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Australian Army

Australia’s Army is an Army for the nation and an Army in the community. The Australian Army is one of the nation’s oldest and most trusted institutions. Army is embedded in Australia’s national story and has an enduring connection to community and country. The Australian Army is a national institution; a professional fighting force and a force for good.

Army’s mission is to prepare land forces in order to enable the Joint Force in peace and war. To achieve this mission, Army generates, structures, employs and postures teams to beready for domestic, regional and global tasks. These tasks include support to civil agencies, border protection, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counter-terrorism, counterproliferation, population protection, stability operations, recovery operations and evacuation operations.

Land power is the ability to project force on and from land, in peace and war, to achieve strategic and operational objectives. Land power functions cooperatively, competitively or in conflict with other states or groups. The military components of land power are soldiers, trained and equipped to work in teams and apply force in accordance with the Australian Defence Force’s values. The effectiveness of land power is highly dependent on the quality of the workforce and training system that develops the physical, moral and intellectual components of a nation’s soldiers and land forces.

Ports, airports and land that dominate air and sea lanes will be contested in crisis situations and conflict. Close combat is common in these terrains and Land forces will invariably be engaged first and often. Adversaries will conceal and protect themselves among people and buildings to negate the effects of standoff weapons. These operations demand protected, lethal capabilities; enhanced soldier systems; upgraded tanks; underarmour engineering; protected and mobile artillery; and combat reconnaissance and infantry fighting vehicles, as described in the 2020 Force Structure Plan. The network systems of these vehicles will connect them, and soldiers, to optionally crewed air, ground and subsurface vehicles, directed-energy weapons and active protection systems.

Throughout its history, Australia’s land forces have responded to a wide variety of tasks from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to peacekeeping and, ultimately, to combat operations. To equip the land forces to meet these challenges into the future, new investments are planned in strike weapons, watercraft, helicopters, information effects, logistics resilience and emerging robotics and autonomous systems.

These capabilities will increase the land force’s combat power, and give the Government more options to deploy the ADF in the more competitive environment Australia now faces, and is expected to face into the future. Australia’s land forces will be connected, protected, potent and enabled. Enhanced mobility, firepower, protection, and situational awareness will allow them to rapidly deploy where they are needed, achieve their missions, and return home safely. They will be better able to operate independently and to integrate with Australia’s partners and allies.

Army’s workforce is comprised of nearly 50,000 people, serving in many and different roles. Our people come from Australia’s diverse and multicultural communities. They are a uniformed and civilian, full-time and part-time, generalist and specialist workforce to achieve Army’s mission. Army is proud of our Indigenous soldiers. Their people are the traditional owners of the land and waters. Their ancestors have defended and cared for this land for millennia.

The soldier is at the heart of land force capability. The last decade of operations has seen substantial investment in equipping soldiers with leading-edge equipment to help them to achieve their missions. The Government will invest in a program for continuously improving the personal equipment soldiers use, including their weapons and targeting equipment, digital communications systems, body armour and self protection equipment (including for chemical, biological and radiological threats), and night fighting equipment.

Australia’s defence planning is focused on Australia’s immediate region; ranging from the north-eastern Indian Ocean, through maritime and mainland South East Asia to Papua New Guinea and the South West Pacific. Defence strategy prioritises strengthening Australia’s closest relationships, the Alliance with the United States in the region, and partnerships with Indonesia, Japan, India and the nations of the South West Pacific. 1.6 These priorities inform Army’s international engagement, training, and army-to-army dialogues. Engaging and training with other armed forces, providing presence and building capacity is fundamental to shaping the environment. Army’s posture in the region demonstrates that Australia is playing an active role in the region’s stability, security and sovereignty

Occasionally, the title "Royal Australian Army" appears in news reports. This is incorrect. It's simply "the Australian Army' or "Australian Army." The other mistake is the term "army officers". Unlike the police or emergency services, the correct term for army personnel is "soldiers." To call someone an "army officer" means they have commissioned rank (ie, Second Lieutenant though to General). So you'd have 2000 lieutenants, captains, majors, colonels etc, all gathered in Townsville. While this would no doubt make the junior ranks very happy, it's also highly unlikely. Use "soldiers."

Digger is a New Zealand and Australian military slang term for soldiers from New Zealand and Australia. It originated during World War I. There are numerous theories about the origin of the term. Before the war, the term "digger" had been widely used in Australasia to mean a miner, or a Kauri gum-digger in New Zealand. W.H.Downing, in Digger Dialects (1919), a glossary of words and phrases used by Australian personnel during the war, says that Digger was first used to mean a New Zealand or Australian soldier in 1916. It appears to have become popular among New Zealand troops, before being adopted by Australians. While New Zealanders would call each other "Digger", all other nationalities, including Australians, tended to call them "Kiwis". The equivalent slang for a British soldier was "Tommy" from Tommy Atkins. However, while the Anzacs would happily refer to themselves as "Diggers", British soldiers generally resented being called "Tommy". Throughout Australia when one refers to "digger", one is referring to the Australian Army.

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