The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) commands the ADF, the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (CA). The CA is therefore subordinate to the CDF, but is also directly responsible to the Minister for Defence. Although Australian soldiers have been involved in a number of minor and major conflicts throughout its history, only in World War II has Australian territory come under direct attack.
|Active||1 March 1901 – present|
14,662 (Active Reserve)
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Commander-in-chief||General Sir Peter Cosgrove |
As Governor-General of Australia
|Chief of the Defence Force||General Angus Campbell|
|Chief of Army||Lieutenant General Richard Burr|
|Deputy Chief of Army||Major General Jake Ellwood|
|Commander Forces Command||Major General Gus McLachlan|
Australian Army flag
Formed in March 1901, with the amalgamation of the six separate colonial military forces, the history of the Australian Army can be divided into two periods:
During its history the Australian Army has fought in a number of major wars, including: Second Boer War (1899–1902), First World War (1914–18), the Second World War (1939–45), Korea War (1950–53), Malayan Emergency (1950–60), Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–66), Vietnam War (1962–73), and more recently in Afghanistan (2001 – present) and Iraq (2003–09). Since 1947 the Australian Army has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations, usually under the auspices of the United Nations, however the non-United Nations sponsored Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai is a notable exception. Australia's largest peacekeeping deployment began in 1999 in East Timor, while other ongoing operations include peacekeeping on Bougainville, in the Sinai, and in the Solomon Islands. Humanitarian relief after 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake in Aceh Province, Indonesia, Operation Sumatra Assist, ended on 24 March 2005.
The 1st Division comprises a deployable headquarters, while 2nd Division under the command of Forces Command is the main home-defence formation, containing Army Reserve units. 2nd Division's headquarters only performs administrative functions. The Australian Army has not deployed a divisional-sized formation since 1945 and does not expect to do so in the future.
1st Division carries out high-level training activities and deploys to command large-scale ground operations. It has few combat units permanently assigned to it, although it does currently command the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as part of Australia's amphibious task group.
Additionally, Forces Command includes the following training establishments:
Under a restructuring program known as Plan Beersheba announced in late 2011, the 1st, 3rd and 7th Brigades will be re-formed as combined-arms multi-role manoeuvre brigades with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (part of the 3rd Brigade) forming the core of a future amphibious force. The force will be known as the Amphibious Ready Element and will be embarked on the Navy's new Canberra-class amphibious assault ships.
Infantry, and some other combat units of the Australian Army carry flags called the Queen's Colour and the Regimental Colour, known as "the Colours". Armoured units carry Standards and Guidons – flags smaller than Colours and traditionally carried by Cavalry, Lancer, Light Horse and Mounted Infantry units. The 1st Armoured Regiment is the only unit in the Australian Army to carry a Standard, in the tradition of heavy armoured units. Artillery units' guns are considered to be their Colours, and on parade are provided with the same respect. Non-combat units (combat service support corps) do not have Colours, as Colours are battle flags and so are only available to combat units. As a substitute, many have Standards or Banners. Units awarded battle honours have them emblazoned on their Colours, Standards and Guidons. They are a link to the unit's past and a memorial to the fallen. Artillery do not have Battle Honours – their single Honour is "Ubique" which means "Everywhere" – although they can receive Honour Titles.
The Army is the guardian of the National Flag and as such, unlike the Royal Australian Air Force, does not have a flag or Colours. The Army, instead, has a banner, known as the Army Banner. To commemorate the centenary of the Army, the Governor General Sir William Deane, presented the Army with a new Banner at a parade in front of the Australian War Memorial on 10 March 2001. The Banner was presented to the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A), Warrant Officer Peter Rosemond.
The Army Banner bears the Australian Coat of Arms on the obverse, with the dates "1901–2001" in gold in the upper hoist. The reverse bears the "rising sun" badge of the Australian Army, flanked by seven campaign honours on small gold-edged scrolls: South Africa, World War I, World War II, Korea, Malaya-Borneo, South Vietnam, and Peacekeeping. The banner is trimmed with gold fringe, has gold and crimson cords and tassels, and is mounted on a pike with the usual British royal crest finial.
In the 2014–15 financial year the Army had an average strength of 43,667 personnel: 29,366 permanent (regular) and 14,301 active reservists (part-time). In addition, there are another 12,496 members of the Standby Reserve. The regular Army is targeted to expand to 30,464 (regular) and 15,250 (part-time) personnel by 2015–16. Personnel numbers have trended upwards since a peak in 2010–11 with an actual strength of 29,366 full-time personnel. Army Reserve numbers are 14,301, which does not include Standby Reserves. This gives the Army a combined strength of 43,667 active personnel for the year 2014–15.
The ranks of the Australian Army are based on the ranks of the British Army, and carry mostly the same actual insignia. For officers the ranks are identical except for the shoulder title "Australia". The Non-Commissioned Officer insignia are the same up until Warrant Officer, where they are stylised for Australia (for example, using the Australian, rather than the British coat of arms). The ranks of the Australian Army are as follows:
|Small arms||F88 Austeyr (service rifle), F89 Minimi (support weapon), Browning Hi-Power (sidearm), MAG-58 (general purpose machine gun), SR-25 designated marksman rifle, SR-98 (sniper rifle), Mk48 Maximi, AW50F|
|Special forces||M4 carbine, Heckler & Koch USP, SR-25, F89 Minimi, MP5, SR-98, Mk48, HK416, HK417, Blaser R93 Tactical, Barrett M82, Mk14 EBR|
|Main battle tanks||59 M1A1 Abrams|
|Armored recovery vehicle||13 M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles|
|Reconnaissance vehicles||257 ASLAV|
|Armoured Personnel Carriers||431 M113 Armored Vehicles upgraded to M113AS3/4 standard (around 100 of these will be placed in reserve)|
|Infantry Mobility Vehicles||1,052 Bushmaster PMVs,; 31 HMT Extenda Mk1 Nary vehicles and 89 HMT Extenda Mk2 on order|
|Light Utility Vehicles||2,268 G-Wagon 4 × 4 and 6x6, 1,500 Land Rover FFR and GS, 1,295 Unimog 1700L|
|Artillery||112 L118/L119 105 mm Hamel Guns (In reserve), 36 M198 155 mm Howitzer (In reserve), 54 M777A2 155 mm Howitzer, 36 RBS-70 surface-to-air missile systems.|
|Radar||AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar, AMSTAR Ground Surveillance RADAR, AN/TPQ-48 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, GIRAFFE FOC, Portable Search and Target Acquisition Radar – Extended Range.|
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles||Insitu Aerosonde, Elbit Systems Skylark and Boeing ScanEagle|
|Aircraft||Type||Versions||Number in service||Notes|
|Boeing CH-47 Chinook||Transport helicopter||CH-47D
|One CH-47D lost in Afghanistan on 30 May 2011. From an initial fleet of six; two additional CH-47Ds were ordered in December 2011 as attrition replacement and to boost heavy lift capabilities until the delivery of seven CH-47Fs, which will replace the CH-47Ds. All seven Chinooks were delivered in August 2015. The US State Department has approved the possible sale of three more CH-47F aircraft as of December 2015. The 2016 Defence White Paper confirmed the order of three CH-47F aircraft.|
|Eurocopter EC135||Training helicopter||EC135T2+||1||15 Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) are on order to be shared with the Navy.|
|Eurocopter Tiger||Attack helicopter||Tiger ARH||22||Delivery completed early July 2011. Achieved Final Operational Capability on 14 April 2016.|
|Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk||Utility helicopter||S-70A-9||34||Will be replaced by the MRH 90 by June 2018. 18 to be kept in operational service for special forces until the end of 2021 due to issues with MRH 90 with an additional 2 retained.|
|NHIndustries MRH-90 Taipan||Utility helicopter||TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter||45 (47)||45 in service as of June 2017. Total of 47 on order (including 6 for Royal Australian Navy)|
|Aircraft||Type||Versions||Number in service||Notes|
|Bell 206B-1 Kiowa||Light observation helicopter||206B-1||- ||Replaced by the Eurocopter Tiger and Eurocopter EC135. 56 originally in service. Retired in October 2018. |
The Army's operational headquarters, Forces Command, is located at Victoria Barracks in Sydney. The Australian Army's three regular brigades are based at Robertson Barracks near Darwin, Lavarack Barracks in Townsville and Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. The Deployable Joint Force Headquarters is also located at Gallipoli Barracks.
Other important Army bases include the Army Aviation Centre near Oakey, Queensland, Holsworthy Barracks near Sydney, Lone Pine Barracks in Singleton, New South Wales and Woodside Barracks near Adelaide, South Australia. The SASR is based at Campbell Barracks Swanbourne, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.
Puckapunyal north of Melbourne houses the Australian Army's Combined Arms Training Centre, Land Warfare Development Centre, and three of the five principal Combat Arms schools. Further barracks include Steele Barracks in Sydney, Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, and Irwin Barracks at Karrakatta in Perth. Dozens of Australian Army Reserve depots are located across Australia.
Since 1947, the Australian Army has published its own journal titled the Australian Army Journal. Covering a broad range of topics including essays, book reviews and editorials, with submissions from serving members as well as professional authors, the journal's stated goal is to provide "...the primary forum for Army's professional discourse... [and to facilitate]... debate within the Australian Army ...[and raise] ...the quality and intellectual rigor of that debate by adhering to a strict and demanding standard of quality". In 1976, the journal was placed on hiatus; however, publishing began again in 1999 and since then the journal has been published largely on a quarterly basis, with only minimal interruptions.
This list includes equipment currently on order or a requirement which has been identified:
The Australian Army Cadets (AAC) is a youth organisation that is involved in training and adventurous activities in a military setting. The programme has more than 19,000 Army Cadets between the ages of 12½ and 18 based in more than 200 units around Australia. The values of the AAC are "Courage, Initiative, Teamwork and respect".
The cadet programme has strong links to the Australian Army and is a part of the Australian Defence Force Cadets. However, its members are not members of the Australian Defence Force by virtue only of their membership of the Australian Army Cadets. While cadets are encouraged to consider enlisting in the military, it is not required that they do so.
Activities of the Army Cadets include navigation and orienteering, fun games, team-building games, field camps, ceremonial drill, radio communication skills, basic bush skills, first aid, equipment maintenance, participation in cadet bands, shooting the Australian Defence Force Service Rifles, the F88 Austeyr and the Australian Army Service Light Machine Gun, the F89 Minimi, with Army supervision.Australian Army Memorial, Canberra
The Australian Army Memorial on Anzac Parade commemorates the service of Australian soldiers.
Australian soldiers have fought as a national group in conflicts since the Second Boer War in South Africa. This memorial commemorates their continuing tradition of service, in war, conflict and peace operations.
The memorial was unveilled by the Governor-General of Australia, The Hon. Bill Hayden AC on 1 November 1989. Presented on behalf of the people of Australia: Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke AC.Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the Australian Military Forces. In 1980, however, the current name—Australian Army Reserve—was officially adopted, and it now consists of a number of components based around the level of commitment and training obligation that its members are required to meet.Captain (armed forces)
The army rank of captain (from the French capitaine) is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery (or United States Army cavalry troop or Commonwealth squadron). In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may also command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion.
In NATO countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 (lieutenant or first lieutenant) and one below an OF-3 (major or commandant). The rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field.
In some militaries, such as United States Army and Air Force and the British Army, captain is the entry-level rank for officer candidates possessing a professional degree, namely, most medical professionals (doctors, pharmacists, dentists) and lawyers. In the U.S.. Army, lawyers who are not already officers at captain rank or above enter as lieutenants during training, and are promoted to the rank of captain after completion of their training if they are in the active component, or after a certain amount of time, usually one year from their date of commission as a lieutenant, for the reserve components.
The rank of captain should not be confused with the naval rank of captain or with the UK-influenced air force rank of group captain, both of which are equivalent to the army rank of colonel.Chief of Army (Australia)
The Chief of Army is the most senior appointment in the Australian Army, responsible to both the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary, Department of Defence (SECDEF). The rank associated with the position is lieutenant general (3-star).
Lieutenant General Richard Burr, the incumbent Chief of Army, has held the post since 2 July 2018.Greta Army Camp
Greta Army Camp was an Australian army camp built in 1939 near Greta, New South Wales, Australia. It was used for training soldiers of the Second AIF (2AIF) during World War II. The Australian army sold the site at auction in 1980.
In November 1939, 2,930 acres (11.9 km2) of land was compulsorily acquired in the Allandale-Greta area to create one of the Australian Army's largest training camps. Built for the training of the 6th Division of the 2AIF because the existing Australian army facilities were occupied by Citizens Military Force units.The 2/11th Battalion arrived at the camp on 15 December 1939 and were later joined by the 2/10th Battalion. The camp facilities were expanded during the war, with two parts of the camp known as "Chocolate City", due to the brown-coloured oiled timber weatherboard buildings in that part of the camp and "Silver City", due to corrugated iron Nissen huts built in that part of the camp. Citizens Military Force units were also trained at the camp, with up to 60,000 Australian soldiers trained during World War II.
After the war, much of the field training areas were returned to grazing purposes, however the camp was required for the training of troops preparing to join the occupation forces in Japan. In 1949, Greta Camp was transferred to the Department of Immigration and until 1960 it was used as a reception and training centre for European migrants with over 100,000 immigrants passing through the centre. The Army resumed control of the camp in 1962 and, after being used intermittently for training exercises. It was sold at auction by the Australian army in 1980.Holsworthy Barracks
Holsworthy Barracks (ICAO: YSHW) is an Australian Army military barracks, located in Holsworthy approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the central business district, in south-western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The barracks is part of the Holsworthy military reserve, which is 22,000-hectare (54,000-acre) training area and artillery range for the Australian Army, established in the 1880s and been in active use since World War I. Following World War II it became a major base for the permanent component of the Australian Army in New South Wales. Activities carried out on the base include the use of firing ranges, chemical weapons testing, fire training, vehicle maintenance, and bulk chemical storage and distribution from numerous above ground and underground storage tanks.Following the movement of many units of the Regular Army to Darwin, Northern Territory, in the late 1990s many Army Reserve units were moved from other depots to Holsworthy Barracks, including the Headquarters of the 5th Brigade.The base is currently home to 142 Signal Squadron, 2nd Commando Regiment (2 Cdo Regt), 6th Aviation Regiment and the 1st Health Support Battalion (1 HSB). A number of training units and the Defence Force Correctional Establishment are also located at Holsworthy.List of Australian Army generals
The following is an incomplete list of Australian Army generals (i.e. a list of people who are or have been general officers in the Australian Army). For other senior ranking officers, see list of Australian Army brigadiers.List of equipment of the Australian Army
This is a list of the equipment currently used by the Australian Army.Major general (Australia)
Major general (abbreviated MAJGEN) is a senior rank of the Australian Army, and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of major general. It is the third-highest active rank of the Australian Army (the rank of field marshal not being held by any currently serving officer), and is considered to be equivalent to a two-star rank. A major general commands a division or the equivalent.
Major general is a higher rank than brigadier, but lower than lieutenant general. Major general is the equivalent of rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air vice marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force.The insignia for a major general is the star (or 'pip') of the Order of the Bath (despite membership of the Order no longer being awarded to Australians), above a crossed Mameluke sword and baton.Oakey Army Aviation Centre
Oakey Army Aviation Centre (IATA: OKY, ICAO: YBOK) is situated approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) from the town centre of Oakey in Queensland, Australia. It provides a training establishment for Australian Army Aviation, and also hosts a Singapore Armed Forces Helicopter Squadron, namely the 126 Squadron. The Defence name for the facility is Swartz Barracks, named for prominent politician, Army Aviation advocate, and ex-POW Sir Reginald Swartz.Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918
The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 is a 12-volume series covering Australian involvement in the First World War. The series was edited by C.E.W. Bean, who also wrote six of the volumes and was published between 1920 and 1942. The first seven volumes deal with the Australian Imperial Force while other volumes deal with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force at Rabaul, the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Flying Corps and the home front; the final volume is a photographic record.
Unlike other official histories which have been aimed at military staff, Bean intended the Australian history to be accessible to a non-military audience. The relatively small size of the Australian forces, enabled the history to be presented in great detail, giving accounts of individual actions that would not have been possible when covering a larger force. Bean devoted over 100 pages to the Battle of Fromelles, a relatively small action intended as a diversion during the Battle of the Somme, which lasted one night and involved the 5th Australian Division. Fromelles was also the first time that the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) saw action on the Western Front and was very costly for the Australians, with 5,533 men killed, wounded or captured.
Following the publication of the final volume, Bean compiled Anzac to Amiens, a condensed history in one volume aimed at the general public, which was published in 1946.Royal Australian Armoured Corps
The Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) is a corps of the Australian Army which provides the Australian Defence Force's armour capability. Armour combines firepower, mobility, protection and networked situational awareness to generate shock action and overmatch in close combat. Armour is an essential element of the combined arms approach that is employed by the Australian Army.
The RAAC has its origins in the Australian Tank Corps, which was formed in 1928. The Australian Armoured Corps was formed on 9 July 1941 to administer those personnel whose primary function is to operate, instruct or manage Army's Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV). As a result of the increasing mechanisation of the Army, the Armoured Corps absorbed the Australian Light Horse, Australia's Cavalry of World War One fame, on 8 May 1942. The Armoured Corps was granted the 'Royal' prefix in 1948 in recognition of its service during the Second World War.
Today the RAAC provides administrative support to its members who perform the function of mounted combat in the Army. It has four Regular Army units and five Army Reserve units. The RAAC is the senior arms corps within the Army and the custodian of the customs and traditions of Australia's mounted soldiers.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.Royal Australian Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, normally referred to as the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), is a Regiment of the Australian Army descended from the original colonial artillery units prior to Australia's federation. Australia's first guns were landed from HMS Sirius and a small earthen redoubt built, near the present day Macquarie Place, to command the approaches to Sydney Cove. The deployment of these guns represents the origins of artillery in Australia. These and subsequent defences, as well as field guns, were operated by marines and the soldiers of infantry regiments stationed in Australia. The first Royal Artillery unit arrived in Australia in 1856 and began a succession of gunner units which ended with the withdrawal of the imperial forces in 1870 resulting in the raising of the Victorian Artillery Corps in Melbourne in 1870 and the New South Wales Artillery in Sydney in 1871. The First World War saw the raising of 60 field, 20 howitzer and two siege batteries along with the heavy and medium trench mortar batteries. Until 19 September 1962 the Australian Artillery was referred to as the 'Royal Australian Artillery', however on this date HM Queen Elizabeth II granted the RAA the title of 'The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery'. The Regiment today consists of Regular and Reserve units.Royal Australian Corps of Military Police
The Royal Australian Corps of Military Police (RACMP) is a corps within the Australian Army. Previously known as the Australian Army Provost Corps, it was formed on 3 April 1916 as the ANZAC Provost Corps. It is responsible for battlefield traffic control, security duties, prisoner of war handling, the investigation of service offences, maintaining discipline and the running of military prisons. Its name was changed in 1918 and it was disbanded in 1920. The corps was reformed during World War II and was granted the 'Royal' prefix in 1948, adopting its current name on 4 September 1974. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall became the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police in November 2012.Royal Australian Engineers
The Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) is the Military engineering corps of the Australian Army (although the word corps does not appear in their name or on their badge). The RAE is ranked fourth in seniority of the corps of the Australian Army, behind the Staff Cadets, Armoured and Artillery Corps. The corps was formed by the amalgamation of the various colonial engineer corps of the states and territories of Australia in 1902 and since then has served in various conflicts including World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. The corps has also served on numerous peacekeeping operations and was heavily involved in the Australian contribution to the war in Afghanistan.Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon, also known simply as Duntroon, is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is located at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence headquarters at Russell Hill. It is comparable with the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Duntroon is adjacent to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), which is Australian Defence Force's tri-service military academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy.Second Australian Imperial Force
The Second Australian Imperial Force (Second, or 2nd, AIF) was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Under the Defence Act (1903), neither the part-time Militia nor the full-time Permanent Military Force (PMF) could serve outside Australia or its territories unless they volunteered to do so. The Second AIF fought against Nazi Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. After the war, Australia's wartime military structures were demobilised and the 2nd AIF was disbanded, although a small cadre of its personnel became part of the Interim Army that was established in 1947, and from which the Australian Regular Army was formed in 1948.