RMC Staff Cadets with Major General Stuart L. Smith, DSC, AM, Commander 1 Division.
RMC Staff Cadets with Major General Stuart L. Smith, DSC, AM, Commander 1 Division.

Learning the art of leadership with the Army

FOR many, embarking on a career in management involves studying a business degree at university, an MBA and then the painstaking task of finding a position as a management intern with years of waiting in line for the big opportunities to emerge.

During this time most can only hope they come across a boss or a mentor who can show them what it takes to be an effective leader, so that when the opportunity does arise, they can not only manage but lead in a manner that is people centric, inspiring and motivational to employees they lead in achieving results that are above and beyond those expected.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to learning to lead others but there are institutions teaching the art of leadership and inculcating its principles at the very core of its training, and defines the formative stages of career development.

A career as a General Service Officer in the Australian Army is one such career. 

At an average age of 25, young men and women are entrusted with the lives and welfare of 30 other young men immediately after completing their 18 months of Officer training at Royal Military College (RMC) at Duntroon in Canberra.

They are trained to lead, undertake tasks and make decisions that can risk life and limb in time sensitive, complex, high tempo scenarios.

More often than not they have millions of dollars' worth of high-tech, Commonwealth assets under their control. Few of their peers in corporate life would never have such responsibility in the formative stages of their careers.

Over time and with promotion the numbers of people they lead, the tasks they are assigned, the assets under their control and decisions they make, grow significantly in scale and responsibility.

The leadership skills that are taught are built on through training, on base, on exercise and on operations at home and overseas.

As a testimony to this, those that leave the Army go onto successful and rewarding careers in corporate and public life. Best Selling Author, Bradley Grieve and Retired Chief of Defence, Qantas Board Member and Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC are amongst some of the RMC Alumni.

Earlier this week, 26 young Queenslanders took their first steps to becoming Army's next cohort of leaders. At a ceremony at ANZAC Square, they were appointed as Staff Cadets and will begin 18 months of intensive training at RMC. Founded in 1911, RMC is one of Australia's finest leadership training institutions and its first graduates served on the Gallipoli peninsular.

Senior Military Recruiting Officer, Northern Region, Major Geoffrey Martin said that the adage that diamonds are formed under pressure is a good way to describe the training the newly minted Staff Cadets will experience.

"It is an environment where they will be constantly challenged, mentally and physically to sharpen their decision making, learn to trust their judgment and inspire their teams through exercises".

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in learning the art of leadership as a General Service Officer in the Australian Army, Defence Force Recruiting holds regular information sessions.

TO FIND OUT MORE. Royal Military College prides itself on assisting people realise their full potential. In 18 months at RMC, you'll learn military command, navigation, people management, coordination and other subjects, so when you graduate as an Army Officer, you're ready to lead. Call 13 19 01 or visit www.defencejobs.gov.au/rmc to find out more.