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.