Badge of the Australian Army
|Active||1 March 1901 – present|
14,166 (Active Reserve)
12,496 (Standby Reserve)
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Chief of the Defence Force||Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin|
|Chief of Army||Lieutenant General David Morrison|
|Deputy Chief of Army||Major General Gus Gilmore|
|Commander Forces Command||Major General Mick Slater|
|Australian Army flag|
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.
The history of the Australian Army can be divided into two periods:
- 1901–1947, when limits were set on the size of the regular Army, the vast majority of peacetime soldiers were in reserve units of the Citizens Military Force (also known as the CMF or Militia), and Australian Imperial Forces were formed to serve overseas, and
- Post-1947, when a standing peacetime regular infantry force was formed and the CMF (known as the Army Reserve after 1980) began to decline in importance.
During its history the Australian Army has fought in a number of major wars, including: Second Boer War (1899–1902), First World War (1914–1918), the Second World War (1939–1945), Korea War (1950–1953), Malayan Emergency (1950–1960), Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–1966), Vietnam War (1962–1973), and more recently in Afghanistan (2001 – present) and Iraq (2003–2009). 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 does not have any combat units permanently assigned.
- 1 Brigade – Mechanised brigade based in Darwin.
- 3 Brigade – Light-infantry brigade based in Townsville.
- 6 Brigade (CS&ISTAR) – Mixed brigade based in Sydney.
- 7 Brigade – Motorised brigade based in Brisbane.
- 16 Aviation Brigade – Army Aviation brigade based in Enoggera.
- 17 Combat Service Support Brigade – Logistic brigade based in Sydney.
- 2nd Division administers the reserve forces from its headquarters located in Sydney
Additionally, Forces Command includes the following training establishments:
- Army Recruit Training Centre at Kapooka;
- Royal Military College, Duntroon;
- Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal;
- Army Logistic Training Centre at Bonegilla and Bandiana; and
- Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey.
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 an Amphibious Ready Element and will utilise the former Royal Navy 16,000-tonne auxiliary Bay class landing ship RFA Largs Bay (L3006), bought for $100 million to become HMAS Choules.
Colours, standards and guidons
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 received 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 2010–11 financial year the Army had an average strength of 47,135 personnel: 30,235 permanent (regular) and 16,900 active reservists (part-time). In addition there are another 12,496 members of the Standby Reserve. The regular Army is targeted to expand to 31,000 personnel by 2014–15.
Rank and insignia
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 ranks, 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:
- Private (PTE) – OR-1
- Private Proficient (PTE(P)) Also used within the Private equivalent ranks – OR-2
- Lance Corporal or Lance Bombardier (LCPL or LBDR) – OR-3
- Corporal or Bombardier (CPL or BDR) – OR-4
- Sergeant (SGT) – OR-5
- Staff Sergeant (SSGT) – OR-6 (SSGT is being phased out of the Australian Army)
- Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) – OR-7
- Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) – OR-9
- Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) – OR-9 (This is an appointment rather than a rank)
- Second Lieutenant (2LT) – OF-1
- Lieutenant (LT) – OF-1
- Captain (CAPT) – OF-2
- Major (MAJ) – OF-3
- Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) – OF-4
- Colonel (COL) – OF-5
- Brigadier (BRIG) – OF-6. Like the United Kingdom, prior to 1922 Australia used the rank Brigadier General
- Major General (MAJGEN) – OF-7
- Lieutenant General (LTGEN) – OF-8
- General (GEN) – OF-9
- Field Marshal (FM) – OF-10. This rank is generally reserved for wartime and ceremonial purposes; there are no regular appointments to the rank. Sir Thomas Blamey is the only Australian-born officer promoted to the rank. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is currently the only living holder of the rank of Field Marshal in the Australian Army. The Duke, however, does not have any active role in the Australian command structure.
|Aircraft||Type||Versions||Number in service||Notes|
|OH-58 Kiowa||OH-58A Scout helicopter||206B||27 of 56 still in service||To be replaced by the Eurocopter Tiger.|
|Boeing CH-47 Chinook||Transport helicopter||CH-47D||7||One 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.|
|Eurocopter Tiger||Attack helicopter||Tiger ARH||22||Delivery completed early July 2011|
|Sikorsky S-70 Blackhawk||Utility helicopter||S-70A-9||35||Will be replaced by the MRH 90. To be reduced to 18 operational aircraft in 2014–15.|
|MRH 90||Utility helicopter||TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter||27(41)||27 in service as of March 2014. Total of 47 on order (including 6 for Royal Australian Navy)|
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.
- Australian Defence Force ranks and insignia
- List of Australian military memorials
- Conscription in Australia
- Australian military slang
- Battle and theatre honours of the Australian Army
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- Odgers, George (1988). Army Australia: An Illustrated History. Frenchs Forest: Child & Associates. ISBN 0-86777-061-9.
Media related to Australian Army at Wikimedia Commons
|Commissioned officer ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||Officer Cadet||O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7
|Royal Australian Navy||MIDN||ASLT||SBLT||LEUT||LCDR||CMDR||CAPT||CDRE||RADM||VADM||ADML||AF|
|Royal Australian Air Force||OFFCDT||PLTOFF||FLGOFF||FLTLT||SQNLDR||WGCDR||GPCAPT||AIRCDRE||AVM||AIRSMHL||ACM||MRAAF|
|Other ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||E-1||E-2||E-3||E-4||E-5||E-6||E-7||E-8||E-9||Special|
|Royal Australian Navy||RCT||SMN||AB||-||LS||PO||-||CPO||WO||WO-N|
|Royal Australian Air Force||RCT||AC/ACW||LAC/LACW||-||CPL||SGT||-||FSGT||WOFF||WOFF-AF|