In these highly anticipated memoirs, the former Australian of the Year will look back over his respected and decorated military career and his personal life with wit and warmth on top of the steel which made him one of Australia's most popular and widely recognised military leaders. When Cosgrove won the Military Cross in Vietnam, the citation listed his ''determination, initiative, courage and inspiration''. These qualities were evident throughout his subsequent career, as he rose steadily through the army hierarchy and quickly earned a reputation as one of his country's most respected soldiers. Perhaps the greatest challenge of his career came in 1999, when he was given command of a multinational force to restore peace and security in East Timor. Upon his return to Australia in 2000, he was appointed Chief of the Army and, in 2002, Chief of the Defence Force, a position he held until July 2005.
Peter Cosgrove was born into an army family in Sydney in 1947 and graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He served initially with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment in Malaysia before joining the 9th Battalion at Nui Dat in South Vietnam. As a lieutenant, he was one of the thousands of Australians who fought in Vietnam, where he received the Military Cross - one of Australia's highest military honours. He led the International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET) in 1999-2000 and served as Chief of the Defence Force between 2002 and 2005. In 2001, he was named Australian of the Year.