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Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Military Strategic Plans Division

Military Strategic Plans Division

Military Strategic Plans (MSP) provides a strategic military planning capability that complements the existing strategic framework, strengthens the strategic centre and enhances the link between policy, strategy and operations.

MSP will conduct long-term strategic military planning to ensure the ADF is well placed to meet future strategic threats and challenges.

MSP will work collaboratively both within and outside the ADO to ensure the ADF is postured to provide policy informed robust advice to government through detailed strategic analysis.


Head Military Strategic Plans

Major General Colin Karotam, AM

Head Military Strategic Plans Division - Major General Colin Karotam, AM

MAJGEN Karotam graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1990 and the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1991. After two years regimental training in the Royal Australian Artillery he began service with the Australian Intelligence Corps.

MAJGEN Karotam has served in a variety intelligence related appointments including Combat Intelligence Instructor at the Defence Intelligence Training Centre, Intelligence Officer at Headquarters 1st Brigade, Officer Commanding the 1st Intelligence Company, 1st Intelligence Battalion, two stints as an analyst at the Defence Intelligence Organisation working on terrorism and Indonesian issues and a posting as Australia’s exchange analyst in the China East Asia Office of the US Defence Intelligence Agency in Washington DC. At the completion of his posting to Washington he was awarded the US Meritorious Service Medal for his work on South East Asian and Pacific issues.

MAJGEN Karotam was Commandant of the Defence Intelligence Training Centre in Canungra in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 MAJGEN Karotam was a staff officer in the newly created Joint Capability Coordination Division in the Vice Chief of Defence Force Group where he initiated a framework for producing joint concepts and compiled a review of force protection measures in Afghanistan.

MAJGEN Karotam undertook a year’s Mandarin language training at the ADF School of Languages in 1999 and after being selected to take up the post as Defence Attaché in Beijing he underwent a further six months intensive language training in Shanghai in early 2010. MAJGEN Karotam completed his posting to Beijing in December 2013 and began three years as Director of Intelligence Plans at Headquarters Joint Operations Command. MAJGEN Karotam was promoted to his current rank in January 2018 to take up the appointment of Deputy Director for Intelligence in US Indo-Pacific Command, in Hawaii. In January 2020 he was posted back to Canberra as Director General Weapons and Technical Intelligence at Defence Intelligence Organisation. In July 2020 Major General Karotam assumed the role of Head Military Strategic Plans in Vice Chief of Defence Force Group.

MAJGEN Karotam has undertaken two operational tours. First with the International Force in East Timor in 1999 and 2000 where he worked as an analyst for Headquarters International Force East Timor and then as the Intelligence Officer for the New Zealand Brigade Headquarters. His second operational tour was in Baghdad in 2004-2005 where he acted as a Branch Director in the C2 with the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

MAJGEN Karotam holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, a Masters of Defence Studies from Canberra University and a Masters of International Relations from Deakin University. He graduated from Australian Command and Staff College in 2005 and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies on 2017. MAJGEN Karotam makes best efforts to maintain his Mandarin language currency.

MAJGEN Karotam has been married to Vanessa for 28 years and they have two children, Amy 18 and Aaron 16. The Karotams enjoy travel and home renovation projects and have a home in Canberra (Aranda).