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Early results promising from condensed officer training at Duntroon

Staff cadets from the Royal Military College – Duntroon conduct Exercise Shaggy Ridge at Majura Training Area on 22 February 2024. Photo: CAPT Thomas Kaye

Earlier results are reportedly promising from the Australian Defence Force’s condensed officer training program at Royal Military College – Duntroon this year.

Earlier results are reportedly promising from the Australian Defence Force’s condensed officer training program at Royal Military College – Duntroon this year.

Under the new approach, the officer commissioning program is being trialled over 12 months rather than 18 months, from January to December 2024. Under the two-year trial program, trainees receive the same training in a shorter format, meet the same graduation standards and qualifications, and graduate as lieutenants on completion of the course.

Commandant Land Combat College Brigadier Jason Groat said Australian Defence Force trainee officers are highly professional, capable young men and women, and it’s a privilege to be part of their training experience.


“The trial 12-month Officer Commissioning Program (OCP) at the Royal Military College – Duntroon is progressing well, and evaluations are providing some good insights,” he said.

“Staff cadets have completed the Army Small Team Leaders Course, with 97 per cent passing as section commanders. Initial evaluations suggest this module may need to be extended slightly and a training review is underway to look at opportunities to reinforce learning and consolidate skills.

“The trial 12-month OCP is designed to be agile, and where adjustments need to be made to improve learning outcomes, we will make them.

“The next module is the Foundation Plans Module. Staff cadets use a simulation program to develop and refine their plans before putting them to the test during their next field phase in Puckapunyal. This allows them to see the flaws in their plans and visualise the impact to troops on the ground.

“The training team at Duntroon has already observed how this module enhances the staff cadet’s understanding of synchronisation and enemy actions. They were able to war game and either pre-empt or plan for an alternate enemy course of action. This is a critical skill to maintaining the initiative on the modern battlefield. This has resulted in an increase in their graded performance during planning when compared to the previous iterations of planning.”

Royal Military College – Duntroon originally began trialling the condensed 12-month program earlier this year instead of a traditional 18-month format, in a bid to educate trainees to the same standards quicker.

The program design presents an opportunity to increase the speed to capability for service category (SERCAT) 7 generalist officers and inform a training design to benefit other SERCAT and training audiences.

Additionally, earlier this year the Australian Defence Force engaged support for the ServeOn program for already employed military personnel to remain connected with Australian Army and embrace semi-retirement in a flexible role.

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