Army Reserve

Take up the challenge of a part-time role that's different and exciting, offers tax-free pay and flexibility, and puts you in situations where you can really make a difference to communities in need.

Find a Reserve Unit

Rewarding work that really makesadifference

Thousands of men and women enjoy part-time roles with the Army Reserve, operating alongside full-time personnel. They are ready to serve in a fully-trained military capacity if and when Australia needs them; and help rebuild the lives of entire communities in Australia and overseas when natural disasters strike.


Rewarding work that really makes a difference Rewarding work that really makes a difference Rewarding work that really makes a difference Rewarding work that really makes a difference
People from all walks of life join the Reserve to:
  • Help defend Australia, its interests and its people
  • Do something different, exciting and worthwhile
  • Get highly-valued leadership and vocational training
  • Improve their employment skills and prospects
  • Make new friends in a dynamic team environment
  • Help with community projects and disaster relief
  • Enjoy opportunities for travel at home and overseas
  • Provide humanitarian assistance
  • Get access to sports and fitness facilities

Your primary responsibility as a Reservist is to support Army capability in your chosen job. You could be providing medical or legal services with a military angle; or working in a trade, technology or engineering job; or supplementing full-time resources in a combat role.

Members of the Reserve also gain great satisfaction from helping communities after floods, tsunamis and bushfires; and supporting humanitarian and peacekeeping missions overseas.

Flexible ways to serve

Initial training length will vary based on your chosen role, after which you will normally be expected to serve between 20 and 100 days a year. This could involve an evening each week and/or a number of weekends or extended periods away.

We do our best to make sure this fits in with your work and family commitments; and deployments are voluntary so if you choose to stay local, there are plenty of ways to make a difference closer to home.

Find a Reserve Unit near you

Job satisfaction plus a range of benefits

Members of the Army Reserve gain great satisfaction from the rewarding work, travel, teamwork and camaraderie. But they enjoy many other benefits too. As a Reservist you'll enjoy:

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Exciting new experiences at home and abroad

Where you go and what you do will depend on your role, your home location, and how much time and commitment you can offer the Army. Reservists who are available can spend periods interstate and overseas on exercises and deployments.

Watch On deployment with the Army Reserve (6:56)

World-class training that benefitsyourfuture


World-class training that benefits your future World-class training that benefits your future World-class training that benefits your future

In the Reserve you'll enjoy a blend of fitness, military and employment training that provides new skills and challenges beyond your day job. During one session you could be learning about weapons, navigation and field craft. During another session you might be expanding your leadership and professional skills.

General Service Officer training

If gaining leadership and management skills is a priority and you are interested in areas such as armoured, artillery, infantry, intelligence, engineering, signals or transport, you will complete a comprehensive training program teaching you the military and leadership skills to become a General Service Officer. Conducted at various locations, the course can be completed in modules over a three-year period, and comprises:

1. MILITARY FOUNDATION SKILLS
35-day Reserve Recruit Training Course at Kapooka, near Wagga Wagga, NSW. This is the training all Army recruits undertake, whether full or part-time.

2. SMALL MILITARY TEAM LEADER THEORY
16-day module conducted during April and September in Singleton, NSW by the Sydney University Regiment. Builds on the skills learnt in Recruit Training and introduces new operational, weapons and navigation topics.

3. SMALL MILITARY TEAM LEADER
16-day module also conducted during April and September in Singleton. Introduces command, leadership, management and military administration skills.

4. COMMAND, LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
16-day module conducted during January and July in Singleton. Revises and tests what you will already have learnt about small team level operations; and builds your administrative abilities as the leader of a small team.

5. ALL CORPS ARMY RESERVE PLATOON COMMANDER
28-day module conducted during January and July at the Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra. Teaches the leadership, management and operational skills needed to command a platoon, leading to the rank of Lieutenant in the Army Reserve.



Specialist Service Officer training

If you have already graduated in a profession such as healthcare, finance, law, chaplaincy, management, aviation, engineering or education you will probably become a Specialist Service Officer. In just one 26-day training module followed by one 16-day module you'll learn the military skills required to serve as an Officer in the Army Reserve.

Soldier training

Your part-time Army career will start at Kapooka, near Wagga Wagga, NSW undertaking exactly the same training as our full-time soldiers. In 35 days you'll be challenged both mentally and physically, as you learn about:

  • Weapon handling and shooting,
  • Combat skills,
  • First aid,
  • Teamwork,
  • Time management
  • Army drill, and
  • Field craft.

Though the intense physical training can be demanding, many recruits find the sense of achievement on completing this course extremely rewarding.

On graduation from Recruit Training you'll undertake specialist employment training in your trade or category; which can take between two and seven weeks in one block or broken into modules. This can take place close to your area, though you may be required to travel interstate.

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Significant benefits for your employer too

Your employer will benefit greatly from the leadership, professional and vocational skills you are taught in the Army Reserve, and the character-building lifestyle you'll experience.


Your employer's business will be stronger with a Reservist in its ranks, and will have higher corporate status for supporting the ADF. The training you receive will help you:

  • Become a better manager and leader
  • Understand orders then plan and prioritise tasks
  • Be positive and goal-oriented
  • Make quick, objective decisions
  • Be adept at crisis management
  • Manage time and resources efficiently
  • Be self-disciplined and self-reliant
  • Be a good team player
  • Achieve high standards of quality control
  • Apply safe practices in the workplace

If eligible, your employer can receive compensation for your absence through the Defence Reserves Support Employer Support Payment Scheme. Employers are encouraged to find out more about the Army Reserve at discovery events (for details see the Defence Reserves Support website) and by downloading our handbook.

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How to approach your employer

Over 900 supportive employers have Army Reservists on their payrolls and are aware of all the benefits as well as what it entails. But for those who are less familiar with the Army Reserve, it's important to communicate all the upsides, getting your employer as motivated as you are.


Start by being positive
Tell your employer you’re looking for a new challenge that will test and expand your skills for the benefit of the community and your country, as well as your everyday job. Let them know becoming an Army Reservist will satisfy this ambition; give them plenty of notice; and work with them to manage your Reservist commitments.

Talk about the training
Explain to your employer that the training you receive will help you be more effective at your job, by broadening your skill-set and strengthening your personal attributes.

As a Reservist you'll receive high quality government training in leadership and teamwork, plus personal and professional development that helps you become a more resilient and adaptable employee. Army training is designed to make you more positive and goal-oriented, and able to prioritise tasks and make quick, objective decisions.

Explain the personal development
Some of the enhanced skills and character traits you’ll bring to your full-time job as a result of your time with the Army Reserve will include leadership, management and teamwork skills; self-discipline and reliance, initiative, and punctuality. Again, these are attributes your employer should place great value on.

Be prepared to answer questions

  • If your employer is concerned about the commitment, reassure them that it may be as few as 20 days a year, including evenings and weekend training at your local Army Reserve unit. However you must be honest about the upfront training which will likely see you spending 35 days at Kapooka (near Wagga Wagga in NSW) during your first year of service.
  • Think in advance about how your work can be covered while you’re away, so your employer knows you care about things running smoothly in your absence.
  • If they want to know who covers your pay, tell them they may be eligible to receive compensation through the Employer Support Payment Scheme.
  • Remind your employer that people like doing business with companies that give something back. Your company’s commitment to the Army Reserve will help position them as an organisation of choice, for supporting both their employees and the national interest.

We've produced an Employer’s Information Leaflet you can download, print and give to your employer. It covers much of the information provided here.

Getting Started