Competing against private industry to sign up the smartest young graduates, Australia's defence forces are taking to the skies.
At Phillip Oval this weekend, there's a buzz in the air as the best pilots from around the country compete in the drone racing nationals.
But these are not just nerdy civilians with delicate fingers on the sticks of their controllers.
Among them are army and air force regulars, given the time off from their normal duties to race their own drones and in doing so, show that there's more to the modern military than training and fatigues.
For RAAF Flying Officer Jake Dell-O'Sullivan, based out of north Richmond, racing a drone, or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as the acronym-hungry military prefers, is not a world apart from his day job of aircraft engineering and avionics.
"About $350 will buy you a competitive racing-spec drone but from then on, it's really up to the person on the sticks as to how good you can be. I practice my flying about once a week. The more you practice, the better you get," he said.
Army team pilots like Major Jaymi Matthews, from Sydney, and Lieutenant Thomas Gash, who is finishing his second year of engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, are always struggling to find sufficient time to practice but agree that a boundless credit limit won't buy a national title.
"It's like a lot of sports; you can have all the gear but still no idea," Major Matthews said.
She became involved with UAVs about 10 years ago when it genuinely was an emerging technology.
Now the Army has its own UAV regiment - the 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, based in Brisbane - comprising men and woman with an artillery skillset and training.
The modern military kitbag of warfare UAVs now includes the iPhone-sized Black Hornet, the larger 70cm Wasp, and the 200kg Shadow which can stay in the air for nine hours and circle a potential battlefield or hot spot, providing situational awareness.
For combat platoons, a tiny drone carried in a soldier's backpack can be sent ahead to look around for where an enemy may be waiting, or look on the rooftops for potential snipers.
The army knows that "drone literacy" is now common among the gaming generation which is accustomed to the overhead drone perspective that popular games such as Call of Duty provide.
Lieutenant Colonel Keirin Joyce, the army's head of aerial systems, said that competitions such as these championships "allow us to open up a conversation with young people about the opportunities that now exist in the modern army".
"STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills are in demand across everything we do in the military," he said.
"The modern combat soldier carries around a weapon with electronic optics, and uses battlefield management systems. And UAVs are now becoming an essential element of that equipment, too."
The 90 fastest drone racers in the country, from 14 clubs nationally. are competing in Canberra with the championships continuing over the weekend at Phillip Oval.