Ted Serong

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Francis Philip "Ted" Serong
Born 11 November 1915
Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia
Died 1 October 2002(2002-10-01) (aged 86)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Allegiance Australia Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1937–1968
Rank Brigadier
Commands held Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
Battles/wars Second World War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Brigadier Francis Philip "Ted" Serong DSO, OBE (11 November 1915 – 1 October 2002) was a senior officer of the Australian Army, most notable for his contributions to counter-insurgency and jungle warfare tactics, and as commander of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam from 1962 until 1965.


Serong was born in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford on 11 November 1915, the first son of William and Mabel Serong. He won a scholarship to St Kevin's College and then attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He graduated from Duntroon in 1937, serving with the artillery, then with an armoured regiment until. He joined the infantry and saw combat as a staff and regimental officer with the 6th Division in New Guinea, 1942–45.

As a colonel, he headed the newly reopened Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Canungra, in south-eastern Queensland.

In 1957 he became counter-insurgency instructor to the Burmese armed forces. From 1960–62 he was strategic adviser to the Burmese armed forces.[1]

In 1962 he was selected to lead the Australian Army instructors team in Vietnam.[2]

Serong left the Australian Army in 1968 with the rank of Brigadier. He stayed on in Vietnam as a security and intelligence adviser to the South Vietnamese Government for some years. He also prepared strategic analyses for the Rand organisation, the Hudson Institute and other US corporations and was a consultant to the Pentagon. In 1971 Serong declared that South Vietnam had essentially won the war.[3][4]

Serong served in Vietnam until the fall of Saigon.[5]


During his retirement, Serong became involved in various anti-communist organisations and citizen militia groups such as Ausi Freedom Scouts (Australians United for Survival and Freedom). He supported conspiracy theories about the Port Arthur massacre of 1996 and spoke on Australian defence issues.[6]


Serong had a wife, Kathleen, three daughters, Julie, Elise and Rosemary, and three sons, Michael, Richard and Anthony. He died of heart disease.[7]


  1. ^ "Burma gets another message of disapproval.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 23 February 1992. p. 10. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "AUSTRALIAN INITIATIVE.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 31 December 1965. p. 2. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hanoi's initiative in south lost: Brigadier.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 4 February 1971. p. 8. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "FEATURES BOOKS SATIRE WRITER'S WORLD Australian player in the Great Game.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 6 February 1971. p. 11. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Brigadier who wanted to fight on.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 31 May 1975. p. 1. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  6. ^ John Farquarson "Counter-insurgency jungle warrior", Sydney Morning Herald 12 November 2002 accessed 3 December 2014
  7. ^ John Farquharson, 'Serong, Francis Philip (Ted) (1915–2002)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/serong-francis-philip-ted-901/text902, accessed 4 December 2014.

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