About the Job

The Artillery Observer operates as part of a six person Joint Fires Team. The Artillery Observer's primary role is to establish fire supremacy on the battle field by controlling and engaging targets with Australian and Coalition joint fires assets such as indirect fire support from artillery and mortars, close air support from attack helicopters or ground attack aircraft or naval surface fires ships.

As an Artillery Observer, your Joint Fires Team is attached to the combat teams and Amphibious Ready Element of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps or armoured squadrons of the Royal Australian Armour Corps. The Joint Fires Team controls all joint fires and effects in support of the combat team or squadron manoeuvre plan in close combat. As such the Artillery Observer is equipped with state of the art battle field surveillance equipments such as:

  • The Digital Terminal Control System
  • Laser Target Designators and pointer
  • Laser Range Finders
  • Ground Surveillance Radars
  • Full motion video from airborne surveillance platforms.

The Artillery Observer is a fit, highly motivated soldier who will deploy by Sea, Air, and land. The Artillery Observer is equipped with the in service rifle that can be fitted with the grenade launcher assembly. The Joint Fires Team will also be equipped with and operate the Light Support Weapon, the Light Direct Fire Support Weapon, grenades and Night Fighting Equipment.

If Artillery Observer is not for you, have you considered battle space management? Operating in a small command and control team as an Artillery Command Systems Operator?

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

In the Army you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.

Salary Calculator


On completion of employment training, you can expect to be posted to either 1 Regiment (Brisbane), 4 Regiment (Townsville), or 8/12 Medium Regiment (Darwin).



Applicants must be aged between 17 and 55 years of age inclusive on day of entry.

Applicants will not 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.

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. 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 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.

Period of Service

Male candidates will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years.

Female candidates will be enlisted for two years.

Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.

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


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.


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 employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.


Military Training

All General Entry recruits into the Australian Regular Army are required to complete the Recruit Course.

Total Duration: 80 days.

Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the 80 day Army Recruit Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. The training is deliberately challenging and has been designed to prepare you to be a soldier in today's Army. Recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved.

For more details on recruit training, refer to the Joining instructions. These instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before enlistment in the Army, and give you an idea of what you will be doing on the recruit course.

Further information is also available at the Army Recruit Training Centre website.

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

Employment Training

Basic Combat Communications Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 6 days, not including weekends.

RAA Common Induction Training

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 12 days, not including weekends.

Specialist Combat Communications Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 4 weeks.

RAA Advanced Fieldcraft

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 5 days, not including weekends.

Artillery Observer Basic Course

Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal.

Duration: 11.5 weeks.

Includes training on:

  • Advanced small arms weapon systems

  • Digital and analogue communication systems

  • Battlespace manoeuvre techniques and

  • Target location, identification, and engagement procedures.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.