AIR FORCE OFFICER
Full time / View Reserve role

Ground Defence Officer


Use your leadership skills, endurance and resourcefulness to command a highly trained combat team that defends air bases in Australia and overseas during times of threat.

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Job Overview


About the Job

An Air Force Ground Defence Officer's primary duty is to defend Air Force airfields, assets and personnel from ground attack. Training will reflect both your peace and wartime role in security operations. Your major operational role within a Security Forces Squadron will be on deployed operations. The major focus for GRDEF members posted outside of the operational environment is the effective training of Air Force personnel in core military skills.

You will need to be physically fit to carry out your duties as a Ground Defence Officer (GRDEF) and therefore will need to maintain an appropriate level of physical fitness. There is also a regular requirement to travel which can lead to unique experiences and opportunities within Australia and abroad.

On graduation from training, an Air Force Ground Defence Officer will normally command a Rifle Flight in a Security Forces Squadron. You will be responsible for commanding and leading the 30 personnel in the Rifle Flight who are specialists in the ground defence of airfields and other security tasks.

After the first posting, a Ground Defence Officer's duties will change from leading a Rifle Flight in the field to training and organising. Postings may include:

A Base Ground Defence Officer who may be responsible for:

  • Planning the conduct of operations and training exercises in conjunction with unit executives
  • Advising base commanders on ground defence policy
  • Training base personnel to defend Air Force assets in accordance with ground defence policy and the Base Defence Plan
  • Ground defence continuation training, i.e. ensuring that all Base personnel qualify in the use of small arms annually, construction of field defences, static guard duties and field training exercises
  • Combat survival continuation training
  • Nuclear, biological and chemical defence training
  • The administration and control of base fire services
  • Land search and rescue teams
  • The conduct of weapons competitions
  • The control of the base Armoury and small arms range
  • Base security (on some bases)

An Instructor with:

  • The RAAF Security and Fire School at RAAF Base Amberley, QLD which is responsible for the initial and post-graduate training of Airfield Defence Guards, initial GRDEF training for Security Police/Military Working Dogs Handlers and post-graduate specialist training for selected airmen and officers as Unit Defence Officers
  • The Combat Survival Training School at RAAF Base Townsville, North QLD who is responsible for the provision of training to ADF and international aircrew and selected ground personnel in personal survival skills in a combat situation or
  • The Officer Training School, RAAF Base East Sale, VIC, who is responsible for the conduct of core military skills training to all officer trainees; or No. 1 Recruit Training Unit, RAAF Base Wagga, NSW, who is responsible for the conduct of specialist training (Ground Defence, Fire Training, Medical and Physical Fitness) aspects during initial training of all airmen/airwomen recruits
Australian Defence Force Academy

Complete a university degree at ADFA whilst undertaking military and leadership training

Officer

Join the ADF with Year 12 passes and appropriate qualifications

Learn more

Salary can be over $71,881 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.


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FULL JOB DETAILS

Key Information

Other Requirements

It is suggested that those interested in joining Ground Defence Officer in the Air Force and seek more information about this role contact Air Force Security Force Recruitment at SECFOR.RWFM@defence.gov.au. A suitable Air Force member will respond within 7-14 working days and will be able to convey a more detailed explanation of this rewarding full or part-time security job.

Salary & Allowances

You will be appointed as an Officer Cadet (OFFCDT) and receive the following salary (excluding allowances) while undertaking Military (Initial Officer) Training and Employment Training:

First six months of Training: $43,418 pro rata per year ($1,669 per fortnight).*

Remainder of Training: $49,207 per year ($1,892 per fortnight).*

While under training, you will also receive $10,493 per year pro rata ($403 per fortnight) Trainee Allowance.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $419 per year ($16 per fortnight). This increases to $699.05 per year ($26.65 per fortnight) after commissioning.

Salary on completion of Military (Initial Officer) Training and Employment Training: $57,890.

In addition to your salary, on graduation you will also receive Service Allowance of $13,991 per year ($538 per fortnight) except while undertaking Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Refer to the Salary Scales for further information.

* Note: These figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); or superannuation.

Locations

You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia or possibly overseas, although overseas posting are limited.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry.

Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Maximum age on entry is 53 years of age.

Education & Experience

To be eligible for admission to UNSW@ADFA, applicants must have completed Year 12 and obtained an entrance rank high enough to qualify for entry to the relevant degree program.

Further information on studying at ADFA is available here.

Assumed Knowledge Requirements

Assumed Knowledge is the level of subject knowledge that a lecturer or a tutor of a first year UNSW@ADFA course could reasonably expect of students enrolled in that course.

Assumed Knowledge is fundamental to the assessment of whether or not an applicant is likely to succeed and would be taken into account by the ADF (at the Officer Selection Board) and by UNSW@ADFA when assessing the application.

While all UNSW degrees require Year 12 English as Assumed Knowledge, applicants wishing to enter the Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology programs (or study Mathematics or Physics as part of a Bachelor of Science degree) also require current Year 12 Mathematics and Year 12 Physics as Assumed Knowledge.

In States where Year 12 English may be replaced by a Humanities subject for the purposes of meeting Year 12 certificate requirements, the Assumed Knowledge is Year 11 English plus a Year 12 Humanities subject.

Note: All applicants for undergraduate programs at ADFA must also apply to the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW and ACT) for entry to the University of New South Wales. The Universities Admissions Centre website is http://www.uac.edu.au

Degrees available

Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering (Honours)

Civil Engineering (Honours)

Electrical Engineering (Honours)

Mechanical Engineering (Honours)

Technology (Aeronautical Engineering)

Technology (Aviation)

Computing and Cyber Security

Science

Arts

Business

Medical & Fitness

For entry to the Air Force as a Ground Defence Officer, you must be medically and physically fit. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment. For Ground Defence Officer, the standard you will be required to meet before appointment is a PFA consisting of:

Male:

  • Push-Ups: 15
  • Sit-Ups: 45 and
  • Shuttle Run: 7.5

Female:

  • Push-Ups:15
  • Sit-Ups: 45 and
  • Shuttle Run: 7.5

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Physical fitness is very important for Ground Defence Officers as they are required to maintain a higher fitness level than most members of the Air Force. This is to ensure that Ground Defence Officers can cope with the physically demanding conditions often encountered in the nature of their duties.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of seven years. However, there is a two year grace period on appointment.

After your IMPS you may request discharge at any time provided you do not have any additional Return of Service Obligations and you provide a minimum of three months' notice.

On appointment you may be able to serve until retirement age of 60 (or 65 for Reservists), subject to your continued suitability for service.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

It is essential that all applicants hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Australian C Class drivers licence. It is desirable that all applicants be free of driving infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence or prevent the issue of an ADF Drivers Licence. 

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Citizenship

Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 18 Weeks

Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 18 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force Values and attitudes, Ground Defence and Weapons training, Leadership and Personal Development, Communication Skills and Air Force Operations studies.

Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website or refer to the Joining Instructions.

The information on the website and in the Joining Instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before appointment in the Air Force and give you an overview of the structure and requirements of the Initial Officer Course.

During Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Ground Defence Basic Operations Course - 3 Weeks

The Ground Defence Officer Basic Operations Course is designed to apply skills and concepts developed during previous courses and apply them to Air Force specific operations on and around air bases. The residential course is conducted over three weeks at Royal Australian Security and Fire School, RAAF Base Amberley, QLD

(ADFA Entry) Australian Defence Force Academy – 3 years

The academic and military training at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Canberra ACT, takes three years to complete. After graduation, you will attend the Royal Military College, (RMC) Duntroon, for 12 months to further enhance your military training.

Upon joining ADFA, you will undertake six weeks of initial military training to prepare you for service life. This training encompasses leadership, ceremonial, physical, field and weapons training. You will also undertake adventure training, learn about academic life and prepare for your first ceremonial parade as a member of the Australian Defence Force. This parade, which is reviewed by the Chief of Defence Force is a great opportunity for your parents, family and friends to celebrate your achievements as you embark on your military career.

During the academic year, up to nine hours per week are assigned to military education and training. This program includes leadership studies, Defence studies, training in military law, weapon handling, communication skills, as well as physical fitness training.

On at least two occasions each year, you will undertake Single Service Training with RMC of approximately two weeks. Over three years, these blocks of training will provide you with all the skills necessary to commence training at RMC upon graduation from ADFA.

Other breaks during the year will provide you with the opportunity to be involved with academic field trips, overseas battlefield study tours, a visit to an overseas defence academy (if you have excelled in your studies) and extracurricular activities such as adventurous training and sporting trips.

All of the above training, together with the qualifications you will gain through your undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales, will provide you with an excellent grounding to progress with your Air Force career.

(ADFA Entry) Royal Military College (Duntroon) Officer Training - 12 months

RMC training for ex-ADFA cadets consists of two terms each of approximately six months duration. The first term for ex-ADFA cadets at RMC is referred to as Second Class and their final term is known as First Class. Ex-ADFA cadets are not required to complete a preceding six months of RMC training referred to as Third Class because of the academic and military training completed at ADFA.

This is how your military training at RMC will unfold:

Second Class: By the end of Second Class you will have grasped command and leadership skills at section and platoon / flight levels. You will have received further instruction in battle tactics, military history, administration, training, science and technology and communication skills. You will also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge and experience in the field and practise at section command level, expanding to platoon / flight level towards the end of Second Class.

First Class: By now you will be ready to put your knowledge into practice at the section, platoon / flight and company / squadron level. Your understanding of strategic issues, management, military history and leadership will also be further developed.

At graduation you will be promoted to Flying Officer and be assigned to one of the Airforce’s specialised Security Forces Squadrons.

Further Training

You will receive considerable postgraduate training, some of whichis conducted by the Army in Explosive Ordnance Demolition, TrainingManagement, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, Fire andGeneral Safety, Advanced Range Qualifications, Tactics and Weaponscourses.

Key Information

Other Requirements

It is suggested that those interested in joining Ground Defence Officer in the Air Force and seek more information about this role contact Air Force Security Force Recruitment at SECFOR.RWFM@defence.gov.au. A suitable Air Force member will respond within 7-14 working days and will be able to convey a more detailed explanation of this rewarding full or part-time security job.

Salary & Allowances

You will be appointed as an Officer Cadet (OFFCDT) and receive the following salary (excluding allowances) while undertaking Military (Initial Officer) Training and Employment Training:

First six months of Training: $43,418 pro rata per year ($1,669 per fortnight).*

Remainder of Training: $49,207 per year ($1,892 per fortnight).*

While under training, you will also receive $10,493 per year pro rata ($403 per fortnight) Trainee Allowance.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $419 per year ($16 per fortnight). This increases to $699.05 per year ($26.65 per fortnight) after commissioning.

Salary on completion of Military (Initial Officer) Training and Employment Training: $57,890.

In addition to your salary, on graduation you will also receive Service Allowance of $13,991 per year ($538 per fortnight) except while undertaking Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Refer to the Salary Scales for further information.

* Note: These figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); or superannuation.

Locations

You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia or possibly overseas, although overseas posting are limited.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry.

Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Maximum age on entry is 53 years of age.

Education & Experience

Must have completed Year 12 with passes in English and three other academic subjects.

South Australian applicants may achieve a pass at Year 11 English and a pass in a language rich subject at Year 12.

Medical & Fitness

For entry to the Air Force as a Ground Defence Officer, you must be medically and physically fit. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment. For Ground Defence Officer, the standard you will be required to meet before appointment is a PFA consisting of:

Male:

  • Push-Ups: 15
  • Sit-Ups: 45 and
  • Shuttle Run: 7.5

Female:

  • Push-Ups:15
  • Sit-Ups: 45 and
  • Shuttle Run: 7.5

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Physical fitness is very important for Ground Defence Officers as they are required to maintain a higher fitness level than most members of the Air Force. This is to ensure that Ground Defence Officers can cope with the physically demanding conditions often encountered in the nature of their duties.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. Subsequent periods of service may be offeredsubject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability forfurther service. You may tender your resignation at any timeprovided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period ofService obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

It is essential that all applicants hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Australian C Class drivers licence. It is desirable that all applicants be free of driving infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence or prevent the issue of an ADF Drivers Licence. 

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Citizenship

Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 18 Weeks

Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 18 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force Values and attitudes, Ground Defence and Weapons training, Leadership and Personal Development, Communication Skills and Air Force Operations studies.

Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website or refer to the Joining Instructions.

The information on the website and in the Joining Instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before appointment in the Air Force and give you an overview of the structure and requirements of the Initial Officer Course.

During Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

(Direct Entry) Royal Military College (Duntroon) Officer Training - 18 months

RAAF Ground Defence Officer appointees attend the Royal Military College (RMC) to gain basic skills in ground defence operations (which are infantry based), combat leadership, operations in the land combat environment, admin and logistics, tactics, staff officer skills and inter-service operational experience. As RMC is one of Australia's finest military training schools, the RAAF takes the opportunity to send its Ground Defence Officers to this establishment.

Regimental Officer Basic Course (Infantry) - 11 Weeks

This course is undertaken in order for the Ground Defence Officer to gain tactical skills and field firing range qualifications which are not addressed at RMC. The field firing qualification enables Ground Defence Officers to conduct the full range of tactical level group field firing up to Squadron strength and including High Explosives and Battle Simulation. These qualifications are essential for GRDEF operations.

Ground Defence Basic Operations Course - 5 Weeks

The Ground Defence Officer Basic Operations Course (GRDEFOBASOPSCSE) is designed to apply skills and concepts developed at RMC to Air Force specific operations on and around air bases. This progresses junior GRDEFOs to the tactical and administrative requirements of security and ground defence operations in an Air Force environment.

During RMC (Military Training) and (Initial) Employment Training (Regimental Officers Basic Course etc), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Further Training

You will receive considerable postgraduate training, some of whichis conducted by the Army in Explosive Ordnance Demolition, TrainingManagement, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, Fire andGeneral Safety, Advanced Range Qualifications, Tactics and Weaponscourses.