The Cove is an online professional development network for the Australian Army. It is based on the theory of ‘Connectivism’. Often referred to as a ‘learning theory for the digital age’, connectivism recognises the importance of developing communities of practise to share expertise and enhance continuous learning.
The Cove is designed to connect Defence members together into a professional network, based on their professional interests and/or level of experience. We act as a medium for the sharing of experience and expertise. The Cove includes a variety of videos, podcasts, blogs, resources/tools and academic papers to engage all sorts of learning styles. Some of our content is guided, but most of it is designed to be self-accessed and shared.
While there is a breadth of information available on the World Wide Web, we have found that our most valuable resource is our own people. The Defence community contains a wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom that, if shared, can help pave the way for future generations. As with any profession, the ‘Profession of Arms’ is best learnt from those who have gone before. For this reason we encourage all members to contribute their ideas and add their own voice. Active participation is rewarding and can bring about significant change.
The Cove is all about a mature and professional conversation. By using our resources, you agree to adhere to the Cove Charter. It’s simple: adhere to Army’s values. If you can’t do that, you won’t be allowed to take part. To view the Cove Charter and rules for participation, click here.
The Cove website is made up of three parts:
PART 1 – The Professional Mastery Toolset
Located across the top of the page (drop down menu on a mobile phone), the Professional Mastery Toolset provides resources that should help you with your day job: from simple ‘Soldier’s Fives’ to help you instruct, through to declassified doctrine. The toolset is designed to provide easy access to information by category.
PART 2 – Channels: The Journey to Professional Mastery
This next section forms the main part of the Cove website. There are four channels that seek to draw you into a community based on your level of military experience and leadership. By creating channeled communities, we make sure the conversation is targeted:
TRENCHLINE (Junior Leaders) The Trenchline is aimed at junior leaders (for example, section or platoon commanders). With the support of the Land Warfare Centre, we have included practical resources on a range of interesting topics such as operations, training, CLM and values.
BREAK IN (Sub-Unit Leadership) The Break In is all about developing sub-unit leadership teams. It helps you to dive into the deeper, theoretical aspects of conflict such as: leadership and ethics, war, strategy, operational art, history, and organisational theory. As these topics can be complex, ‘Intro’ guides are included to help you ‘break in’ to the subject matter.
COMMAND POST (staff roles) The Command Post is the Cove’s latest channel dedicated to supporting personnel fulfilling Staff appointments. It includes articles, resources and tools to help with the day to day.
WAR ROOM Due to be launched October 2018, the War Room will focus on the changing character of war. It will include three themes: The contemporary Operating Environment, the Future Operating Environment and Innovation and Adaptation.
PART 3 – Foundations
Often referred to as ‘core’ skills, this section applies to everyone. The ability to form relationships, communicate effectively and keep up to date with current and future issues can take years to master, however, the investment of time and effort is well worth it.
POSTERN The Cove believes strongly in the power of networking and has developed a growing list of friends and partners. Having these connections enables greater sharing of ideas and as a result, greater learning opportunities. This is also a place where, with help from the Cove Team, you can form your own network.
WAR.TODAY. Here we use open-source intelligence to create a snap-shot of the current operating environment. Through videos, articles and interviews, you can see what it might be like to fight in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other operating hotspots. The aim is to help you and your team to think about how you might adapt if you had to go there.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) Communication in all forms is an integral part of our everyday lives. BLUF contains useful tips on how we can enhance our written, spoken and visual communication to improve our job performance and leadership ability.
The Cove works on one simple principle. As a professional, you get out of it what you put in! We have a remarkable amount of experience within Army and Defence, everything from combined arms assaults to drone racing. If we can tap into this experience we will genuinely sharpen our operational edge. This isn’t a social network, it’s a network about war.
So the most important button on the Cove is the ‘Contribute‘ button. This lets you get in touch with the Cove Team to you bring your experience to the network. We can help you with creating blogs, papers, articles, videos and events. Absolutely everything goes, as long as it adheres to the Cove Charter.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy!