Join the way you want to

There are several ways to join the Navy, Army and Air Force and some jobs can have more than one entry method. You can explore your options here:

GAP YEAR

A 12-month taste of the Navy, Army or Air Force

  • Many roles to choose from
  • No obligation to stay beyond the program
  • A great opportunity to find out what life's like in the ADF
  • Offers a fulfilling year of paid work, adventure, experiences, mateship, learning and travel

GENERAL ENTRY

Join with Year 10 passes

  • Hands-on and team orientated jobs, which can be trade related
  • No work experience necessary
  • Fully-paid training, which may lead to nationally-recognised qualifications
  • Qualified trade roles are also available

OFFICER ENTRY

Join with Year 12 passes

  • Management-focused jobs, requiring team leadership and decision making
  • Some roles require a relevant qualification
  • Degree courses can be fully or partly-funded by the ADF

RESERVE ENTRY

A part-time job in the Navy, Army or Air Force

  • Choice of General Entry and Officer Entry roles
  • Education requirements vary by role
  • Flexible commitment to match your location and circumstances

 

Find more information at ADF Entry Methods and Gap Year.


Alternative entry pathways and programs

If you show potential but do not yet meet our entry standards, you may be offered one of the alternative entry pathways below. We also offer programs for those with specific timing or location needs. But first, you’ll need to apply through the standard recruitment process.

INDIGENOUS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

If you don’t meet the education or fitness standards

This program may be offered to you if you do not currently meet the standards for General Entry.

You'll be given the opportunity to improve your reading, writing and fitness before embarking on recruit training. During the application process, an Indigenous Career Coach will talk to you about your options and assess if this is the right pathway for you.

  • Gives you a minimum of a TAFE Cert II in Skills for Work and Study (Navy and Air Force) or Foundation Skills (Army)
  • Provides an introduction to life in the ADF
  • Open to all General Entry roles in the ADF
  • Minimum fitness levels apply

What you'll learn 

Based at Cairns, QLD (Navy), Kapooka, NSW, or Batchelor, NT (Army) you will train in the following areas:

  • Language, literacy and numeracy
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Leadership and character development
  • Physical fitness
  • Military and seamanship (for Navy) skills

Where it will take you

You'll leave the course with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make a great start in the ADF.

YEAR 10 or 12 BRIDGING COURSE

If you don’t yet meet the Air Force education standards

If you want to join the Air Force but don’t currently have the qualifications required for General or Officer Entry (including entry with a degree), this option may suit you. Suitable candidates can be assisted in gaining Year 12 equivalent qualifications by engaging in:

  • a TAFE course that prepares you for entry into a technical trade as an Airman/Airwoman, or
  • a University Preparation Program to help you gain entry to a degree course, including one at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

If selected for this program during the application process, you will be mentored by a member of the Air Force as you study at TAFE or university. It can be combined with the Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program, if you feel you would benefit from confidence and resilience development and/or improved fitness.

Where it will take you

You'll gain the knowledge and qualifications to embark on a rewarding career in the Air Force.

INDIGENOUS PRE-RECRUIT PROGRAM (IPRP)

If you're selected but need to develop skills/fitness

IPRP is for you if you’ve been selected to join the Navy, Army or Air Force and would benefit from developing your confidence, resilience and fitness before starting recruit training for your full-time or Reserve role.

  • Six-week residential course held on a rotational basis at:
    • HMAS Cerberus, VIC
    • Kapooka, NSW, or
    • RAAF Wagga, NSW.
  • Open to all General Entry roles
  • Talk to your Career Coach about entry requirements

What you'll learn

Your training will include:

  • Classroom-based instruction
  • Physical fitness development
  • Teambuilding activities
  • Military site visits

Where it will take you

You'll leave the course with the skills, knowledge and confidence for success at recruit training and in your role in the ADF.

RECRUIT WHEN READY PATHWAY

If you want to join as soon as you can

This pathway may be offered to you if you've shown us you have what it takes and you are keen to start work as quickly as possible.

  • Aims to let you start at a time that suits your personal circumstances
  • Open to all General Entry roles
  • Cannot be combined with the Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program or Navy or Army Indigenous Development Programs

RECRUIT TO AREA PATHWAY

If you want to join near your family or home

This pathway may be offered to you if serving near a specific location is important to you, for reasons such as family commitments.

  • First posting can be near your home or another desired place
  • Available for first posting after completion of training
  • Open to all General Entry roles and Air Force Officer roles
  • Can be combined with the Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program and Navy and Army Indigenous Development Programs (noting that the programs themselves take place in designated locations throughout the year)
  • Air Force pathways offer flexible study locations

RETURN TO COUNTRY/COMMUNITY PROGRAM

If you want to contribute to community development

Through this program you can Return to Community for significant cultural reasons for a period of time, and to use the skills and experience you have gained in the Navy or Air Force to mentor your peers and contribute to community development.


The ADFA Education Award

The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Education Award is presented annually to Year 12 students in recognition of leadership potential, and academic and sporting achievements exhibited during Year 11. The award comprises a tablet device (or similar) and certificate for you, along with a plaque of recognition for your school. Up to 50 awards across the Navy, Army and Air Force – including 19 Indigenous Awards – are presented each year to suitable applicants who have applied for entry to ADFA.


See what’s on offer

Select a category that appeals to you to learn more about the jobs available.


Like some help and guidance?

Indigenous Career Coaches are available to assist you throughout the application process, just ask.


The terms Indigenous and Indigenous Australians are used to describe all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Please be aware that this website may contain images or content relating to deceased persons. It may also contain words and descriptions that are culturally sensitive.