Ian Finlayson was commissioned from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1978 and served in a number of postings during his Regular Army career. He was awarded the Chief of the Defence Force Fellowship in 1997, worked as a staff officer in the Australian High Commission, London, and on the Headquarters of the International Stabilisation Force, East Timor. In his last Regular Army posting, he managed the Chief of Army Scholarship, guiding scholarship winners on battlefield tours of France and Korea.
Ian now works for the Australian Army History Unit as an historian and has lectured on Australian military history at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. His previous book, A Brief History of the Australian Army, was written specifically for officer cadets and Army recruits. In 2019 he led an ADF Field History Team on a deployment to Afghanistan. He holds
a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Queensland, a Masters in Defence Studies from the University of NSW and a Masters in Strategic Studies from Deakin University.