This article outlines some possibilities for developing certain types of knowledge and practice held within the Defence Forces (DF) and evident in the other articles in this volume. The possibilities could be viewed as ‘insights we can work with’ (Eisner, 2001: 138), arising from the on-the-ground experiences of all the research participants and the researcher-writers. In different ways, the articles here show the DF in a bridging position between a traditional, militarised and masculinised view of itself, on the one hand and, on the other, glimpses of other ways of being and engaging, capable of facilitating new positions, in response to our times.
The primary role traditionally articulated for the DF is to carry out militarised missions, associated with specific actions such as the crisis management operations described by McNamara (this volume). Other articles (Keyes, Markey, O’Brien, Ryan S., this volume) demonstrate tensions between this role and challenging experiences in the ...