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Portal:Military of Australia

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The Military of Australia Portal

The RAN Ensign
The flag of Australia
The RAAF Ensign

The Military of Australia, officially known as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) since 1976, consists of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The Australian Department of Defence administers the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) which consists of the ADF and the civilian personnel supporting the ADF. Approximately 58,000 men and women serve in the ADF with another 23,000 serving in the three reserve components.

The ADF is constituted under the Executive Government sections of the Australian Constitution, Section 68, that says, "The command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor-General as the Queen's representative." In practice, the control of the ADF is, politically, vested in the Minister for Defence and several subordinate ministers. The Minister acts on most matters alone, however, important matters are considered by the National Security Committee of Cabinet. The Minister then advises the Governor-General who acts as advised in the normal form of executive government. The current Chief of the Australian Defence Force is Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

The Military history of Australia covers a period of around 220 years starting with the colonisation of Australia by the British in 1788. Australians have fought in nearly every major war of the 20th Century including the Second Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War as well as numerous UN peace-keeping missions and Coalition-based operations including those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Selected article

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest recognition for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces of any rank in any service, and civilians under military command. It is also the highest military award in the British honours system. The decoration is a cross pattée, 1.375 inches (35 mm) wide, bearing a crown surmounted by a lion, and the inscription "FOR VALOUR". This was originally to have been "FOR BRAVERY", until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria, who thought some might erroneously consider that only the recipients of the VC were brave in battle. The decoration, suspension bar and link weigh about 0.87 troy ounces (27 g). In total 96 Australians have been awarded the Victoria Cross the first being awarded during the Second Boer War and the most recent during the Vietnam War.

Selected picture

Engineers Tarakan (AWM 090906).jpg

Photo credit: Australian War Memorial collection database
Engineers attached to the 26th Brigade rest after attempting to clear obstacles during the brigade's landing at Tarakan Island in May 1945.

Selected quote

"Should the worst happen Australia would rally to the Mother Country to help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling"

Andrew Fisher, Opposition Leader of Australia at the outbreak of World War I

Selected anniversaries

June 24

Did you know...

AV2767 Crusader in 1945

New articles


  • 8 November, 2010 – The Spitfire flown by and remains of Flight Lieutenant Henry Lacy Smith have been found in Normandy. He was killed after being shot down five days after D-Day during World War II.Read more...
  • 16 March, 2010 – The remains of Special Air Service Patrolman Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson and Private Robert Moncrieff have been found after being missing in action since 1966 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.Read more...
  • 18 February, 2010 – An Australian Defence Force inquiry has backed navy seamen who saved their colleagues before asylum seekers when a boat exploded near Ashmore Reef last year. Read more...
  • 13 February, 2010 – Japan, Australia To Sign Military Logistics Pact-Nikkei. Read more...
  • 30 July, 2009 – The remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, missing in action (MIA) in Vietnam have been found. They were the last Australian MIA in Vietnam. Read more...
  • 16 January, 2009 – Trooper Mark Donaldson is awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia following his actions in Afghanistan on 2 September 2008. Read more...

Selected biography

Alfred John Shout at Quinns Post.jpg

Alfred John Shout VC, MC born in Trentham, New Zealand (7 August 1881 – 11 August 1915). Following service in the Second Boer War, Shout emigrated to Australia in 1907, joined the 29th Infantry Regiment and was commissioned as second lieutenant on 16 June 1914. Shout was the most highly decorated Australian of the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915, being awarded the Military Cross during the landing at Anzac Cove in April and receiving the Victoria Cross posthumously during the Battle of Lone Pine in August. He was also Mentioned in Despatches twice.

Daily unit

Members of the 2/5th Armoured Regiment with a M3 Grant tank

The 2/5th Armoured Regiment was an Australian Army armoured regiment of World War II. The Regiment was formed in July 1941 as part of the 1st Armoured Division. The Regiment was equipped with Universal Carriers for training purposes until it received M3 Grant medium tanks in May 1942. The Regiment survived the 1st Armoured Division's disbandment in September 1943 and became part of the 4th Armoured Brigade in March 1944. Although the Regiment was selected to deploy to New Guinea and Borneo in 1942 and 1945 respectively, it was replaced by other units on both occasions and was disbanded in September 1945 without seeing action.

Selected equipment

A Royal Australian Air Force Boeing Wedgetail

The Boeing Wedgetail is an aircraft developed to meet Australian specifications for an Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force has ordered six Wedgetails and the aircraft are currently scheduled to enter service in 2009. The aircraft has also been selected by the Turkish Air Force and has been proposed to Italy and South Korea.


Major topics

Army • History
Armoured Units, Army Aviation, Corps, First Australian Imperial Force, Second Australian Imperial Force, Brigades, Cadets, Royal Military College, Enlisted Ranks, Memorial, Officer Ranks, RAR, Regiments, Senior Officers, Regional Surveillance Units, Structure, VC Recipients, Weapons

RAN • History
Admiral of the Fleet, Bases, Cadets, Clearance Divers, Current Ships, Fleet Air Arm, Future, Historic ships, HMAS, Memorial, Patrol Boat Group, Persian Gulf Operations, RANVR, Reserve, Ship classes, Silent Service, WRANS

RAAF • History
Aircraft, Airfield Defence Guards, Bases, Chief of Air Force, Flights, First Tactical Air Force, Ranks, Roulettes, Squadrons, Structure

Special Forces
1st Commando Regiment, 2nd Commando Regiment, 171st Squadron, 200 Flight, Coastwatchers, Special Operations Engineer Regiment, SASR, SOCOMD, Tactical Assault Group, WWII Commando companies, Z Special Unit

Featured, A-Class and Good content

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Featured articles: 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collisionAdmiralty Islands campaignAdrian Cole (RAAF officer)AHS CentaurAlan McNicollAlexander PentlandAlister MurdochAllan WaltersArthur Henry CobbyAttack on Sydney HarbourAustralian contribution to the Battle of NormandyAustralian Defence ForceAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of AraweBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of BardiaBattle of the Bismarck SeaBattle of Cape EsperanceBattle of GreeceBattle of Milne BayBattle of KaiapitBattle of MorotaiBattle of Rennell IslandBattle of Savo IslandBattle of SioBattle of TassafarongaBattle of Tulagi and Gavutu-TanambogoBattle of the Eastern SolomonsBlack Friday (1945)Blair Anderson WarkBobby GibbesBrian EatonBruce KingsburyCedric HowellCharles Eaton (RAAF officer)Colin HannahConvoy GP55David Evans (RAAF officer)Edgar TownerEdmund HerringEllis WackettElwyn Roy KingFrank BerrymanFrank BladinFrank HeadlamFrank Hubert McNamaraFrederick SchergerGarnet MalleyGeorge Jones (RAAF officer)Guadalcanal CampaignHarry ChauvelHarry MurrayHector WallerHenry Burrell (admiral)Henry Wells (general)Henry WrigleyHMAS Melbourne (R21)HMS Nairana (1917)Ian Dougald McLachlanInvasion of Tulagi (May 1942)Issy SmithIven MackayJames NewlandJames Rowland (RAAF officer)James Whiteside McCayJerry PentlandJoe Hewitt (RAAF officer)John BalmerJohn Francis JacksonJohn LerewJohn Lloyd WaddyJohn McCauleyJohn Treloar (museum administrator)John Wilton (general)John WhittleLanding at NadzabLes HoldenLester BrainList of Australian George Cross recipientsList of Australian Victoria Cross recipientsLockheed C-130 Hercules in Australian serviceMcDonnell Douglas A-4G SkyhawkMcDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in Australian serviceMcDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in Australian serviceMichael WoodruffMilitary history of Australia during World War IIMorotai MutinyNaval Battle of GuadalcanalNeil Hamilton FairleyNicky BarrNo. 1 Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Squadron RAAFNo. 1 Wing RAAFNo. 2 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 33 Squadron RAAFNo. 34 Squadron RAAFNo. 36 Squadron RAAFNo. 450 Squadron RAAFNo. 77 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Squadron RAAFNo. 90 Wing RAAFOperation KitaOswald WattOtto BecherPaterson Clarence HughesPeter Jeffrey (RAAF officer)Raymond BrownellReg Pollard (general)Reg SaundersRichard Williams (RAAF officer)Roderic DallasRoy DowlingRoy PhillippsSingapore strategyShrine of RemembranceStanley GobleStanley SavigeThomas Baker (aviator)Thomas BlameyTom DerrickValston HancockVictoria Cross for AustraliaWalter PeelerWilliam BostockWilliam BrillWilliam Ellis NewtonWilliam Hely

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A Class: 2/18th Battalion (Australia)Admiralty Islands campaignAir Combat Group RAAFAlan CharlesworthAustralian Army during World War IIAustralian light destroyer projectBattle of Bita PakaBattle of KaiapitBattle of KapyongBattle of Slater's KnollBattle of WauBoeing C-17 Globemaster III in Australian serviceCentral Flying School RAAFClare StevensonClarence Smith JeffriesEric Harrison (RAAF officer)First Battle of Maryang SanFrank BerrymanFrank BladinFrank LukisGeorge Alan VaseyGeorge Julian HowellGeorge IngramGeorge MackinoltyBattle of Goodenough IslandHenry PetreHenry WrigleyHippolyte De La RueHorace RobertsonJohn NorthcottJoseph MaxwellLanding at SaidorLeslie MorsheadLewis McGeeNo. 78 Wing RAAFNo. 81 Wing RAAFNo. 82 Wing RAAFNo. 84 Wing RAAFNo. 86 Wing RAAFOperation BrevityOperation CoburgOperation CrimpOrdnance QF 25-pounder ShortPercy Herbert CherryPercy StattonRoy BurstonRupert DownesSamuel BurstonSouth West Pacific Area (command)Sydney RowellTeddy SheeanTet OffensiveVernon SturdeeWilfred ArthurWilliam Anderson (RAAF officer)William McAloney

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Good articles: 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collision12th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)14th/32nd Battalion (Australia)1st Armoured Regiment (Australia)1st Parachute Battalion (Australia)2/14th Battalion (Australia)2/18th Battalion (Australia)2/31st Battalion (Australia)2/48th Battalion (Australia)2/9th Battalion (Australia)23rd Battalion (Australia)27th Battalion (Australia)29th Battalion (Australia)2nd Battalion (Australia)31st/51st Battalion (Australia)3rd Division (Australia)6th Battalion (Australia)61st Battalion (Australia)7th Battalion (Australia)Arthur William MurphyAustralian Army ReserveAustralian Army ship Crusader (AV 2767)Battle of AmiensBattle of Chongju (1950)Battle of Coral–BalmoralBattle of FranceBattle of Gang ToiBattle of the Hongorai RiverBattle of KranjiBattle of KujinBattle of Lone PineBattle of Long KhanhBattle of PakchonBattle of Porton PlantationBattle of the Samichon RiverBattle of SattelbergBattle of Sungei KoembaBattle of Suoi Bong TrangBattle of Suoi Chau PhaBattle of YongjuBritish nuclear tests at MaralingaCharles CrombieCharles Read (RAAF officer)Charles ScherfDave ShannonDemobilisation of the Australian military after World War IIErnest Albert CoreyFrederick BirksGeneral Dynamics F-111CGerman attacks on NauruGordon SteegeHistory of the Royal Australian NavyHMAS Sydney (1934)Hobart coastal defencesHughie EdwardsHuon Peninsula campaignJohn Hines (Australian soldier)Len WatersLes ClisbyLeslie Douglas JacksonMary Bell (aviator)Military history of AustraliaMilitary history of Australia during World War INeville McNamaraNigel CullenNo. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAFNo. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Long Range Flight RAAFNo. 1 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 38 Squadron RAAFNo. 457 Squadron RAAFNo. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAFNo. 6 Squadron RAAFNo. 71 Wing RAAFNo. 72 Wing RAAFNo. 73 Wing RAAFNo. 75 Squadron RAAFNo. 76 Wing RAAFNo. 77 Wing RAAFNo. 78 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Wing RAAFNo. 8 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 80 Wing RAAFOperation BribiePeter IsaacsonPeter RawPeter Roy Maxwell DrummondPeter Turnbull (RAAF officer)Richard MinifieRobert A. LittleRussell FoskettSecond Battle of PasschendaeleSelarang Barracks IncidentStuart Clarence GrahamVirgil BrennanWilfrid Kent HughesAustralian contribution to the Allied Intervention in Russia 1918–1919


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