[Full text is available in the attached document] Brigadier Andrew Alexander Nikolic was born in Yugoslavia on the 20 June 1961 and enlisted in the Australian Army in January 1979. After completing basic training he was posted to 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) in Townsville for eighteen months. Nikolic then applied for officer training, after being accepted he attended the Officer Cadet School, Portsea graduating on the 12 June 1981. He then served with 3rd RAR as a second lieutenant serving five years with the battalion.
From 1986 Nikolic was an Adjutant with the Adelaide University Regiment. He also spent time visiting schools in the Adelaide area informing students on army careers. In 1988 Nikolic served at the Royal Military College as a tactics instructor. Nikolic also gained promotion to the rank of Major just before his first overseas postings in November 1990.
Nikolic's posting was as a United Nations Military Observer to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Israel and Syria. The duration was for a year until November 1991. The first four months of Nikolic's posting was during the lead up and the time of the first Gulf War, which required him to carry a Nuclear Biological Chemical suit. This was because there was a fear of the Scud missiles Iraq was lunching against Israel would be armed with weapons of mass destruction. His first duty station was Observer Group Golan-Tiberias up to April 1991. Nikolic first served in static observation posts (OP's) and was then selected to visit OPs on both Israeli and Syrian sides of the area of separation.
His second duty station was with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon which began in May 1991 until November 1991. After serving in static OP's in South Lebanon he was selected as team leader of Mobile Team Zulu. This involved Nikolic and his partner investigating incidents along the border of South Lebanon and Israel. One incident that Nikolic investigated was Katyusha rocket attacks into Israeli Kibbutz's and South Lebanese and Israeli army positions. Kikolic also had to try and negotiate the release of UN personnel captured by Palestinian terrorists.
Once back in Australia Nikolic return to 3rd RAR as a company commander in late 1991 then served as the Battalion Operations commander until 1993. Nikolic then graduated from the Australian Army Command and Staff College in 1994. This was followed by a posting in Brisbane as Senior Operations Major with 1st Division Headquarters (HQ) and he also led the Airborne Planning Team until 1996. At the Army HQ in Canberra, Nikolic was the Director of Public Information and he graduated from the Joint Services Staff College of Australia (Course 57/98). Nikolic graduated from the Armed Forces of the Philipines Joint Command and Staff College in 1999. In 2000 Nikolic became the Commanding Officer (CO) and Chief Instructor at the Parachute Training School at Nowra.
Nikolic's next overseas posting was as Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Australian National Headquarters (ASNCE) that commanded Australian forces in the Middle East. The main responsibilities of ASNCE were to ensure the tasking of Australian troops consistent with national interest and with operational tasks given. Other duties were to keep the leaders of Australian forces in theatre informed of the larger strategic picture. This period, October 2001 until March 2002, included the initial deployment of the ADF in Afghanistan, code named Operation Slipper. Nikolic commanded ASNCE when Brigadier Ken Gillespie the CO was on leave. This included Operation Anaconda and the heavy fighting that the SAS task group was involved in.