Mick Ryan spent 35 years in the Australian Army and had the honor of commanding soldiers at troop, squadron, regiment, task force, and brigade levels. He has a long-standing interest in military history and strategy, advanced technologies, organizational innovation, and adaptation theory. He was the inaugural President of the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (Australia) and is a member of the Military Writers Guild. He is a keen author on the interface of military strategy, innovation, and advanced technologies, as well as how institutions can develop their intellectual edge.

In February 2022, Mick retired from the Australian Army. In the same month, his book War Transformed was published by USNI Books. He is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and a non-resident fellow of the Lowy Institute in Sydney. In January 2023 Mick was also appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

He runs his own strategic advisory company Mick Ryan Solutions Pty Ltd. and is a regular columnist in the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC Australia. He also has frequent commentary appearances on ABC TV and CNN. His latest book, White Sun War, was published on 4 May 2023 by Casemate Books. It is a fictional account of a future war over Taiwan.