|Founded||1 March 1901|
18,738 (Active Reserve)
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Commander-in-chief||General David Hurley|
(As Governor-General of Australia)
|Chief of the Defence Force||General Angus Campbell|
|Chief of Army||Lieutenant General Rick Burr|
|Deputy Chief of Army||Major General Anthony Rawlins|
|Commander Forces Command||Major General Chris Field|
|Australian Army flag|
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. Formed in 1901 through the amalgamation of the Australian colonial forces following federation, 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 Australia's history, only during the Second World War has Australian territory come under direct attack.
The history of the Australian Army can be divided into two periods, the 1901–47 period, 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 expeditionary forces (the First and Second Australian Imperial Forces) were formed to serve overseas.The second period, which was 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 (1914–18), the Second World War (1939–45), Korean 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.
Formed in March 1901, with the amalgamation of the six separate colonial military forces, following the Federation of Australia, it consisted of the former New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland, Western Australian, South Australian and Tasmanian armed forces. During this period the Second Boer War was still in full force. The Defence Act of 1903, established the operation and command structure of the Australian Army.
World War I
After the declaration of war on the Central Powers, the Australian Army raised the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) with an initial recruitment of 52,561 out of a promised 20,000 men. A smaller expeditionary force, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force was created to deal with the German Pacific colonial holdings; with recruitment beginning on the 10th of August 1914 and operations starting 10 days later. During preparations to depart Australia, the Ottoman Empire declared war and joined the Central Powers.
After initial recruitment and training, the AIF departed for Egypt where they underwent further preparations, and during this period the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was founded. Their deployment, training and reorganisation in Egypt were undertaken as preparations for the start of the invasion of the Ottoman Empire via the Gallipoli peninsula.
The invasion began in early 1915, with the AIF landing on 25 April, in what is now known as ANZAC Cove. It quickly devolved into trench warfare, with the ANZACs having little success, and a stalemate ensued. After eight months of fighting, the evacuation of Gallipoli commenced on 15 December 1915 and finished on 20 December 1915, with no casualties recorded.
After some training in Egypt and further action against the Ottoman Empire, the AIF was primarily split between Light Horse and infantry units. The later would go to the western front whereas the mounted units would stay in the Middle East to fight the Ottomans in Arabia.
The infantry units commenced operations on the western front with the Battle of the Somme.
World War II
Following the declaration of war on Germany and her allies by Britain, and the subsequent confirmation by Prime Minister Robert E. Menzies on 3 September 1939, the Australian Army raised the Second Australian Imperial Force, a 20,000 strong expeditionary force.
The initial force commenced its first operations in North Africa, and the war, with the Battle of Bardia. This was followed by the supply of Australian units to Greece to defend against the Axis forces, which ultimately failed and a fighting withdrawal was issued. The evacuation with Australian troops landed in Crete to defend against further aggression, which was more successful but still failed and another withdrawal was ordered. During this period the Allies were pushed back to Egypt and Tobruk came under siege by the Germans, with the primary defence personnel being Australians of the 9th Division; they lasted for 241 days.
Following the attack on Singapore, and the announcement of war with Japan, the militia was mobilised and the AIF was requested to return to Australia.
After the surrender of Japan, the Australian provided a contingent to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), with mainly volunteers from the 2nd AIF. The units they formed would eventually become the nucleus of the regular army.
Following the start of the Korean War, the Australian Army committed troops to fight against the North Korean forces. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) arrived in Pusan on 28 September 1950. Australian troops would continue to be deployed up until the armistice.
The Australian Army commenced its involvement in the Vietnam War by sending military advisors in 1962. This was then increased by bringing in combat troops, the 1st Battalion, RAR, on 27 May 1965.
Recent history (1999–present)
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 the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake in Aceh Province, Indonesia, Operation Sumatra Assist, ended on 24 March 2005.
Between April 2015 and June 2020, the Army deployed a 300-strong element to Iraq, designated as Task Group Taji, as part of Operation Okra. In support of a capacity building mission, Task Group Taji's main role was to provide training to Iraqi forces, during which Australian troops have served alongside counterparts from New Zealand.
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. The 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.
- 1 Brigade – Multi-role Combat Brigade based in Darwin and Adelaide.
- 3 Brigade – Multi-role Combat Brigade based in Townsville.
- 6 Brigade (CS&ISTAR) – Mixed brigade based in Sydney.
- 7 Brigade – Multi-role Combat Brigade based in Brisbane.
- 16 Aviation Brigade – Army Aviation brigade based in Enoggera, Brisbane.
- 17 Sustainment 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, NSW;
- Royal Military College, Duntroon in the ACT;
- Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal, Vic;
- Army Logistic Training Centre at Bonegilla, Vic and Bandiana, Vic; and
- Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey, QLD.
Under a restructuring program known as Plan Beersheba announced in late 2011, the 1st, 3rd and 7th Brigades were 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 the 1st Division Amphibious Task Group, which operates from the Navy's Canberra-class amphibious assault ships.
The Corps of the Australian Army are administrative branches of large numbers of soldiers grouped by a common purpose, which helps create espirit de corps.
In the Australian Army there are two functions for regiment, usually based on the unit's designation. The first function is primarily used by infantry, with each unit grouped depending on its operational status into either a regular army regiment or state based regiments. The other function is a battalion sized unit, which is used by armoured, artillery, engineer, signals and aviation units. However this does not include the Royal Australian Regiment of Artillery as it is an administrative corps.
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 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.
As of June 2018 the Army had a strength of 47,338 personnel: 29,994 permanent (regular) and 17,346 active reservists (part-time). In addition, the Standby Reserve has another 12,496 members (as of 2009). As of 2018, women make up 14.3% of the Army – well on track to reach its current goal of 15% by 2023. The number of women in the Australian military has increased dramatically since 2011 (10%), with the announcement that women would be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles by 2016.
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, 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:
- Recruit (REC/PTE (R)(ARES)) - OR-1 (Enlisted, yet to complete, or undergoing recruit training)
- Private (PTE) – OR-2
- Private Proficient (PTE(P)) Also used within the Private equivalent ranks – OR-3
- Lance Corporal or Lance Bombardier (LCPL or LBDR) – OR-4
- Corporal or Bombardier (CPL or BDR) – OR-5
- Sergeant (SGT) – OR-6
- Staff Sergeant (SSGT) – OR-7 (SSGT is being phased out of the Australian Army)
- Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) – OR-8
- 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-2
- Captain (CAPT) – OF-3
- Major (MAJ) – OF-4
- Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) – OF-5
- Colonel (COL) – OF-6
- Brigadier (BRIG) – OF-7. Like the United Kingdom, prior to 1922 Australia used the rank Brigadier General
- Major General (MAJGEN) – OF-8
- Lieutenant General (LTGEN) – OF-9
- General (GEN) – OF-10
- Field Marshal (FM) – OF-11. 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.
The Australian Army uniforms are grouped into nine categories, with additional variants of the uniform having alphabetical suffixes in descending order, which each ranges from ceremonial dress to general service and battle dress.The Slouch hat is the regular service and general duties hat, while the field hat is for use near combat scenarios. 
|Aircraft||Type||Versions||Number in service||Notes|
|Boeing CH-47 Chinook||Transport helicopter||
|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+||15||Delivery completed 22 November 2016 |
|Eurocopter Tiger||Attack helicopter||Tiger ARH||22||Delivery completed early July 2011. Achieved Final Operational Capability on 14 April 2016.|
|UH-60 Black Hawk||Utility helicopter||S-70A-9||20||Replaced by the MRH 90 in 2017 for utility and transport roles. 20 to be kept in operational service for special forces until the end of 2021 due to issues with MRH 90.|
|NHIndustries MRH-90 Taipan||Utility helicopter||TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter||47||47 in service (including 6 for Royal Australian Navy)|
Australian Army Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk
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 Army Journal
Since June 1948, the Australian Army has published its own journal titled the Australian Army Journal. The journal's first editor was Colonel Eustace Keogh, and initially, it was intended to assume the role that the Army Training Memoranda had filled during the Second World War, although its focus, purpose, and format has shifted over time. 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 as the Defence Force Journal began publication; however, publishing of the Australian Army Journal 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:
- A replacement for the Tiger ARH helicopter was identified in the 2016 Defence White Paper. The Army is set to retire the helicopter earlier than expected after encountering numerous issues with sustainment and serviceability rates. While the Tigers were initially supposed to get a $1–2 billion mid-life upgrade, a new type of helicopter—either manned, unmanned or a combination of both—is set to enter service from the mid 2020s.
- A new deployable short-range ground-based air defence missile system is slated to replace the RBS-70 MANPADS by the early 2020s.
- A new medium-range air defence system is also to be acquired in the late 2020s. The new system will help defend deployed airfields, command centres and other valuable assets from enemy air attack. The Army has lacked a medium-range air defence system capability since the Rapier's retirement in 2005.
- Land-based anti-ship missiles were outlined as a new requirement in the 2016 Defence White Paper to defend deployed forces as well as offshore assets such as oil and natural gas platforms.
- The Australian Government committed to improving the systems that individual soldiers use. Items outlined in the DWP include "weapons and targeting equipment, digital communications systems, body armour and self protection equipment (including for chemical, biological and radiological threats), and night fighting equipment."
- 1,100 Hawkei protected mobility vehicles are currently being procured at a cost of around $1.3 billion.
- The Bushmaster PMV is to be replaced beginning in 2025 by a new platform.
- Land 400 phase 2 replacement program is set to replace the existing 257 ASLAVs with 211 Boxers.
- Land 400 phase 3 replacement program is set to replace 431 M113AS3/4 APCs.
- To complement current artillery, a new class of long-range rocket artillery is to be introduced in the mid 2020s. The new system, yet to be named, will be able to provide fire support for troops at three hundred kilometres.
- A riverine patrol capability is to be re-established in 2022. The capability will be established around a fleet of small, lightly armed patrol vessels to allow access to a range of different environments.
- The Army has outlined a need for enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. With this, they plan to acquire a fleet of armed, medium-range unmanned aerial vehicles along with regular capability updates. They will provide enhanced firepower and ISR as well as a counter-terrorism ability overseas. They will also assist in humanitarian and relief missions.
- 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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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Australian Army.|
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|Royal Australian Air Force||OFFCDT||PLTOFF||FLGOFF||FLTLT||SQNLDR||WGCDR||GPCAPT||AIRCDRE||AVM||AIRMSHL||ACM||MRAAF|
|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|