10 Things You Need To Know About Australia's Military

1. Although the British first settled Down Under in 1788, it wasn't until 1901, when six colonies united to form the Commonwealth of Australia, that its military was formed.

2. Similar to the British Armed Forces, the country's navy and air force are preceded by the title 'Royal', while the army is not. King George V granted both titles.

3. To this day Royal Australian Navy uniforms are very similar in cut, colour and insignia to their British Royal Navy forerunners. 

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4. While the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) were all formed in the early 20th century, it wasn't until 1976 that they were unified into the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

5. The Australian warships and clearance diving team sent to the 1991 Gulf War were the first Australian personnel deployed to an active war zone since the ADF's establishment.

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6. The last Australian First World War veteran, John Campbell Ross, died in 2009 at the age of 110. He had served as a wireless operator in the Australian Army. He celebrated his 110th birthday with chocolates, cake and a commemorative letter from the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd.

7. Our favourite ever Australian military exercise name? Exercise Kangaroo '89.

8. The RAAF's fastest plane? The F-35A. It has two in service currently, with 70 on order. Top speed Mach 1.6+ (1,200 mph, 1,930 km/h).

9. The first Aboriginal Australian to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian army was Reg Saunders in 1944.  A well-respected soldier and leader, he died on 2 March 1990.

10. Prince Harry's last posting during his Army career was a month-long secondment to the ADF. During his time there he trained with the country's Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), participating in their selection course, including a fitness test and a physical training session with selection candidates.

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