Reading for War

Forces Command PME Program 2020-21 Schedule

By The Cove December 4, 2019

In line with the Commander Forces Command's guidance, the Forces Command PME Program 2020-21 schedule has been set.

Here is what's happening across the command during 2020-21. 

As PME activities are conducted, links to the activities and/or outcomes will be posted on The Cove.

April 2020 | 1 BDE - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on the impact of social media on future operations.

Like War, by P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking

P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking tackle the mind‑bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. They explore how ISIS copies the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, a former World of Warcraft addict foils war crimes thousands of miles away, internet trolls shape elections, and China uses a smartphone app to police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts?

May 2020 | 2 DIV - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on sub-unit offensive operations and the importance of junior leadership and a bias for action.


Pegasus Bridge, by Stephen E. Ambrose

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II.

Jun 2020 | RMC-A - Activity: Presentation by the book's author and professional discussion, to be recorded and uploaded to The Cove.


Duty Nobly Done: An extraordinary account of 11 family members in the Great War, by Adam Holloway 

This is the extraordinary true story of 11 young Australian men from one extended family and their experiences in the great adventure that would change their lives — the Great War.

Aug 2020 | 17 SUST BDE - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on logisitcs lessons learned in the Falklands War and the implications for the Australian Army.


Logistics in the Falklands War, by Kenneth L. Privratsky

While many books have been written on the Falklands War, this is the first to focus on the vital aspect of logistics. The challenges were huge; the lack of preparation time; the urgency; the huge distances involved; the need to requisition ships from trade to name but four.

Oct 2020 | 16 AVN BDE - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on the role of ethics in the profession of arms.


Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics, by Nathan K. Finney & Tyrell O. Mayfield

This edited collection examines the changing character of military professionalism and the role of ethics in the 21st-century military. The authors, who range from uniformed military to academics to non-uniformed professionals on the battlefield, delve into whether the concepts of Samuel Huntington, Morris Janowitz, and Sir John Hackett still apply, how training and continuing education play a role in defining a profession, and if a universal code of ethics is required for the military as a profession. Redefining the Modern Military puts a significant emphasis on individual agency for military professionalism as opposed to broad organisational or cultural change.

Dec 2020 | 7 BDE - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on the lessons from history in developing strategies for future warfare.


The Future of War: A History, by Lawrence Freedman

As Lawrence Freedman shows, the future of war has a past and a present. Ideas of war, strategies for warfare and its practice, and organising principles of war all have rich and varied origins which have shaped the minds of those who conceive the next war. Freedman shows how war can be studied systematically and empirically to provide a firm foundation for enlightened policy.

Feb 2021 | HQ FORCOMD - Activity: Aviation branch led activity in the SGT's Mess highlighting the importance of synchronising effects in time and space.


Fighting By Minutes, by Robert R. Leonard

This book argues that time is the primary dimension in modern war and explores the paradoxes of warfare's temporal characteristics. Leonhard introduces a bold new theory that focuses on time as the critical component that controls all other aspects of war. Well-grounded in history, Leonhard's work is certain to take its place as a classic theory of war according to James R. McDonough, who wrote the foreword. 

Apr 2021 | CATC - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on lessons in combined arms maneouvre from the Six Days War.


The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War, by Steven Pressfield

The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has amassed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab force’s objective is the destruction of Israel.” The rest of the world turns a blind eye to the new nation’s desperate peril.

Apr 2021 | ALTC - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on forming teams, peer support and preparing soldiers for transition from Defence.


Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger 

Sebastian Junger, the bestselling author of War and The Perfect Storm, takes a critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today’s returning veterans face in modern society.
May 2021 | DCSTC - Activity: Discussions and submission to the Cove on whether data could overthrow democracy and how data and AI could impact on future war, including the ethical and moral implications of these changes.


21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarised than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

DCSTC has also listed 2 videos to watch:

Why fascism is so tempting — and how your data could power it (Yuval Noah Harari | TED2018) 

Black Mirror S3E2 - Man Against Fire (Netflix)

Jun 2021 | 6 CS BDE - Activity: Discussion and submission to The Cove on the implications of Team of Teams on the concept of Time with Teams.


Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by Stanley McChrystal

In this book, McChrystal shows not only how the military made that transition, but also how similar shifts are possible in all organizations, from large companies to startups to charities to governments. In a turbulent world, the best organizations think and act like a team of teams, embracing small groups that combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share what they’ve learned.

Aug 2021 | AKC - Activity: Collective PME activity examining the role AI may play in future warfare.


Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, by Stuart Russell & Peter Norvig

For one or two-semester, undergraduate or graduate-level courses in Artificial Intelligence. The long-anticipated revision of this best-selling text offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the theory and practice of artificial intelligence.

Oct 2021 | 3 BDE - Activity: Photo essay by junior officers based on a battlefield tour in Nov 19 of the Beach Heads Campaign.


A Bastard of a Place: The Australians in Papua, by Peter Brune

The story of the five battles that changed Australia forever, this compelling narrative incorporates hundreds of interviews with the soldiers who fought at Kokoda, Milne Bay, Gona, Buna, and Sanananda in 1942 and 1943. Revealed are the very real and engaging experiences of Generals MacArthur and Blamey and other senior Australian commanders who sacrificed many of their senior field officers as scapegoats to protect their own positions, assisted in the making of false legends, and lied about the outcome of the men who fought the battles.

Dec 2021 | AAVNTC - Activity: An examination of the issues facing an Army in a counter-insurgency fight, including the implications of changes in the political and social environments likely to impact on future operartions.


Operation Banner: The British Army in Northern Ireland 1969 – 2007, by Nicholas van der Bijl

In summer 1969 the annual Loyalist marching season sparked violence in Londonderry which spread rapidly. After three days of violence the British Government deployed troops in support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Initially the Catholic community welcomed the Army’s presence but this was to change over the years. The first soldier was killed in 1971 and a further 48 died that year. January 30 1972 – Bloody Sunday – galvanized IRA recruitment and the British Embassy was burnt in Dublin. The Official IRA bombed Aldershot HQ of the Parachute Regiment and in August 1972 the Army launched Op MOTORMAN to clear No Go areas. Internment followed and the Province was firmly in the grip of sectarian violence. The next 30 years saw a remorseless counter-terrorist campaign which deeply affected the lives of all the people of Northern Ireland and several generation of the British Army.





The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

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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