Ian 'Lazy' Layzell joined the Australian Army in 1999 as a private in a part-time Infantry unit, the 4th/3rd Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment (4/3 RNSWR). He was posted to the local Canberra based C 'Charlie' Company of 4/3 RNSWR where he became a qualified rifleman and Direct Fire Support Weapons operator.
Between November 2002 and January 2003 he volunteered for an overseas deployment to Malaysia and Singapore as a rifleman with Rifle Company Butterworth Rotation 60. After his return he attended Junior Non-Commissioned Officer promotion courses and was promoted to lance corporal. He also graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Engineering.
While working full time in the public service, Layzell volunteered for Operation Relex II as a Section second in command with the Transit Security Element 39 based out of Darwin and Christmas Island. Their role was to serve onboard RAN ships and assist them in border protection and fisheries enforcement duties from November 2005 to January 2006.
In 2007 Layzell undertook the Commando Selection Course and was posted to 1 Commando Regiment based at HMAS Penguin in Sydney. To affect this transfer he voluntarily reverted back to the rank of private. In 2008 he volunteered to serve with his unit in Afghanistan and he commenced full-time service.
In November 2008 to February 2009 Pte Layzell was deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Slipper as part of the Special Operations Task Group's Task Force 66 (TF66). This rotation is significant in that they were first part-time Army unit since 1945 to deploy to an active war zone to conduct combat operations. Layzell returned to Australia in February 2009 and resumed both his part-time military career and his full-time civilian career. In 2012 he discharged from the Australian Army.