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Integrated Campaigning - Part 2

Developing Our People for Integrated Campaigning

The author acknowledges the efforts, analysis, and assistance of Commander Jorge McKee and Lieutenant Colonel Uliano Polatos. Both officers significantly contributed to, and directly provided, the ideas and analysis that supports this article.

Nick Bosio offers What it looks like Tactically, Operationally, and Strategically in Part 1 of Integrated Campaigning.

LT Misty Evans (31/42 RQR) briefs QPS and QFES personnel on ADF search activity.

what people think cannot be separated from the question of how they think.

Azar Gat, A History of Military Thought[i]


What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.

C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew[ii]

The analysis within Integrated Campaigning presents a range of deductions that will drive the ADF’s future thinking, planning, posture, training, and career management. The capstone concept highlights the need for deliberate and sustained efforts across three integration dimensions: the human, procedural, and technical.[iii] As argued in a previous article, Integrated Campaigning has an underlying thread of logic that guides how Australian military professionals should think about and solve problems.[iv] This logic states that military professionals must have a habit-of-mind that maintains an open mind, understands the opinions and cultures of other groups, and revises one’s own views based on this understanding.[v] Although this habit-of-mind appears simple, scholarly work indicates such a habit is difficult to grow and requires effort to sustain.[vi] Therefore, the question that should be asked is: how does Defence build this habit-of-mind?

This article presents five character traits that the ADF will need to nurture and build to achieve Integrated Campaigning. These traits are leveraged from the discussion on how Integrated Campaigning manifests at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.[vii] First, the article outlines why developing people is the start point for Integrating Campaigning. Then, the article steps through each trait in turn: values, empathy, curiosity, expertise, and broad experiences. For each trait, the article outlines what is expected and provides some guidance as to how the ADF may help to further develop the trait.

The ADF as an Institution: The Key Ingredients to Institutional Success

The following is a summary of the analysis and deductions made by Polatos. The author cites Polatos as the originator.

As previously outlined, Integrated Campaigning is both a mindset and an explicit evolution of how the ADF supports the national interest. The concept requires ADF personnel to be brilliant at their role, work well with partners and other agencies, understand how they support the national interest, and actively meld Australia’s interests with that of partners. Integrated Campaigning also makes clear the need for Defence to be ‘always on’ throughout cooperation, competition, and conflict.[viii] To achieve this, Integrated Campaigning makes explicit some cultural and institutional qualities required to overcome future challenges. These deductions guide how the ADF should direct its future development.

As an institution, the ADF, and Defence as a whole, is made up of four key elements: ideas, people, materiel, and time. All institutions comprise of these same basic ingredients; be they institutions of education, commerce, professional standards, or government services. However, how these ingredients come together, and the importance given to each, is driven by two factors. The first is the institution’s purpose. The second is the changing environment that the institution resides in. Institutions select people that relate to, or support, their purpose. These people generate ideas, based on the institution’s intent and changing environmental context. Ideas then direct how materials will be used to serve the institution’s purpose. Through such efforts, institutions further strengthen the qualities they seek in their people, which in turn drives further ideas and materiel use. Yet, where ideas do not adjust to the changing environment, or the people poorly understand the change, this cycle can quickly lead to the wrong outcome. History is littered with examples of militaries who have not adapted their people, ideas, and/or material for the changing circumstances.[ix] Such failure has seen them focus their time on very narrow and efficient, but ultimately ineffective, outcomes. The purpose of the ADF is to provide for the defence of Australia. This is unchanging. However, our strategic circumstances are in flux. We must adapt how we use people, idea, materials, and time for this changing context.

Integrated Campaigning recognises the purpose of the ADF is unchanging: defending Australia and its interests. The concept also recognises the accelerating change in the strategic environment. Both the ADF’s purpose and changing strategic circumstances should shape the use of people, ideas, materials, and time. Furthermore, the above discussion highlights that it is people that drive the change. Therefore, how the ADF shapes and develops its people will be critical for the success of both Integrated Campaigning and the ADF against future challenges and threats.

The ADF’s People: The Traits required for successful Integrated Campaigning

The people of the ADF are the cornerstone of Integrated Campaigning. It is their relationships with partners and other agencies that enable the ADF’s capacity to integrate. Their knowledge, skills, and lateral thinking ensures that the ADF can adapt, both in and out of combat. It is people who adapt procedures and find new ways to overcome technical issues. Reading through the deductions and discussion within Integrated Campaigning indicates that we must enhance and develop a series of traits within our people. The first and foremost trait is values.


Defence values form the basis of all behaviours. Values also underpin the other traits. Values are a key part of ensuring the ADF is a disciplined military force that serves the nation. They are the foundation that ensures the military lawfully exercises the use of controlled violence on behalf of the Government and the Nation. Our legal and moral authority as commanders, leaders, and military professionals is underpinned by our values.[x] This article does not dwell on values. Rather, readers are directed to ADF-P-0 Leadership and ADF-P-0 Ethics. Additionally, the Defence Value of respect is critical to the next trait: empathy.


Integrated Campaigning requires a shared understanding of both challenges and collective outcomes. Defence has a critical role in enabling, assisting, and amplifying other government agency capacity and smaller national partnerships. Furthermore, in conflict, we are the link between the military coalition and the national interest. Therefore, we must embrace the Defence value of respect as both individuals and an institution. Such respect gives empathy. Empathy enables us to better understand another group’s culture, values, perspectives, and processes. Equally, empathy allows the institution to look inward to recognise and examine its own idiosyncrasies. Integrated Campaigning demands a genuine commitment to understand, to accept, and to educate, both inside and outside of Defence. Empathy allows for the unique values of each partner, be they military or civilian, to be recognised, enabled, and incorporated into a more potent national whole. Such respect and empathy builds trust. Trust is also built on knowledge, which comes from people who actively seek to understand others.

What Empathy Looks Like in Integrated Campaigning

Military practitioners are able to look critically at Defence, from the perspective of other national security partners.

Military practitioners are willing to respect another’s expertise, attempt to understand their approach, and try to see the problem from another’s perspective.

Empathy goes beyond common language. It allows the practitioner to understand expressions and actions in the context of someone else’s world view.

An Example of Values and Empathy: The ADF often posts junior officers to the Australian Defence Staff supporting international engagement in the South-West Pacific. The Army engineer and infantry captains posted to Papua New Guinea to support PNGDF training, education, and development are one example. During the 2009 Cholera Outbreaks in Papua New Guinea, these officers were critical in enabling DFAT and World Health Organisation access and integration with PNGDF disaster response groups. The understanding, respect, and knowledge these officers had for and of the PNGDF (and wider PNG) culture and perspectives supported both on-the-ground integration of humanitarian support, as well as Australian and PNG Governmental outcomes.


To succeed in Integrated Campaigning military professionals must want to know more and question their knowledge. War, conflict, and competition is constantly changing. We must develop a strong desire in our people to be curious about change and how others operate. Integrated Campaigning recognises that our national advantage stems from our capacity to integrate national interests within coalition environments. Furthermore, our tactical and operational advantage is likely to come from new ways of joining capabilities and domains. Therefore, developing a thirst for knowledge and understanding; academically, militarily, and socially; will help us identify opportunities, and further build our understanding of partners. More importantly, such curiosity will drive tactical excellence and broader knowledge development.

What Curiosity Looks Like in Integrated Campaigning

Practitioners of Integrated Campaigning recognise that the absence of failure is not evidence of success.

Curious practitioners actively seek answers to how their expertise connects to others, how partners (and their knowledge) relates to them, and how they fit within the wider problem frame.

Understanding ourselves, our partners, our competitors, and potential adversaries demands constant effort to build knowledge, challenge assumptions, and seek new perspectives.


Integrated Campaigning does not forgo tactical brilliance. To be able to integrate with allies and partners, we must continue to produce people that are brilliant at the basics. However, we must also expand their strategic thinking far earlier than previous cohorts. To be good at Integrated Campaigning, we need practitioners who are competent and experienced in their area. Such expertise is a combination of individual excellence and organisational knowledge. Knowledge ensures that practitioners can bring their organisation’s resources to bear within an integrated team. Excellence ensures that integration of multiple components builds strength, rather than mitigates inherent weakness. Such excellence should also work with our thirst for knowledge, building more ideas and leading new ways to use our existing capabilities. Excellence is more than tactical brilliance. Australia needs military professionals that are both brilliant on the battlefield, and understand national power. Historically, such brilliance and understanding has been a crucial component of Australia’s military leaders and professionals in past great power conflicts.[xi] Such a foundation requires Defence to allow its personnel to experience more than the ADF and the Department.

What Expertise Looks Like in Integrated Campaigning

ADF military professionals have expertise and knowledge of their specialty and their broader domain.

Integrated Campaigning requires the ADF to contribute excellence in military power, applied in a manner that supports and enables the efforts of other partners.

An example of curiosity and expertise: During the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2004, the ADF provided security and logistics to underpin the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-led mission, and activities of State and Federal policing agencies and relief organisations. ADF excellence in core military skills was an essential precondition. Furthermore, ADF personnel actively sought to understand Police planning, support, and management processes. The efforts of ADF personnel to work with and within police planning helped integrate ADF logistics, contract management, and engineering efforts. The greatest challenge for the ADF, so soon after East Timor, was adapting to a supporting role, rather than the overseas lead. It was ADF willingness to learn, understand, and work within a new paradigm that significantly contributed to RAMSI success.[xii]

Broad Experiences

Our people must recognise that we do not fight alone. The ADF, and the nation, seeks to work with and within partners and allies. To prepare our people for such operations, we must encourage them to experience other agencies and other ways of thinking. We must provide the opportunities for our people to develop a ‘learning to learn’ mindset.[xiii] Currently, the ADF offers secondments to other agencies, overseas postings, regional engagement opportunities, and academic scholarships. However, most of these opportunities occur at the O5-O7 level (Lieutenant Colonel to Brigadier equivalent). Yet, Integrated Campaigning requires an understanding of other cultures and decision-making at the tactical and operational level. This means the ADF may require more secondment opportunities at lower levels, particularly around the O3 (Captain equivalent) rank. As discussed in a previous article, it is this rank that starts the journey of interlocutor – helping to integrate ADF teams within other agencies and coalition partners.

What Broad Experience Looks Like in Integrated Campaigning

Military professionals recognise the importance of secondments, regional postings, and other endeavours from an early rank.

The ADF and Defence prizes the early diverse experiences, and rewards professionals that seek excellence in coupling military understanding and external experience.

The above requirement is a radical departure from many current career management models. This divergence makes it difficult to present a contemporary example of broadened experience. Luckily, history is a useful guide.

During the 1950s to early 1970s, if military officers wished to command units, they were normally expected to have done an overseas posting or a secondment as a junior officer. Within promotion and command boards, not having such experience as an O3 or junior O4 often led board members to question why such experiences had not happened. During this period, the Australian military believed these postings provided three key outcomes for command. First, they tested the character of the individual; ensuring they had the right levels of respect, empathy, and patience for the role. Next, such early secondments broadened professional and critical thinking prior to command. Finally, these postings gave future commander’s insight into the thinking of partners and government agencies. Such insight would be critical in times of crisis and stress. Broadening our knowledge of partners, other government agencies, and communities early in our careers will help build greater understanding of different cultural dynamics and decision-making processes.

The above five traits already exist within the ADF to varying degrees. Integrated Campaigning requires us to further expand and refine them. Broadening our experiences beyond the military requires us to prize, and normalise, early secondment or a regional postings, even if it is for three months. Such broadening will help develop our people’s empathy and reinforce their curiosity. These efforts will also increase our expertise, enabling seamless integration with partners. Through these qualities, our people will be able to shape how we fight to meet the changing situation.


[i] Azar Gat, A History of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Cold War, First ed. (Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001), 256.

[ii] Clive S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew, 27th Imprint ed., vol. 1, The Chronicles of Narnia, (Glasgow, Scotland, UK: Lions, 1955; repr., 1990), 116.

[iii] Integrated Campaigning uses the three NATO forms: human, procedural, and technical. The concept states that ‘[i]n application, Integrated Campaigning incorporates and extends beyond the NATO descriptions’. See: Integrated Campaigning, [ix]

[iv] See the previous article in this series ‘Integrated Campaigning (Part 1): What it looks like Tactically, Operationally, and Strategically’.

[v] These characteristics are known as a ‘habit-of-mind’. See Bosio for a summary. For military and war studies, see Gole, Murray, and Mansoor. Henry G. Gole, The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940 (Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 2003), 158; Williamson Murray, Military Adaptation in War: With Fear of Change, Kobo eBook ed. (New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 1.3-5, 4.28-35; Williamson Murray, War, Strategy, and Military Effectiveness, Kobo eBook ed. (New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 6.1-56 (Ch 6), 7.13-15; Peter R. Mansoor, "US Grand Strategy in the Second World War," in Successful Strategies: Triumphing in War and Peace from Antiquity to the Present, ed. Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich (Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 11.48; Nicholas J. Bosio, "Moulding War's Thinking: Using Wargaming to Broaden Military Minds," Australian Army Journal XVI, no. 2 (2020): 26; Nicholas J. Bosio, "An Analysis of the Relationship between Contemporary Western Military Theory, Systems Thinking, and their Key Schools-of-Thought"  (Doctor of Philosphy Doctorate (research), Australian National University, 2022), 58-60.

[vi] Murray’s work demonstrates this point. See: Murray, Military Adaptation in War; Murray, War, Strategy, and Military Effectiveness.

[viii] Nicholas J. Bosio, "What Is War? Defining War, Conflict and Competition," Australian Army Research Centre ed. Land Power Forum, Australian Army, 05 March, 2020.

[ix] Integrated Campaigning makes this point. However, a range of scholars reinforce this point, with Eliot Cohen and Williams Murray’s work being the best examples. See: Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch, Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War, Revised Afterward Paperback ed. (New York City, New York, USA: Free Press, 2006); Murray, Military Adaptation in War.

[x] Nicholas J. Bosio, "What 'RIGHT' Looks Like: Linking Command and Moral Authority" Australian Defence College ed. The Forge, Australian Defence College, 19 August, 2020.

[xi] David Horner’s seminal works indicate the importance of this dual expertise. For illustrative, see: David Horner, The Commanders: Australian Military Leadership in the Twentieth Century (Sydney, NSW, Australia: George Allen and Unwin, 1984).

[xii] There are a range of Australian Army Journal articles that capture the RAMSI experiences. See John Hutcheson, Susan Hutchinson, McDevitt. Field also provides a similar observation with respect to domestic reconstruction post disaster. See: John Hutcheson, "Helping A Friend - An Australian Military Commander’s Perspective on the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands," Australian Army Journal 2, no. 2 (2005); Ben McDevitt, "Operation Helpem Fren - A Personal Perspective," Australian Army Journal 3, no. 2 (2006); John Hutcheson, "The Lessons of 2006 - Army Operations in East Timor and Solomon Islands," Australian Army Journal 4, no. 2 (2007); Susan Hutchinson, "Civil-Military Cooperation in Complex Emergencies," Australian Army Journal 6, no. 1 (2009); Chris Field, "Operation QUEENSLANDER: Ten ideas for Australian Defence Force support to disaster relief operations," Australian Army Journal 8, no. 3 (2011).

[xiii] This phrase is drawn from the approach taken by US military war college approaches of the inter-war period. Such approaches built strong, flexible, and dynamic habits-of-mind within US military professionals. Further analysis is provided by: Eliot A. Cohen, "The Strategy of Innocence? The United States, 1920-1945," in The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War, ed. Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox, and Alvin Bernstein (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Gole, The Road to Rainbow; Craig Felker, Testing American Sea Power: U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923-1940, ed. Joseph G. Dawson III et al., ePub (Online) ed., vol. 107, Texas A&M University Military History Series, (College Station, Texas, USA: Texas A&M University Press, 2007); Murray, Military Adaptation in War; Williamson Murray, "US Naval Strategy and Japan," in Successful Strategies: Triumphing in War and Peace from Antiquity to the Present, ed. Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich (Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014); John Lillard, Playing War: Wargaming and U.S. Navy Preparations for World War II, Online eBook ed. (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA: Potomac Books, 2016); Bosio, "Moulding War's Thinking."

The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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