Twenty-year-old Army Officer Cadet Ishaq Ali, from Larrakeyah in the Northern Territory, has packed a lot into his three years at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

Officer Cadet Ali was a leader of trainee officers, Australian Rules Football team captain and photographer at academy events.

He also distinguished himself in military training and academic studies, culminating in his graduation from ADFA on December 6 with 300 of his Navy, Army and Air Force classmates.

After finishing high school at the Essington School in 2018, Officer Cadet Ali joined the Army.

He began his military training at ADFA in Canberra and simultaneously started a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New South Wales, Canberra.

Officer Cadet Ali said he was inspired to join the Army because of his active lifestyle.

“I love the sense of camaraderie and mateship that comes from team sports, as well as working in the outdoors, so I thought a career in the Army would best serve both of these interests,” Officer Cadet Ali said.

Officer Cadet Ali was the captain of the ADFA Rams Australian rules football team and a member of the academy photography group. 

The military experience and the mates you make along the way are invaluable.

He also was a divisional executive officer, providing administrative support and leadership to first-year trainee officers.

“This year, the opportunity I got to lead and mentor a first-year division was an awesome experience that helped develop myself and others,” Officer Cadet Ali said.

Officer Cadet Ali recommended ADFA as a pathway to joining the Navy, Army or Air Force.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to undertake a university degree while being encouraged and supported to be involved in sports and other extracurricular activities,” Officer Cadet Ali said.

“The military experience and the mates you make along the way are invaluable, too.”

Before joining his fellow Army graduates for an additional 12 months of training at the Royal Military College - Duntroon in Canberra, Officer Cadet Ali is looking forward to visiting friends in Darwin while on leave.

When he graduates from RMC - Duntroon in December next year, Officer Cadet Ali is hoping to become either an infantry or artillery officer.