About the Job

A Recovery Mechanic (Mechanic Recovery) serves in the Corps of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME). They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with providing recovery support to Army’s vehicles and equipment, whenever they have become bogged, broken down, damaged or disabled. Recovery Mechanics are employed at bases across Australia and can be deployed operations around the world. 

You need to be quick-thinking, confident and enjoy being hands-on – with your expertise as a Recovery Mechanic being in high demand, to aid in the overall battlefield effort. You will receive world-class training so you are able to recover all types of Defence Material, utilising state of the art medium and heavy recovery vehicles, including leading edge, specialised tracked and wheeled armoured recovery vehicles.  These vehicles are equipped with winches, towing equipment and cranes.

Key Responsibilities 
  • Interpret and maintain technical documentation.
  • Provide technical maintenance of Army’s Lifting, Recovery and Tie-Down Equipment. 
  • Use recovery vehicles and equipment along with your training in recovery theory to work out how to retrieve/extricate immobile manoeuvre assets (wheeled and tracked). This may involve the use of winches, cranes, gas cutting equipment and even explosives to get the job done. 
  • Ability to work independently or as a small team leader for extensive hours in high tempo conditions in combat, non-combat and peacetime operations.  
  • Provide assistance over rough going and/or boggy terrain in order to keep the fighting force advancing towards the objective. 

In-Service Information

This role is known as Mechanic Recovery within the Army.

Employment Category Number (ECN): 226

Employment Category: Combat Support

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.


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.


Postings are usually to large Combat Service Support Battalions (CSSB) located in Brisbane, Darwin and Townsville.



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

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

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four 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.

If you have only received partial recognition of your qualifications, you will be advised of the Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) after the Recognition of Prior Learning/Recognition of Current Competencies process is complete. The IMPS will be between four and seven years.

Additional Requirements

All applicants must hold a current provisional/probationary drivers licence. If a candidate has a civilian licence that is under suspension or has been cancelled, they will not be eligible to enlist into this role until such time that the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.


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.


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.


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.

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 Drivers Courses:
63 days, not including weekends.

Note: If you are currently under a licence suspension or your civilian licence has been cancelled, you are not eligible to undertake driver training until that suspension or cancellation has expired.

Mechanic Recovery Course:
Duration: 6 months

On the Job Experience:
Duration: 12 Months

At the completion of your basic training you will undertake a Basic Military Vehicle drivers course which will qualify you to operate light and medium trucks. After gaining the required amount of experience operating these vehicles you will attend a course to qualify you in driving a heavy truck. On completion of your driving courses you will attend a Basic Mechanic Recovery course which will qualify you in the operation of the Army's wheeled recovery vehicles.

The Basic Mechanic Recovery Course is 6 months in duration conducted at Gaza Ridge Barracks, North Bandiana, VIC. This is followed by a 52 week On the Job Experience (OJE) component within an Army unit.

You may be required to attend additional courses in the operation of Armoured Recovery Vehicles, the 20 tonne mobile crane or all terrain forklifts.

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