Defining the Contemporary Veteran

By Claire O'Neill May 13, 2019


"Today is Anzac Day, the day of the ‘exceptional digger’and time to reflect on wars past. It is a curious day for those of us with recent operational experience as our part in Anzac Day commemorations is yet to be precisely defined."

In this article, at Grounded Curiosity, Claire ponders her own understanding of the word 'veteran'. Not the literal definition, but the stereotype image she grew up with; that of rugged men muddied in trenches; the history book ideal of toughness, resilience and bashful courage; the image of both her grandfathers who served during Word War Two.

She suggests that the qualities of the contemporary veteran — qualities of mateship, resilience and courage are founded on the spirit of the Anzacs; and it is with this foundation and remembrance that contemporary veterans must define their own image.



Claire O'Neill

Claire O'Neil is the founder of Grounded Curiosity. a PME website that encourages the sharing of thoughts and ideas on the profession of arms. She is currently serving as the Deputy Director of Joint Concepts.  

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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