Through two World Wars and service in countries such as Malaya, Korea, Vietnam, Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan; Army personnel have made important contributions to defence and peacekeeping initiatives.

The Defence Values

Personnel in each of the three services live the Defence Values, also known as ‘Our Values’ which underpin everything they do.


The selflessness of character to place the security and interests of our nation and its people ahead of my own.


The strength of character to say and do the right thing, always, especially in the face of adversity.


The humanity of character to value others and treat them with dignity.


The consistency of character to align my thoughts, words and actions to do what is right.


The willingness of character to strive each day to be the best I can be, both professionally and personally.

To live Our Values, our people will:
  • Act with purpose for Defence and the nation;
  • Be adaptable, innovative and agile;
  • Collaborate and be team-focused;
  • Be accountable and trustworthy;
  • Reflect, learn and improve; and
  • Be inclusive and value others.

Serving Beneath Serving Beneath
Serving beneath the Rising Sun

Our values are bound together by an icon of Australian history, the Rising Sun Badge. Proudly worn in both world wars, it has become a part of the digger legend and the ANZAC spirit.

While the Rising Sun has evolved over time, every person that wears it carries on the proud tradition of service to the nation.

What we value in you What we value in you
What we value in you

We expect every member of the Army to have a will to win, a dedication to duty, a great sense of honour and compassion, a belief in honesty and the benefits of mateship and teamwork, and a wealth of physical and moral courage. You are accountable for your actions and decisions and are asked to bring honour to Australia, the Army, your mates and yourself.

Traditions the transcend Traditions the transcend
Traditions that transcend generations

The Army has a number of time-honoured traditions that survive today as a reminder of our rich history. They are important in building the Army's esprit de corps, our spirit of comradeship, and our commitment to each cause, and include:

  • The salute, acting as both a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect, belief and trust.
  • The minute's silence to acknowledge departed comrades
  • Remembrance Day and The Ode of Remembrance honouring the sacrifices made by officers and soldiers in years past
  • The giving of medals to recognise outstanding individual effort or involvement in significant missions

Major conflicts in brief
  • 1899 - 1902 : Second Boer War
  • 1914 - 1918: World War 1
  • 1939 - 1945: World War II
  • 1950 - 1953: Korean War
  • 1950 - 1960: Malayan Emergency
  • 1962 - 1966: Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation
  • 1962 - 1973: Vietnam War
  • 2001 - 2014: Afghanistan
  • 2003 - 2009, 2014 - present: Iraq
  • 1999 - 2004, 2006 - 2013: Timor-Leste

Since 1947 the Army has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations, often under the auspices of the United Nations and other multinational forces. These include service in Timor-Leste, Bougainville, the Sinai, Israel, Lebanon, South Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia and in the Solomon Islands.