Looking Forward Looking Back
Customs and Traditions of the Australian Army
By: Christopher Jobson
View Book Review by Launceston Examiner
of 25 July 2009
“Every Army marches to the tune of
its customs and traditions. The customs and traditions
of the Australian Army reflect the often glorious
legacies that define the Army of today. They are visible
acknowledgements of the history that has shaped the
character, the values and the pride of Australia’s
modern Army and those who serve in its ranks.”
Lieutenant General D.J. Hurley, AO,
DSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force
Looking Forward, Looking Back – Customs and Traditions
of the Australian Army explores the Australian Army’s
rich and proud history. Our Army’s customs and
traditions are far from static; they are dynamic as they
evolve and adapt just like the Army itself. More than
anything, they instill a strong
sense of belonging in our Diggers. The teamwork, pride,
discipline and respect of the past continue to inspire
our present modern day Army.
The Australian Army boasts a broad variety of
traditions, some of which belong to the Service as a
whole, others to a particular corps, regiment or rank.
These customs and traditions vary: some are solemn,
others are humorous and still others incorporate the
rules of social etiquette, manners and style.
Many of the Australian Army’s customs and traditions are
derived from the battle tactics and fighting attire of
old. Some of the drill movements seen on today’s parade
ground, for example, were originally practiced by
soldiers in battle. Various parts of the Aussie
soldier’s uniform had practical uses in combat and some
customs retain their original use as they did hundreds
of years ago.
While the ever-changing modern military environment
means that soldiers continue to look forward, looking
back to the Australian Army’s customs and traditions
serves as a constant and reassuring reminder of past
victories and how far we have traveled so far.
Looking Back, will ensure that some of the military
heritage that created the foundations of the fighting
force of today is not lost over time.