Develop a basic knowledge of 'On War' by Carl von Clausewitz

By Matt Brumley May 16, 2019


 Click here to download the lesson plan.

One of our aims at The Cove #BreakIn is to provide unit and sub unit leaders with some assistance in delivering their Professional Military Education (PME) programs. We know that units are extremely busy balancing a high operational tempo, corporate governance demands, and some occasional well deserved downtime. We know many people would love to dedicate more time to training and education pursuits, but it takes a lot of effort to prepare sessions when you have a million other priorities to attend to on your never ending 'to do' list.

There are units and individuals across Army that have volunteered a number of their basic lesson plans to The Cove to assist others. By providing these, we aim to reduce the overall preparation time needed for running unit PME sessions - so ideally, you can review the plan quickly, arrange resources if necessary, and then deliver (or delegate the lesson to a subordinate to deliver as a development opportunity) the lesson in a reduced time frame than if you were coming up with all the ideas from scratch by yourself. 

They are designed to generate discussion and debate within your sub-units or messes, not provide a set of 'answers'. This lesson plan comes courtesy of Matthew Brumley who has generously shared several lessons his team conducted during his time posted to the Land Warfare Centre. It aims to provide a basic knowledge of arguably one of the most famous military texts of all time. The lesson is focused on conducting a number of readings, then facilitating a group discussion on the key points. Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, the Cove is unable to directly give you copies of the excerpts provided in the references, so this one will require a little bit more lead time to get organized ahead of your scheduled lesson.

If you don't personally own copies of the references to use for the session, ask around your unit or base - there is a high chance someone has a copy locally you may be able to borrow (and potentially worth the investment for those with an interest in PME). Alternatively, the references are also available from the Defence Library Service (email: askalibrarian [at] ) so you can send them an email and they will arrange to send you the books so you can use them for your session. If you have unit-based PME lessons that you think will benefit others and you would like to share them with The Cove, please contact us at soldiercove [at]



Matt Brumley

Matt Brumley is an Infantry Officer with experience in command, staff, training and representational appointments. He has operational experience in East Timor, the Middle East and South Sudan.

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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