Australian Army Message Notebook

Message pads have been used by officers, signalers and NCOs for over a century as a way of noting down important information in the field, either for reference or prior to a page being removed and sent with a runner as a way of relaying messages securely. The current Australian version of this message pad consists of a hardback pad with a green cover:

The cover of the pad has its use and the Australian combined armed forces badge printed on it in black ink:

Inside the pad there is a title sheet repeating this information:

However most of the book is made of paper printed with grid squares to make it easier to draw sketch maps etc:

A sheet of carbon paper is also included in case the soldier wants to make multiple copies of whatever he is writing:

These message pads can often been seen used in the field on their own, with no protection beyond the hardback cover:

However DPCU covers do exist for them and this example came with one such cover. I believe this to be a commercial rather than an issue cover but it does an excellent job of waterproofing and protecting the notepad:

The cover secures with a velcro tab, seen above, and a set of loops for pens and pencils is built into the cover on the rear:

This cover has clearly seen extensive use by the wear to the print on the outside and seems a well thought out and practical accessory for the note pad.


  1. Very similar ‘junior general’ cover to the one just about everyone bought for use here.
    There were and probably still are, some that were so elaborate that the message pad itself seemed more like an afterthought than the original purpose for the holders.
    I had a friend in Safety Systems make me up one that suited my needs, including a divided pouch large enough to hold a loading checklist and grease pencils and a snap strap to secure ear defenders that I could either hang on a belt or use the built in ‘stowaway’ shoulder strap.
    He did a pretty good business making them for others after the rest got a look at it, but I still have the original prototype 😉
    No idea if they ever went GS but I hope they did, it made things a lot easier.

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