Recruitment Centre

Frequently Asked Questions


Are persons identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) allowed to join?

Defence is committed to having a diverse workforce and inclusive workplaces. Defence strives to make the most of the skills and talents of all personnel and aims to reap the capability benefits of having a diverse workforce through embracing and supporting all personnel, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons.

In 1992 the Australian Defence Force ended its prohibition on openly gay, lesbian and bisexual personnel serving in the military, and in 2010 the Defence Instruction regarding the employment of transgender personnel in the ADF was cancelled. Defence maintains its commitment to valuing and supporting the inclusion of LGBTI persons, and demonstrated this in 2013 by authorising volunteers to march in uniform in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the first time.

Additionally in 2013, Federal protections for LGBTI persons were introduced in the Sex Discrimination Act to provide protection from discrimination on the basis of attributes of sexual orientation, intersex status and gender identity. The Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender were also published, aiming to bring a consistent approach to recording individuals’ sex and/or gender in Government departments and agencies.

Defence seeks to create an inclusive workplace by driving long term sustainable LGBTI awareness and support structures, and continues to support the employment and inclusion of this diversity group.

Are the age limits different depending on the job?

There are certain jobs which have individual age limits, based on the physically demanding nature of the role. For example, the age range for entry as an Army Commando is 19 to 30 years.

Are there maximum age limits for joining the Navy, Army or Air Force?

Yes, there are maximum age limits which can differ for each Service and can also vary according to the career chosen. Find out more in the individual job pages of this website.

Do I need good eyesight to be in the Navy, Army and Air Force?

The ADF requires a high level of visual correctness to meet the unique nature of the military environment. There are some instances where visual shortcomings are acceptable providing vision can be corrected by your spectacles or contact lenses. Your vision will be examined to determine your suitability for a particular job and service within the ADF.

How do I stand if I have committed an offence years ago?

Defence does take into consideration the criminal history of an applicant when assessing his/her suitability; this is done on a case-by-case basis. Some offences fall under the 'spent conviction legislation' with which the ADF must comply.

I'm female. Are there any jobs I can't apply for?

Approximately 90% of positions in the ADF are available to females. The positions that are currently not available to females are:

  • Royal Australian Infantry Corps (Army)
  • Royal Australian Armoured Corps (Army)
  • Royal Australian Artillery Corps (Army). Female soldiers and officers may serve in the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) Corps within Surveillance Aircraft Operator, Operator Weapon Locating Radar, Artillery - Air Defender or related RAA officer employments currently only within the Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition
  • Combat Engineer (Army). Female Combat Engineer employment is currently within Construction Squadrons and Topographical Units only
  • Ground Defence Officer (Air Force)
  • Airfield Defence Guard (Air Force)

Is there a height restriction for entry to the ADF?

Yes, for entry to the ADF there is a minimum height of 152 cms, without shoes. Aircrew candidates are also required to meet specific anthropometric measurements.

What are the medical & physical fitness requirements for entry?

What are the medical & physical fitness requirements for entry? For information on the Medical and Physical fitness standards for the Navy, Army and Air Force, please go to the Can I Join page

What happens if I have a criminal record?

All applicants must undergo a police check. On application, you will be asked to detail your offence/criminal history. If you fail to provide these details and are enlisted, your service may be terminated.

What happens if you have a hearing disability?

You will be tested and if you are outside the acceptable limit, you will not be able to enlist.

What is the ADF's policy on Illicit (Illegal) Drug Use (Smoking Marijuana, Intravenous Drug Use, Heroin, Crack, Ecstasy, Cocaine, etc.)?

Candidates seeking appointment or enlistment to any part of the ADF will have their application automatically rejected if:

  • they admit to ongoing habitual drug involvement,
  • they have been found guilty in a Court of Law, or otherwise convicted, of drug involvement,
  • they are found to have an addiction to habitual drug involvement; or
  • they admit to, or there is evidence of, a conviction for the use of or possession of an illegal drug, or of trafficking in any restricted or prohibited drug.

What is the ADF's policy on Marijuana smoking? Marijuana is decriminalised in most states, can I use it in my off duty hours?

The use of Marijuana is not allowed. The ADF has a 'no drugs policy' and you may be subject to targeted and random testing for illicit drug use to ensure compliance.

What is the ADF's policy on tattoos?

The ADF has a strict policy on tattoos and body piercing. Tattoos and/or brands are prohibited on the face of candidates wishing to enter the Navy, Army, or Air Force. For Navy candidates, the face includes the scalp, ears and neck. For Army candidates, tattoos are prohibited on the face (which includes the scalp ears and neck) and the hands. Air Force candidates are prohibited from having or obtaining tattoos on the face excluding the scalp, ears and neck.

Additionally, female candidates are permitted to have tattooed eyebrow forms (excluding eyeliner) providing it follows the natural arch line of eyebrows and is of a natural colour that matches the colour of the hair. Females may have lip tattooing to enhance the outline of the lips providing it does not look unnatural ie. is not outlined in black, is not a non-flesh colour and does not change the natural shape of the lips.

Apart from the face (and hands for Army candidates), tattoos and/or brands are permitted on other parts of the body, unless the tattoo or brand is considered offensive and undermines the dignity and authority of The Australian Defence Force. Further guidance on this policy can be provided by contacting Defence Force Recruiting.

Candidates who have tattoos for religious reasons which are in those areas prohibited above, are advised that Defence Force Recruiting is required to seek approval from the appropriate single Service authority prior to applicant appointment or enlistment.

What is the ADF's policy towards discrimination and harassment?

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is committed to promoting equality and diversity, both in the workplace, and in its management practices. An Equity Adviser Network supports Defence personnel at all levels to help maintain a working environment free of harassment and discrimination.

Equity and diversity principles apply to all ADF personnel. 'Equity and diversity' means fair treatment with everyone given equal opportunity to make the most of their talents and abilities. The ADF aims to achieve this through the application of the following principles:

  • Treating each other with dignity and respect
  • Recognising that everyone is different and valuing those differences
  • Maximising the different contributions people can make to the team
  • Making judgements based on fairness and merit
  • Eliminating artificial, unfair and inappropriate barriers to workplace participation
  • Providing appropriate means to monitor and address discrimination and harassment
  • Providing opportunities for flexibility when meeting organisational requirements
  • Consulting personnel on policies and decisions that affect them.

What is the minimum height for joining the military?

Generally the minimum height for joining the military is 152 cm without shoes. Some jobs have more specific height requirements, for example, pilots must be between 163 cm and 193 cm tall with a maximum sitting height of 100 cm.

What medical restrictions govern my eligibility to join?

Entrants will be required to carry out not only the duties of their primary military occupation but will also be expected to perform arduous duties of a general service nature both in peace and war, under field conditions, in extremes of climate and without more than basic medical or dental support. Applicants must therefore be free of any illness or disability that would prevent them from carrying out these duties throughout their Service life. You will be given a medical questionnaire to take home and complete. Those questions marked with an asterisk require further clarification when you go in for testing.

Also refer to the Medical FAQs for more information.

Will colour blindness affect my chances of joining the Forces?

Colour blindness will restrict the areas of employment that are available to you. A Defence Recruiter will be able to tell you which jobs you are suitable for.