National Defence Strategy message from Chief of Army

18 April 2024


One year ago the Australian government published the Defence Strategic Review, directing a profound shift in the Australian Defence Force from a balanced to a focussed force, and from a joint force to an integrated force.

It directed significant reform to meet Australia’s complex and challenging security environment.

This direction is clear on Army’s purpose. We must adapt our Army for littoral operations by air, sea and land from Australia, and to build a world-class long-range fires capability.  And that is exactly what we have been doing.

We have achieved a remarkable amount in just twelve months. We have:

  • Reorganised our higher command and control to train as we would fight.
  • Strengthened Forces Command’s ability to generate well trained soldiers and teams.
  • Re-focussed the roles of our combat brigades and begun consolidating them in northern Australia.
  • Focussed the 2nd Australian Division on Australia’s domestic security and resilience.
  • Expanded the transformation of our world-class battlefield aviation capability; and,
  • Raised the 10th Brigade in Adelaide to introduce long-range and air defence missile systems that will significantly enhance the support that our Army can provide to our joint team mates.

Alongside all of this you have done profound work to rebuild our combat readiness; a task that continues every day.

I am really proud of the way you have focussed to implement these tasks. Faithfully and with quiet determination.

The National Defence Strategy is the next milestone in our evolution.

It confirms our direction of travel and the path we laid out in September last year, which is now formalised in our plans and orders.

Looking ahead, we will continue to adapt our structures to provide the Army’s contribution to the integrated force.

The most impactful changes remain ahead of us – including the introduction of new capabilities that will fundamentally change how we operate as a fighting force.

We are undertaking the largest re-capitalisation of Army’s equipment in our history.

This includes long-range strike weapons, advanced air and missile defence systems, proven battlefield aviation platforms, world-class armoured vehicle systems, and, the largest and most capable landing craft we've operated in our history.

We are on a pathway to becoming a littoral fighting force that matches the threats of the future, and is designed to fight and to win in our unique geography. We are experts in land combat and each of us has a role to play.

My priorities for all of us remains unchanged.  Build trust.  Build and maintain readiness.  Be good stewards of our resources.  And tell the amazing story of our people and our Army.

Adaptation is a constant requirement if we are to succeed in our mission.  The National Defence Strategy will be published every two years, guiding the adaptation required to defend Australia.  

Our Army's next aim point is Exercise Talisman Sabre 2025, where we will demonstrate just how far we have come, and the Army that we are becoming.

Thank you to you and your families for all that you do.

I am incredibly proud to be part of our Army.

An Army in the community and an Army for the nation.