New Model Diggers: Australian Identity, Motivation, and Cohesion in Afghanistan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The figure of the ‘digger’—the nickname originally given to Australian soldiers in the First World War—is a potent symbol in Australian society. The supposed values of those first diggers—courage, endurance, mateship, irreverence, and a disdain for authority—not only underpin commemoration of Australian wartime experience but are also advanced as a pillar of national identity. The historical diggers, however, were citizen soldiers, and traditions originating with them occupied a problematic position within the professional Australian Army that deployed to Afghanistan. This chapter explores the concept of the digger in the modern Australian community, the way contemporary Australian soldiers see themselves, and the role that these assumptions, expectations, and attitudes played in cohesion and combat motivation in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFrontline: Combat and Cohesion in the Twenty-First Century
    Editors Anthony King
    Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780198719663
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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