Grafton local, Officer Cadet James Hylton-Cummins, is following in his family's footsteps by joining the Australian Defence Force Academy. 

His great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather served as infantrymen in the First and Second World Wars respectively, and his grandfather served in the Civilian Military Forces. 

Officer Cadet Hylton-Cummins said he was proud to serve his country like his ancestors. 

“I applied for the Australian Defence Force Academy after my Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) session,” Officer Cadet Hylton-Cummins said. 

“Originally, I intended to serve as an infantryman, but I chose the officer route after some thought. I want to serve Australia and serve our skilled soldiers as an effective leader.

“I will achieve this by attending the Australian Defence Force Academy and then the Royal Military College-Duntroon and by listening and learning from my teammates. 

“The journey is beginning and I am very excited about learning with like-minded officer cadets.”

While studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in physics and mathematics, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt will continue his training and join the Australian Defence Force Academy’s Jiu-Jitsu club. 

By completing his military training, Officer Cadet Hylton-Cummins said he hoped to build new skills as an officer and to lead strong and capable soldiers on future missions.

“Ten years from now I hope to still aspire to be a capable and experienced infantry officer, like my forefathers, with the same desire to learn from others and their experiences,” he said.

Director General Defence Force Recruiting Brigadier Duncan Hayward said it was rewarding to help facilitate career paths into the ADF.

“What we do at Defence Force Recruiting is recruit the right people, in the right numbers, at the right time,” Brigadier Hayward said. 

“Training at ADFA is world class and I’m confident that James will do himself and his family proud in the coming years. They should be proud of his achievement.”

The Australian Defence Force Academy is a unique military institution that combines military education and training with study for an undergraduate degree from the University of New South Wales. The education and training equips midshipmen and officer cadets with the fundamental knowledge and skills they will need as young officers in the ADF.

To find out more about a future career in the Australian Defence Force, visit