ARMY OFFICER / FULL TIME / VIEW RESERVE JOB

General Service Officer


As a General Service Officer in the Army your training will prepare you to lead troops in either full or part-time roles.

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Job Overview


About the Job

If you're looking to challenge yourself mentally and physically then a career as a General Service Officer could be for you. A GSO is someone who is committed, shows initiative, works well in a team environment and has leadership potential. You may have just completed high school, have already studied at university or have worked for a couple of years since leaving school. Your training will teach you how to think, not what to think. At the end of your training you will have the ability to lead and the ability to make decisions confidently.

As a General Service Officer you can specialise in one of the following jobs:

Note: Corps allocation is based on your preference, competitiveness and availability of positions. Although due consideration is given, you are not guaranteed of being allocated to the Corps of your choice.

Australian Defence Force Academy

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

Royal Military College Duntroon

Commence officer training from Year 12 or current employment

Learn more about Entry Methods


Salary can be over $73,000 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.


FULL JOB DETAILS

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

While studying at ADFA you will receive:

First year of training: $30,603 per year.*

Second year of training: $36,167 per year.*

Third year of training: $41,732 per year.*

Fourth year of training: $47,296 per year.*

While under training, you will also receive $10,086 per year pro rata Trainee Allowance.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will receive a Uniform Allowance of $419 per year.

Trainees with dependants may be entitled to Trainee's Dependant Allowance which is paid to enable trainees with dependants to receive a salary not less than $43,766 per year while training. Conditions apply. Speak to your Careers Counsellor for details.

Once commissioned, your salary will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. You will also receive a Service Allowance of $13,448 per year. Your pay grade may increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of further training.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

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

Locations

Officers are employed across Australia, both in major cities and regional areas. The location will depend on the Corps you are allocated to.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry; however an age waiver may be sought for Army applicants entering the ADF through ADFA at 16 years of age.

Applicants may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Maximum age on entry is 50 years of age for 3 year degree studies and 49 years of age for 4 year degree studies. Maximum age guidelines are set to ensure Return of Service Obligations (ROSO) are met prior to the compulsory retirement age of 60.

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.

Note: If you already have a degree, please provide copies of your transcripts as well as Year 12.

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 is taken into account by the ADF (during the recruiting process) 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.

Further information regarding Assumed Subject Knowledge, including state-by-state specific Year 12 subjects, can be found on the UNSW website.

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/

ADF Service Requirements

You should be aware that in addition to the UNSW@ADFA Assumed Subject Knowledge requirements, there may be some Year 12 subjects that are ADF Service requirements.

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

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of nine years. On completion of your IMPS you may continue to serve under an open-ended engagement until you decide to resign which requires three months prior notification.

Defence Academy Entry Officers become liable to an IMPS from the graduation day of their second year of studies. This means that they may leave the Academy at any time up to the end of second year, without any obligation.

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

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 Recruitment Centre 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.

Training

Military Training

Location of training: Australian Defence Force Academy

Duration of training: 156 Weeks

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 Army career.

Location of training: Royal Military College

Duration of training: 12 Months

RMC training for ADFA cadets consists of two terms each of approximately six months duration. The first term for ADFA cadets at RMC is referred to as Second Class and their final term is known as First Class. 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 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 practice at section command level, expanding to platoon 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 and company level. Your understanding of strategic issues, management, military history and leadership will also be further developed.

After graduation you will be assigned to one of the Army's specialised branches, known as Corps. Then you can put into professional practice all that you've learned. Initially you will be required to complete several weeks of in-service Corps training and familiarisation. Then you may find yourself taking troops through field exercises, physical training drills, tactical assaults or managing any number of vital Army functions.

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

Employment Training

Just prior to graduation from RMC, you'll be appointed to one of the Army's specialised branches, known as Corps. For example, the Transport Corps is responsible for transport of Army personnel and all kinds of equipment via land, air and sea.

Corps allocation is based on your preference, competitiveness and availability of positions.

Initially you'll be required to complete several weeks of in-service Corps training and familiarisation. You'll then be posted to your unit, where you may find yourself taking troops through field exercises, tactical assaults or managing any number of vital Army functions.

Key Information

National Qualifications

Civil accreditation is currently under review for all Army training.

Salary & Allowances

While studying at RMC you will receive:

First six months of Military Training at RMC: $41,732 per year.*

Final 12 months of Military Training at RMC: $47,296 per year.*

Note: If you are already degree qualified, you will receive $47,296 for the duration of your training.

While under training, you will also receive $10,086 per year pro rata 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.

Trainees with dependants may be entitled to Trainee's Dependant Allowance which is paid to enable trainees with dependants to receive a salary not less than $43,766 per year while training. Conditions apply. Speak to your Careers Counsellor for details.

Once commissioned, your salary will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. You will also receive a Service Allowance of $13,448 per year. Your pay grade may increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of further training.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

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

Locations

Officers are employed across Australia, both in major cities and regional areas. The location will depend on the Corps you are allocated to.


Requirements

Age

Must be aged between 17 and 53 years inclusive on date 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

You must have completed Year 12 with passes in English and three other subjects. Or you may be in your final year and expect to reach these levels. (South Australian officer applicants may achieve a pass at Year 11 English and a pass in a language rich subject at Year 12 and three other subjects);

Or

If you do not satisfy the education requirements or do not possess evidence of your educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.

You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) Assessment to ascertain your ability at the required educational level for this employment category. However, you should be a minimum of 21 years of age at the time of assessment and be able to demonstrate relevant work or life experience skills that will facilitate completion of your Employment Training.

Further information is available here.

A tertiary qualification is not required to be an effective junior officer, however officers without degrees will be encouraged to complete a degree later in their career.

Note: If you already have a degree, please provide copies of your transcripts as well as Year 12.

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

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. On completion of your IMPS you may continue to serve under an open-ended engagement until you decide to resign which requires three months prior notification.

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

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 Recruitment Centre 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.

Training

Military Training

Location of course: Royal Military College, Duntroon Canberra, ACT

Duration of course: 18 months

Your training at RMC is made up of three terms each of approximately six months duration. Cadets in their first term are referred to as Third Class, second term cadets as Second Class and third term cadets as First Class. RMC cadets are organised as a Battalion known as the Corps of Staff Cadets.

This is how your military training at RMC will unfold:

Third Class: In this first term you will be given a basic grounding in battle craft, infantry minor tactics, navigation, first aid, weapon training, character development, communication skills, military history and leadership. At RMC, the Third Class training is conducted on the basis that you have no prior military knowledge or experience.

Second Class: By the end of Second Class you will have grasped command and leadership skills at section and platoon 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 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 and company level. Your understanding of strategic issues, management, military history and leadership will also be further developed.

After graduation you will be assigned to one of the Army's specialised branches, known as Corps. Then you can put into professional practice all that you've learned. Initially you will be required to complete in-service Corps training and familiarisation. Then you may find yourself taking troops through field exercises, physical training drills, tactical assaults or managing any number of vital Army functions.

Graduates are commissioned as Lieutenants.

During RMC (Military Training) and (Initial) Employment Training (Regimental or Logistics Officers Basic Course etc), you will be required to pay a contribution towards your meals, accommodation and utilities.

Further information is also available at the Royal Military College website.

Employment Training

Just prior to graduation from RMC, you'll be appointed to one of the Army's specialised branches, known as Corps. For example, the Transport Corps is responsible for transport of Army personnel and all kinds of equipment via land, air and sea.

Corps allocation is based on your preference, competitiveness and availability of positions.

Initially you'll be required to complete several weeks of in-service Corps training and familiarisation. You'll then be posted to your unit, where you may find yourself taking troops through field exercises, tactical assaults or managing any number of vital Army functions.