Our Traditions & Heritage

Through two World Wars, Malaya, Korea and Vietnam, and more recently Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Timor-Leste; Army personnel have made important contributions to defence and peacekeeping initiatives.

A proud heritage built on core values

Army officers and soldiers live the values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork. They are ordinary Australians who tackle extraordinary challenges.


Courage, moral and physical, to act in the best interests of the nation and the Army; including the moral strength and professionalism to balance the will to win with compassion, and mateship with duty.


Initiative to explore opportunities and embrace innovation to improve the Army and our service to our nation.


Respect for ourselves, our colleagues, our community and our history of service to the nation; acknowledging that each one of us has earned the right to wear the Rising Sun badge, and carries the responsibility to uphold the values and traditions it symbolises.


Teamwork to support each other, our Australian community, our allies and our regional security partners in striving to achieve our mission; in a world connected by digital communication, such national and international 'communities' exist in both physical and online domains.

Serving beneath theRisingSun

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 soldier that wears it carries on the proud tradition of service to the nation.

What we value in you

We expect every Australian soldier 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 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

Over a century of loyal service

The Australian Army can trace its roots back to the late nineteenth century. From Gallipoli and the Western Front in World War 1 to today's national defence initiatives, coalition missions and humanitarian operations, we share a proud tradition of service to Australia, our interests, and our allies.

1899 - 1902
Second Boer War
1914 - 1918
World War I
1939 - 1945
World War II
1950 - 1953
Korean War
1950 - 1960
Malayan Emergency
1962 - 1966
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation
1962 -1973
Vietnam War
2001 - 2014
2003 - 2009, 2014 - present
1999 - 2004, 2006 - 2013

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.