Public Relations Officer

As an Army Public Relations Officer you are the communications conduit between the Army and civilian media networks. You are critical to the public perception and image of Army and will be required to develop, implement and monitor operational and tactical communication strategies and provide timely advice to all levels of command within Army. This is a highly demanding and rewarding Army appointment.

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Job Overview

About the Job

As a member of the Australian Army Public Relations Service, you may be employed within a formation and could be required to undertake a broad spectrum of public affairs functions including:

  • Leading Army public affairs teams in support of Army activities (including exercises and operations)
  • Provide public affairs and issues management advice to Army commanders
  • Develop and implement strategic, operational and tactical communication strategies
  • Undertake effective media liaison, escort and support duties
  • Prepare media releases
  • Conduct media awareness training for Army personnel and
  • Oversee the gathering, management and quality of Army public relations product (including stills and video imagery, and articles for Army publications)


Key Information

Salary & Allowances

Fully qualified Specialist Service Officers are paid a daily rate that is tax free.

In addition, a Reserve Allowance is payable to compensate for the unique demands of Reserve Service.

Your pay will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.



Applicants must be aged between 17 and 60 years of age inclusive on entry.

Education & Experience

An applicant for appointment as an Army Public Relations officer must possess an appropriate tertiary qualification and a minimum of four years work experience in one of the following disciplines:

  • Public Relations
  • Journalism
  • Marketing or
  • Corporate Communications.

Medical & Fitness

To be 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 your 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

Public Relations Officers enlisted into the Army Reserve may undertake volunteer service until the age of 65 (Compulsory Retiring Age), subject to the requirements of the Army and suitability for further service. Members may transfer out of the active Army Reserve at any time.


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.


Military Training

Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course

The Specialist Service Officer Course is conducted at the Royal Military College - Duntroon and provides Regular and Reserve Force Specialist Service Officers with fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary for future employment.

The ARA course is 45 day (9 weeks) of training and currently conducted in the first half of the training year. The ARES course is conducted in the latter half of the year and consists of three modules. Module One is 9 days, Module Two is 14 days and Module Three is 16 days. Depending on your tiering you may only be require to complete one, two or all three modules before being deemed competent for employment as an SSO.

ARES SSO Tiering Matrix.

Physical Fitness Levels

All trainees attending training at RMC are required to participate in an Initial Fitness Assessment (IFA) on arrival at RMC. This is an entry level requirement for all courses conducted at RMC. The IFA is based on a shuttle run, push ups and sit ups and is designed to determine whether trainees are at the minimum required standard to complete training at RMC. Due to the unique nature of training at RMC, trainees who do not demonstrate the base line levels of the assessment may be withdrawn from training and RTU. If you do not pass the IFA, you will be medically reviewed by the RMC Medical Officer and you will be advised if you are able to continue with training.

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

Reserve Unit Locations

  • Holsworthy Barracks
    Holsworthy NSW 2173
  • Randwick Barracks
    Randwick NSW 2031
  • Lavarack Barracks
    Townsville QLD 4813
  • Derwent Baracks
    Glenorchy TAS 7010
  • Irwin Barracks
    Karrakatta WA 6010