Mr Leo Purdy

Mr Leo Purdy

Visiting Military Fellow

Master of Arts (Military Studies), Australian National University

Bachelor of Arts (History and Politics) University of New South Wales


UNSW Canberra
Admin - Rectors Office

I was appointed as the Chief of Army Military Fellow at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence force Academy in 2022. As the Military Fellow my primary focus is to support the professional education and development of Australia's next generation of military leaders. 

I commenced my military career at the Australian Defence Force Academy as an Officer Cadet. Upon graduation from the Royal Military College Duntroon, I was allocated to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps where I served in various regimental, training and staff roles. As a military instructor I taught the theory and practical of application of armoured combat and combined-arms warfare. I held a number of staff appointments including operational planning, concepts and doctrine authoring as well as various capability management and development roles. I am also a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College and the Australian National University. I served for 22 years in the Australian Army deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan and border protection operations. Prior to commencing as the Military Fellow, I worked in private industry as a consultant and as an independent defence analyst.


Building 28, Room 106

Higher Degree Research Grant: Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales.

I am undertaking a doctorate studying the history of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.

My other research activities include:

  • Land Power and Land Warfare
  • Military Operations.
  • Manoeuvre Warfare and Combined-Arrms theory and application.
  • Armoured, Airborne and Riverine/Amphibious Warfare theory and application.
  • Mounted combat capability management, development and sustainment with the Defence Capability Life Cycle
  • Command and Control, military staff and staff processes
  • Decision making
  • Russo-Ukrainian War

My Research Supervision


My Teaching

I will teach ZHSS2425 The Theory and Application of Land Power in Semester 1 in 2024. This course is tailored to those students who seek to learn about the utility of land power as an instrument of national defence policy. It provides students an introduction to the theories which guide the use of armed force on or from land and its application in the modern era. It explains the unique nature of the land domain, the role, function and forms of land forces and the application of land power in peace, crises, competition and conflict. It examines the evolution of the theories of land power through the lens of political, societal, and technological themes. It explores the use of land power by investigating the development and application of armoured, airborne, and amphibious warfare techniques.

I will teach ZHSS3427 National Military Power and Joint Warfare in Semester 2 of 2024.This course provides students an introduction to the theories and guiding principles of national military power and the application of armed force via joint warfare approaches. It develops a student’s understanding of the relationship between national defence policy and national military strategy and how this translates into national military power. To do so it explores the relationship between the government and the military, the legislature which authorises, commands, controls, and administers the use of force and the interplay between policy, strategy and joint capabilities such as intelligence, logistics, health, personnel and operations within the context of Australia’s national security. It examines the theory and application of Joint Warfare through the lens of the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force. This is achieved by exploring the various ways that national military power is applied in sea, land, air, space and cyber domains across peace, crises, competition and conflict.