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COMPULSORY MILITARY TRAINING
(iv) Compulsory Training. By the Defence Acts of 1903 and 1904 all male inhabitants between the ages of eighteen and 60 years were made liable to serve in Australia with the defence forces in time of war. The more recent Acts make training and service compulsory in time of peace. By the Act of 1909 the principle of universal liability to be trained was made law for the first time in any English-speaking community. It prescribed junior cadet training for lads twelve and thirteen years of age, followed by senior cadet training for lads from fourteen to eighteen years of age; and thereafter adult training for two years in the citizen forces, to equal sixteen days annually, followed by registration (or a muster parade) each year for six years. Arrangements for registration, enrolment, inspection, and medical examination of persons liable to be trained were made. The latter Acts introduced necessary modifications, the principal being the extension of adult service to eight years. On 1st January, 1911, by proclamation, compulsory training was established. The already existing militia (voluntarily enlisted) were free to complete the three years for which they had engaged to serve, but conformity to the new system was essential. Officers and non-commissioned officers might re-engage.
All male inhabitants of Australia, who are British subjects, and have resided in the Commonwealth for six months, are liable to serve. Exemptions (see infra, p. 1003) exist for certain individuals and classes of people, and may be granted in the case of unpopulated and sparsely populated areas. The training is as follows :-
(v) Visit and Report of Viscount Kitchener. At the end of 1909 and before the Act of that year came into operation, the late Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener visited Australia at the invitation of the Government, and after inspection of the military forces and the forts and defence works erected or in course of erection, reported upon the whole scheme of land defence. His scheme was based on the provisions of the Defence Acts 1903-9. The trend and purport of the published report are given in Official Year Book No. 4, pp. 1085 - 1088. The adoption of some of Lord Kitchener's recommendations necessitated further amending Acts. The proposed organisation is based upon necessary considerations of (a) the numbers available; (b) the length of service demanded; (c) the proportion of the various arms required. It differs in some of its details from the scheme propounded by Lord Kitchener and includes 28 regiments of light horse; 56 batteries of field artillery; 92 battalions of infantry; and a duo proportion of engineers, army service and army medical corps, troops for forts, and other services.
(a) From 12 to 14 years of age, in the junior cadets.
(b) From 14 to 18 years of age, in the senior cadets.
(c) From 18 to 26 years of age, in the citizen forces.
This page last updated 22 November 2012