A custom is a practice, a mode of behaviour or a particular way of acting in a given set of circumstances; a tradition is the passing down over time of a custom. Today’s soldiers proudly carry on the customs of the Australian Army.



Aiguillettes are gilded cords ending in gold metal tagged points, and are worn by officers to distinguish special and senior appointments.

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An Australian Army soldier salutes at an ANZAC Day dawn service.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

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Australian Army soldiers await to man weapons at the 21 gun salute on the Shrine of Remembrance.

Australia Day

On 26 January each year, Australians come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about our country, and to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of.

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The Broad Arrow

The Broad Arrow

One of the oldest symbols of Government and/or Ordnance is the mark of the ‘Broad Arrow’.

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Catafalque Party

Catafalque Party

A catafalque is a raised structure supporting a stand that usually holds a coffin to allow mourners to file past and pay their last respects. A watch or catafalque party was traditionally mounted around the coffin to ensure the safety of the body while it lay in state.

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Royal Military College Duntroon colours

Colours, Standards, Guidons and Banners

There are four distinctive forms of Honourable Insignia currently in use by the Australian Army.

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ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, 2011.

Dawn Service

The Dawn Service observed on Anzac Day has its origins in a military routine that is still followed by the Australian Army today.

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Private Emmett from Australia's Federation Guard pays her respects to the grave of an Australian soldier.

For the fallen

In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem designed to help the listener understand the experiences of service people and their relatives in wartime.

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Gorget Patch worn by a Lieutenant General.

Gorget Patches

Generals, Brigadiers and Colonels wear gorget patches, known colloquially as red tabs, on the collar.

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Normandy American Cemetary and Memorial at Omaha Beach, France

In Flanders Fields

In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem designed to help the listener understand the experiences of service people and their relatives in wartime.

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Scarlet lanyard over a shoulder.


The practice of wearing lanyards, of various colours, on the right shoulder, applies to all members of the Australian Army except for Infantry Corps units and ‘A’ Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery who wear their lanyards on the left shoulder. Officer ranks Colonel and above and senior Regimental Sergeants Major do not wear lanyards.

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Military personnel salute as the Last Post is sounded at Multi National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.

The Last Post

The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day.

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CPL Roberts-Smith, VC, MG recites the Ode.

The Ode

In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem. One traditional recitation on Anzac Day is the Ode.

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The pace stick

The Pace Stick

The Pace Stick was used by Field Gun Teams to ensure correct distances between the guns on the battlefield, thus ensuring the appropriate effective fire. Regimental Sergeants Major carry a Pace Stick as a symbol of their appointment.

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The Royal Military College Duntroon Parade Ground

The Parade Ground

Parade grounds represent and are symbolic of the sanctuary of a unit’s fallen soldiers. It is deemed Hallowed Ground, soaked with the blood of the fallen, and the area is respected as such.

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The Roll of Honour

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day in Australia is an occasion to commemorate and remember all Australians who have died as a result of war.

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Australian troops wearing the Remembrance Day poppy.

The Red Poppy

The Red Poppy has special significance for Australians and is worn on Remembrance Day each year.

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The Hutton Trophy

The Rising Sun Badge

Proudly worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Force in both World Wars, the 'Rising Sun' badge has become an integral part of the digger tradition. The distinctive shape of the badge, worn on the upturned side of a slouch hat, is commonly identified with the spirit of ANZAC.

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The Rouse and the Reveille

The Rouse and Reveille are bugle calls played to signify different parts of the day. They are often played at commemorative events and military funerals.

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Corporal Skott Kendrich-Ward from the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor salutes during the Last Post played at the 2010 Remembrance Day service held at Camp Phoenix in Dili

The Salute

Saluting is a military custom by which a soldier signals acknowledgement of the due respect to a superior rank.

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Sam Browne belt.

The Sam Browne belt

The Sam Browne belt is named after Sir Samuel James Browne, VC.

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SIG Farryl Stewart part of the Catafalque Party at the General Salute with members of the International Stabilisation Force formed up behind.

The significance of Silence

Silence for one or two minutes is included in ANZAC and Remembrance Day ceremonies as a sign of respect and a time for reflection.

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Slouch Hat

The Slouch Hat

The slouch hat is an object strongly associated with Australian identity.

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LTGEN Morrison inspects a parade.

The Sword

Today’s swords are facsimiles of the functional weapons of the past and are essentially a ceremonial weapon.

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Victoria Cross recipients

Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is the pre-eminent award for acts of bravery in wartime and is Australia's highest military honour.

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