For this episode, Andrew interviewed Major Mick Cook from the Australian Army.
In recent years the Army has withdrawn from deployments in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands (but been sent back to Iraq). Its soldiers are having to learn lessons from past conflicts and prepare for whatever future conflicts they may end up in.
But unlike earlier generations, today’s soldiers live and learn in an increasingly digital environment, where social media plays a large role in people’s lives.
Major Mick Cook, who currently serves as the Australian Army’s social media and online engagement manager, has lots to say on this. We discussed:
- Outreach efforts, such as the official Facebook pages and Twitter accounts run by various Army units, and actions to inform the public about training exercises like the recent Exercise Hamel.
- Soldiers’ personal use of social media, and initiatives to use various types of online media for intellectual discussion and professional development.
- How the tactical responsibilities of junior commanders have changed since the World Wars.
- How some officers are using online outlets such as podcasts, web-based journals and social media to to discuss military theory and practical lessons with other officers and military thinkers, both across Australia and overseas.
- The need for innovation and entrepreneurship within the Australian Army, and some of the dilemmas involved.
- Mick’s own military careers, his online projects, and reading interests.