About the Job

Unlock your full potential and take on a meaningful career that makes a real difference.

As an Army Officer, you’ll take the lead of a team of soldiers. You’ll pick up the fundamentals of being a leader: mentorship, influence, problem solving, decision making, and much more.

There’s no leadership experience required. You’ll receive world-class training to reach your full leadership potential at the Royal Military College. On completion of your Officer training at RMC, you can preference a specialisation in a number of different roles. No matter your specialisation, your role as an Officer will mold you into a leader armed with the tools to succeed in Army and beyond.

Within your career as an Army Officer, you'll take the lead of a team of highly capable soldiers in new and exciting environments based on your specialisation.

Then, in your Officer career, you’ll be physically and mentally challenged every day to be the best leader you can be.

As an Army Officer you will specialise in one of the following roles on completion of your training:

Note: Although we consider preferences and aptitude, you are not guaranteed allocation to your chosen specialisation.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

National Qualifications

Aspects of your training may result in the award of civil qualifications - something you can check with your Instructional Staff when you conduct your Initial Employment Training.

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 your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


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 at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

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.

Education & Experience

An applicant must pass English and three other Year 12 subjects that meet Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) requirements. 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).

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

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral 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.

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.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

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 your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


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 at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

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.

Education & Experience

An applicant must pass four tertiary accredited subjects at Year 12 level including English—and meet University Admission Index 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 Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral 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.

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 four 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.