About the Job

Army General Service Officers are allocated to specific roles shortly before graduation from the Royal Military College - Duntroon. The allocation of roles is based on performance during training. To apply for this role visit the Army Officer page.

As a Helicopter Pilot (GSO Pilot), once qualified, you can expect to be employed flying your primary helicopter type, initially as a co-pilot and/or aircraft captain under supervision for the first twelve months. From this point on you will be trained and authorised to conduct more complex missions often as aircraft captain. You will learn how to operate from RAN ships as well as how to operate in mountainous terrain and remote areas. You will be qualified to fly with night vision devices and conduct low level and formation flight by day and night. As you develop your flying experience you can expect to be given supervisory and leadership roles to prepare you for command appointments with the Army. After six to eight years of flying you may be selected to be a flying instructor or experimental test pilot.

Some of you may be selected for overseas postings accompanied by your spouse and children.

You will be expected to attend career courses with officers from all Corps. There are also professional development courses that may be undertaken with officers from Navy and Air Force. These are not only great professional development opportunities that also expand your network of friends and colleagues.

AIRCRAFT TYPES ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT

CH-47F Chinook

The CH-47F Chinook is operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. Initial conversion training is conducted by the US Army.

The Chinook is one of the most versatile battlefield helicopters capable of carrying 33 troops or 10 tonnes of cargo over a range of approximately 500 kilometres at a cruise speed of 130 knots (240 kilometres per hour). Tasks include logistic support to airmobile operations, casualty evacuation and battlefield support for internal and external movement of fuel, stores, vehicles and heavy equipment.

The Chinook has a crew of two pilots and two aircrewman and can be armed with 2 M134 Miniguns and a MAG58 machine gun.

MRH90 - Taipan

The MRH90 Taipan is operated by A and B Squadron of the 5th Aviation Regiment, Townsville, 173 and 171 Squadron of the 6th Aviation Regiment, Sydney and by the School of Army Aviation at Oakey. It replaced the Blackhawk helicopter previously operated by Army Aviation. Training on the MRH90 Taipan is conducted by the School of Army Aviation at Oakey using both live aircraft and a Full Flight Mission Simulator.

The Taipan is the Australian variant of the Airbus NH90. It belongs to a new generation of helicopter that boasts many leading edge technologies including a fully composite fuselage, fly by wire flight controls, weather radar, integrated forward looking infra-red and an advanced avionics suite.

The Taipan can cruise at a speed of 280 km/h (150 knots) and has a range of approximately 500 km. It can seat up to 18 passengers.

The Taipan has a crew of two pilots and two aircrewmen and can be armed with two M134 miniguns.

ARH -Tiger

The Tiger is operated by 161 and 162 Reconnaissance Squadron of 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin. Conversion training is conducted by the School of Army Aviation at Oakey using both actual aircraft and a Full Flight Mission Simulator.

As an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, the Tiger provides a reconnaissance capability overmatch in order to provide situational awareness and decision superiority to the commander. The Tiger employs cannon, rocket and missile weapons systems, sensors communications systems with the capability of employment in Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Intelligence, Offensive Support, Command and Control.

The Tiger is a tandem seated, armed helicopter which cruises at a speed of 120 knots (222 kilometers per hour) and has a range of 450 km without external tanks.

The Tiger is crewed by two pilots one of whom is designated the Battle Captain.


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

The ADF and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have agreed on the following milestones for the issue of civil licences as shown:

  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL) (aeroplane): Graduate from the Basic Flying Training Course meet civil equivalent break-down of hours as for PPL (A)
  • PPL (Helicopter) and Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (Helicopter): Basic Flying and Rotary Wing Training plus Operational Conversion onto Helicopter Type plus meet civil equivalent break-down of hours as required for PPL (H)/CPL (H)
  • ADF pilots are eligible for issue of Flight Instructor Rating (Aeroplane) (FIR (A)) if they are a graduate of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force or Royal Air Force, Central Flying School.
  • ADF pilots may be eligible for issue of a Flight Instructor Rating (Helicopter) if they have successfully completed a recognised Qualified Flying Instructor course from within the Defence Force of Australia, Central Flying School of RNZAF and RAF. As a precursor, they must hold a current and valid CASA CPL (H) or ATPL (H) as well as having accrued 400 hours flight time in a helicopter

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.

Read our Conditions of Service.


Locations

On completion of flying training you will be posted to an Aviation Squadron according to where your operational type is based across Australia:

  • Tiger - 161 and 162 Reconnaissance Squadrons 1st Aviation Regiment located in Robertson Barracks Darwin
  • Taipan - A and B Squadrons 5th Aviation Regiment located at RAAF Base Garbutt Townsville
  • Chinook - C Squadron 5th Aviation Regiment Townsville
  • Black Hawk - 171 and 173 Squadron 6th Aviation Regiment Sydney

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).

Experience

Military flying is in many ways, very different from civilian flying. Therefore the Military Pilots course has a different training philosophy to that of many civilian flying schools.

You'll be expected to progress on course at a rate that confirms your suitability for subsequent operational conversions to front-line military aircraft. Therefore previous flying experience in a civilian environment does not necessarily provide an advantage.

Army neither encourages nor discourages potential applicants to consider flying lessons.

Detailed Evaluation


A detailed evaluation of your suitability to become an Army Officer requires a primary and a secondary selection process. The primary selection process is conducted by Defence Force Recruiting at your local DFRC. This includes initial aptitude testing as well as Defence Recruiting and Physiologist interviews. The Army recruitment process helps us establish that you have the qualities, potential and attitude to become an effective leader and manager. It also starts the process of identifying the branch of the Army you may be best suited to, if you’re not already qualified for a specialist role.

All Corps entry RMC Cadets considering an Aviation Officer (Pilot) career path during the preference period at RMC have the opportunity apply to undertake Military Aviation Cognitive Testing (MACTs) at the Royal Military College in Canberra. The cognitive assessment is conducted over a one day period using a Computer Based Aptitude System to determine your potential for Aviation Training. 

 

 

Medical & Fitness

To be appointed, 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. As applicants progress they must also meet the Army Aviation Aircrew medical and dental requirements, which includes the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrew medical examination. All pilot training applicants must complete the aircrew medical, including specialist examinations and a Basic Fitness Assessment (BFA) not more than 6 months before the start date of the Army Pilots Course.

Applicants must also satisfy the following requirements:

Physical Requirements

For the purposes of Special Medical Requirements, Pilots are classified as 'Aviation Class 1'.

Army candidates for RMC and ADFA are required to participate in outdoor activities as part of the Officer Selection Board (OSB) selection process. These activities are designed to highlight leadership qualities and physical fitness. The candidates are required to participate in a set of three group activities lasting approximately 15 minutes each. These activities can involve jumping from a height of approximately 1.5 - 2 metres onto a sandy surface, jumping across stepping stones, climbing and balancing on a wooden frame, load bearing activities which may require the candidate to assist in lifting/carrying another individual or lifting a piece of equipment not exceeding 10kgs.

On completion of these activities the candidates will then undergo the PFA (BEEP test, push-ups and sit ups). Whilst the PFA has a minimum physical fitness standard candidates are encouraged to exceed the minimum standard demonstrating their physical fitness and stamina. The minimum entry standard for the BEEP test is 7.5, candidates are required to perform as many push ups as they can within a 2 minute period and as many sit ups as they can. As such, all candidates need to be free of any injuries or medical conditions which could have the potential to be aggravated/exacerbated by undertaking physical activities as part of the OSB.

Period of Service

If you enter the Army through the Royal Military College - Duntroon you will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of 10.5 years. On completion of your IMPS obligation you may continue to serve on an open-ended arrangement until such time that you submit your 3 month notification of intent to separate.
 
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 and ROSO will relate to your chosen occupation.
 

Additional Requirements

Detailed evaluation

All Australian Defence Force Officer Aviation (OA) roles require you to complete a detailed evaluation consisting mostly of examinations and interviews. After passing an initial test and interview at your local DFRC, you’ll move on to take part in the two-day Aviation Screening Program (ASP).

For members who nominate for Army Pilot the ASP will take place at the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC-D) in the Australian Capital Territory. There you’ll join a group of candidates who are all undergoing further screening for Army Pilot.

The ASP is designed to evaluate Pilot candidates and determine their suitability to undertake aviation training. You’ll experience firsthand the training, recreational and accommodation facilities at a Defence Base. Plus, you’ll get to talk with Army Aviators and about life as a pilot in the Army.

At the end of the ASP, you’ll meet with a debriefing officer individually to receive your test results and discuss the Officer Aviation (OA) career options that are available to you.

Once you have successfully completed ASP, you may progress to an Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB). The AOSB is also conducted at the RMC-D. Candidates will be assessed on five key areas: Leadership, Suitability and Organisational fit, Motivation, Academic ability and physical agility. Army will also seek to select candidates who share Army’s values of: Courage Initiative, Teamwork and Respect.

You’ll be able to take a copy of your report and progression options with you, to talk through with your family. If you’re successful, you’ll need to contact a Defence Force Recruiter to progress your application to Officer Selection Boards.

For more information on Officer Aviation please contact A.C.M.C@defence.gov.au

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 a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) 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 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

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

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

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.

Graduates are commissioned as Lieutenants.

During RMC (Military Training) and (Initial) Employment Training (Regimental 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

Following successful completion of military training at RMC, Pilot applicants complete the following employment training:

ADF Basic Pilot Course

Duration: 24 weeks
Location: RAAF Base East Sale, VIC.

On  the Pilot Basic Course students will fly about 60 hours in PC21 aircraft and simulators. The flying disciplines on pilot basic course include General Flying (GF), Instrument Flying (IF), Night Flying (NF) and an introduction to medium level visual Navigation (NAV). GF includes manoeuvres such as flying circuits, basic aerobatics, stalling and emergency handling. IF instruction covers basic instrument interpretation skills and flying instrument approaches. Ground training will also be conducted in Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems, Airmanship, Air Power, Air Traffic Control, Aviation Medicine, Cockpit Systems, Meteorology, Morse Code, and Navigation.

Upon completion of the Pilot Basic Course, students will proceed to HMAS Albatross to commence the Rotary Course Pilot.

Rotary Course Pilot


Duration: Approximately six months
Location: HMAS Albatross Nowra, NSW.

During this course, trainees will receive approximately 87 live flying hours and 77 simulator hours in the EC135 helicopter and full mission flight simulator. The course builds on the experience gained on the basic pilot course with the aim of providing the skills, knowledge, attitude and other attributes necessary for trainee Army pilots to commence operational type training.  Students will receive day and night NVD flight operations include; low level terrain flight, ship-deck landings, hoisting, load lifting, confined area operations, maritime Hi-line transfers, IF, formation flight and extensive emergency and malfunction training.

Award of Army Flying Badge (Wings)

On successful completion of the Rotary Course Pilot, trainees will be awarded the Army Flying Badge (Provisional). Wings become ‘Substantive’ on successful completion of the Regimental Officer Basic Course Program which includes operational type conversion. 
Regimental Officers' Basic Course (ROBC) Program
Duration: Six to Eight months depending on aircraft type 
Location: School of Army Aviation, Oakey, QLD.
The Regimental Officers' Basic Course (ROBC) includes basic tactics, aircraft familiarisation, operational type qualification and role specific mission employment. Pilots will be selected to undertake training on one of the following ROBC programs: 
ARH (Tiger)
CH47F (Chinook)
MRH90 (Taipan) or
S70 (Black Hawk)

 

 

Further Training

Upon graduation from the School of Army Aviation as a Category D Pilot, an Aviation Officer LT will be posted to an Aviation Unit and continue training and aircrew development in accordance with the unit role specific training and assessment program. Aviation Officer LT’s should achieve categorisation progression to Category C (mission qualified) in the first 12 months of aircrew development while in the regimental environment.  Progression to Category B (fully mission qualified) will normally occur in the following 12 to 24 months. A Pilot Category is awarded to identify the individuals’ ability and competency to Captain an aircraft in a specified environment whilst performing specified duties.

Promotion to the rank of CAPT will normally occur after four years as a LT and an Aviation Officer can expect a minimum of eight years in an operational flying role.

Employment


There are two career streams for an Army Pilots:

Generalist

Pilots described as Generalist Officers, LT to LTCOL with complementary technical skills and or experience; and

Specialist

Specialists are Pilots, from CAPT to LTCOL who have developed deep aviation skills and knowledge and have been selected to this stream.

Generalist Officers will be employed in one of the following roles: 

Regimental pilot 
Command and supervisory appointments
Staff appointments

Specialist Officers will be employed in one of the following roles:

Flying Instructor
Test Pilot

Aviation Officers also continue training and development in accordance with the Army All Corps Officer Training Continuum. 
 

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.

Read our Conditions of Service.


Locations

On completion of flying training you will be posted to an Aviation Squadron according to where your operational type is based across Australia:

  • Tiger - 161 and 162 Reconnaissance Squadrons 1st Aviation Regiment located in Robertson Barracks Darwin
  • Taipan - A and B Squadrons 5th Aviation Regiment located at RAAF Base Garbutt Townsville
  • Chinook - C Squadron 5th Aviation Regiment Townsville
  • Black Hawk - 171 and 173 Squadron 6th Aviation Regiment Sydney

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

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.

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.

Experience

Military flying is in many ways, very different from civilian flying. Therefore the Military Pilots course has a different training philosophy to that of many civilian flying schools.

You'll be expected to progress on course at a rate that confirms your suitability for subsequent operational conversions to front-line military aircraft. Therefore previous flying experience in a civilian environment does not necessarily provide an advantage.

Army neither encourages nor discourages potential applicants to consider flying lessons.

Detailed Evaluation

A detailed evaluation of your suitability to become an Army Pilot requires a primary and a secondary selection process. The primary selection process is conducted by Defence Force Recruiting at your local DFRC. This includes initial Officer and aviation aptitude testing as well as Defence Recruiting and Phycologist interviews. On completion of the DFRC Assessment Day, those candidates with Army Pilot (ADFA) as their first preference will undergo Military Aviation Cognitive Testing (MACTs) at the Royal Military College in Canberra.  They will not go through the Air Force Aviation Screening Program at RAAF East Sale.

The MACTs is conducted over a one day period using a Computer Based Aptitude System to determine your potential for Aviation Training. 

Following the Aviation Aptitude Testing, selected candidates will be invited to attend an Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB), which involves a series of group activities, problem-solving exercises and verbal presentation exercises, plus a formal interview. This gives applicants an excellent opportunity to display their true potential to be an Army Aviation Officer. 
 

Medical & Fitness

For the purposes of Special Medical Requirements, Pilots are classified as 'Aviation Class 1'.

Army candidates for RMC and ADFA are required to participate in outdoor activities as part of the Officer Selection Board (OSB) selection process. These activities are designed to highlight leadership qualities and physical fitness. The candidates are required to participate in a set of three group activities lasting approximately 15 minutes each. These activities can involve jumping from a height of approximately 1.5 - 2 metres onto a sandy surface, jumping across stepping stones, climbing and balancing on a wooden frame, load bearing activities which may require the candidate to assist in lifting/carrying another individual or lifting a piece of equipment not exceeding 10kgs.

On completion of these activities the candidates will then undergo the PFA (BEEP test, push-ups and sit ups). Whilst the PFA has a minimum physical fitness standard candidates are encouraged to exceed the minimum standard demonstrating their physical fitness and stamina. The minimum entry standard for the BEEP test is 7.5, candidates are required to perform as many push ups as they can within a 2 minute period and as many sit ups as they can. As such, all candidates need to be free of any injuries or medical conditions which could have the potential to be aggravated/exacerbated by undertaking physical activities as part of the OSB.

Period of Service

If you enter the Army through the Australian Defence Force Academy you will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of 13 years. On completion of your IMPS obligation you may continue to serve on an open-ended arrangement until such time that you submit your 3 month notification of intent to separate.
 
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 and ROSO will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

Detailed evaluation

All Australian Defence Force Officer Aviation (OA) roles require you to complete a detailed evaluation consisting mostly of examinations and interviews. After passing an initial test and interview at your local DFRC, you’ll move on to take part in the two-day Aviation Screening Program (ASP).

For members who nominate for Army Pilot the ASP will take place at the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC-D) in the Australian Capital Territory. There you’ll join a group of candidates who are all undergoing further screening for Army Pilot.

The ASP is designed to evaluate Pilot candidates and determine their suitability to undertake aviation training. You’ll experience firsthand the training, recreational and accommodation facilities at a Defence Base. Plus, you’ll get to talk with Army Aviators and about life as a pilot in the Army.

At the end of the ASP, you’ll meet with a debriefing officer individually to receive your test results and discuss the Officer Aviation (OA) career options that are available to you.

Once you have successfully completed ASP, you may progress to an Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB). The AOSB is also conducted at the RMC-D. Candidates will be assessed on five key areas: Leadership, Suitability and Organisational fit, Motivation, Academic ability and physical agility. Army will also seek to select candidates who share Army’s values of: Courage Initiative, Teamwork and Respect.

You’ll be able to take a copy of your report and progression options with you, to talk through with your family. If you’re successful, you’ll need to contact a Defence Force Recruiter to progress your application to Officer Selection Boards.

For more information on Officer Aviation please contact A.C.M.C@defence.gov.au

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 a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) 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 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

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

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Location of training: Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra ACT

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

Following successful completion of military training at RMC, Pilot applicants complete the following employment training:

ADF Basic Pilot Course

Duration: 24 weeks

Location: RAAF Base East Sale, VIC

On the Pilot Basic Course students will fly about 60 hours in PC21 aircraft and simulators. The flying disciplines on pilot basic course include General Flying (GF), Instrument Flying (IF), Night Flying (NF) and an introduction to medium level visual Navigation (NAV). GF includes manoeuvres such as flying circuits, basic aerobatics, stalling and emergency handling. IF instruction covers basic instrument interpretation skills and flying instrument approaches. Ground training will also be conducted in Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems, Airmanship, Air Power, Air Traffic Control, Aviation Medicine, Cockpit Systems, Meteorology, Morse Code, and Navigation.

Upon completion of the Pilot Basic Course, students will proceed to HMAS Albatross to commence the Rotary Course Pilot.

 

 

Rotary Course Pilot

Duration: Approximately six months

Location: HMAS Albatross Nowra, NSW.

During this course, trainees will receive approximately 87 live flying hours and 77 simulator hours in the EC135 helicopter and full mission flight simulator. The course builds on the experience gained on the basic pilot course with the aim of providing the skills, knowledge, attitude and other attributes necessary for trainee Army pilots to commence operational type training.  Students will receive day and night NVD flight operations include; low level terrain flight, ship-deck landings, hoisting, load lifting, confined area operations, maritime Hi-line transfers, IF, formation flight and extensive emergency and malfunction training.

Award of Army Flying Badge (Wings)

On successful completion of the Rotary Course Pilot, trainees will be awarded the Army Flying Badge (Provisional). Wings become ‘Substantive’ on successful completion of the Regimental Officer Basic Course Program which includes operational type conversion.

Regimental Officers' Basic Course (ROBC)  Program

Duration: Six to Eight months depending on aircraft type 

Location: School of Army Aviation, Oakey, QLD.

The Regimental Officers' Basic Course (ROBC) includes basic tactics, aircraft familiarisation, operational type qualification and role specific mission employment. Pilots will be selected to undertake training on one of the following ROBC programs: 

ARH (Tiger)
CH47F (Chinook)
MRH90 (Taipan) or
S70 (Black Hawk)

 
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Further Training

Upon graduation from the School of Army Aviation as a Category D Pilot, an Aviation Officer LT will be posted to an Aviation Unit and continue training and aircrew development in accordance with the unit role specific training and assessment program. Aviation Officer LT’s should achieve categorisation progression to Category C (mission qualified) in the first 12 months of aircrew development while in the regimental environment.  Progression to Category B (fully mission qualified) will normally occur in the following 12 to 24 months. A Pilot Category is awarded to identify the individuals’ ability and competency to Captain an aircraft in a specified environment whilst performing specified duties.

Promotion to the rank of CAPT will normally occur after four years as a LT and an Aviation Officer can expect a minimum of eight years in an operational flying role.

Employment

There are two career streams for an Army Pilots:

Generalist


Pilots described as Generalist Officers, LT to LTCOL with complementary technical skills and or experience; and

Specialist


Specialists are Pilots, from CAPT to LTCOL who have developed deep aviation skills and knowledge and have been selected to this stream.

Generalist Officers will be employed in one of the following roles: 

Regimental pilot 
Command and supervisory appointments
Staff appointments
Specialist Officers will be employed in one of the following roles:
Flying Instructor
Test Pilot

Aviation Officers also continue training and development in accordance with the Army All Corps Officer Training Continuum.