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Army Traditions

Today's Army carries on a tradition steeped in the core values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork. What binds these values together is an icon of Australian history - the Rising Sun Badge. While the Rising Sun has evolved over time, every soldier that wears it carries on the proud tradition of service to the nation.

Our officers and soldiers live the values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork. They're ordinary Australians who tackle extraordinary situations.

The Australian Army has an ethos of courage and toughness. Australian soldiers work as part of a team, and are inspired by the ANZAC tradition of fairness and loyalty to their mates. They are respected for their professionalism, integrity, initiative and esprit de corps.

The Army's core values


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 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 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.
Australian soldiers providing international relief

Esprit de corps is our ability to pull together in pursuit of a common purpose, often in the face of opposition.

What we value in you

An Australian soldier has a will to win, a dedication to duty, a great sense of honour and compassion, 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.


The Army has a number of time honoured traditions which survive today as a reminder of our rich history. They're important in building the Army's esprit de corps, the spirit of comradeship and commitment to a cause.

The salute is one such tradition in the Army. It remains today as a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect, belief and trust. The minute's silence to acknowledge departed comrades, Red Poppy Day and The Ode of Remembrance all serve to represent the sacrifices made by officers and soldiers in years past.


International Force East Timor (INTERFET) medal

Officers and soldiers that uphold the traditions and values of the Army have the opportunity to earn a range of medals, symbols of outstanding individual effort, or involvement in significant missions. Members who served for over 30 days in East Timor, when Australia led the movement to remove the occupying Indonesian power from the territory, received an International Force East Timor (INTERFET) medal. It features the dove of peace with an olive branch on one side, with the words TOGETHER AS ONE FOR PEACE IN EAST TIMOR.

Medals that reflect outstanding individual efforts include Australian Gallantry, Distinguished Service and Conspicuous Service Decorations. And of course there is Australia's most prestigious Gallantry Decoration, The Victoria Cross for Australia.

Australian soldiers wearing the Rising Sun Badge


Proudly worn in both World Wars, the Rising Sun Badge has become a part of the digger tradition and
ANZAC spirit.