (disambiguation) and Red Guards (disambiguation).

Mount Pleasant (Australian Capital Territory)

Mount Pleasant is a hill with an elevation of 663 metres (2,175 ft) AHD  that is located in the north–eastern suburbs of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The hill overlooks the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College at Duntroon. On the top of the hill is a memorial to all ranks of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. The summit can be accessed by car using General Bridges Drive and is open to the public during daylight hours.

Royal Australian Army Medical Corps

The Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC) is the branch of the Australian Army responsible for providing medical care to Army personnel. The AAMC was formed in 1902 through the amalgamation of medical units of the various Australian colonies and was first deployed to South Africa as a small detachment of personnel supporting the Australian Commonwealth Horse during the Second Boer War. The corps has participated in every Australian Army operation since then, including wars and peacekeeping operations. The "Royal" prefix was granted in 1948.


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