About the Job
If you're looking to challenge yourself mentally and physically then a career as a Army Officer (General Service Officer) could be for you. An Army Officer is someone who is committed, shows initiative, works well in a team environment and has leadership potential. You may 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 Army Officer you can specialise in one of the following jobs:
Officer - Reserve
Take on an exciting new career challenge, on a flexible part-time basis
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.
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
Most Reservists join the Australian Defence Force for the exciting work, the friendships and the lifestyle. But there are many other benefits too, including financial ones.
The pay you receive in the Army Reserve goes straight into your pocket with no deductions for tax, and it increases as you gain seniority and experience.
Officers are employed across Australia, both in major cities and regional areas. The location will depend on the Corps you are allocated to.
Applicants must have reached 17 years of age on entry.
The Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA) for Reserve Service is 65 years. Enlistment up to and including the age of 60 years is open for all employment categories. Candidates who wish to enlist into the Army Reserve beyond the age of 60 years will need to be further assessed to ensure that they would be feasibly able to complete all obligatory pre-requisite training in their chosen area of employment prior to reaching CRA.
Candidates whose age exceeds the age guidelines may still be considered for appointment, providing they have special skills or training that is of value to the Army.
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.
Period of Service
All candidates who are appointed or 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.
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.
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:
- Financial information
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.
ARMY RESERVE- OFFICER COMMISSIONING COURSE (OCC):
The OCC focuses on instilling Army's values (Courage, Initiative, Respect and Teamwork) in a similar fashion to soldier basic training and then providing junior officer candidates with the leadership, management, operational skills and knowledge required of a junior officer to command a platoon.
During training, candidates will learn and be assessed on weapons, fieldcraft, leadership, tactics, administration and management and lots more.
Location and Duration of Training:
Training is conducted through a combination of non-continuous training (self-paced workbooks, parade nights and weekends) with local Army Reserve University Regiments and residential continuous training (Training Blocks 1 to 5) at centres of expertise throughout Australia, culminating with completion of the last training block at the Royal Military College Duntroon.
The OCC is modularised to allow candidates the flexibility to complete the training around civilian employment commitments. Training Block 1 is conducted continuously throughout the year at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, with Training Blocks 2 to 5 conducted twice annually. Ideally, most candidates will complete the course within 18 months - 2 years and are expected to complete the OCC within a maximum of 3 years. It is possible for a candidate to complete the OCC within a minimum of 9 - 14 months; however, these are usually in-service candidates who been given recognition of prior learning.
The OCC has five (5) training blocks totalling 111 days residential training:
Training Block 1 - Military Foundation Skills - 35 days duration delivered at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka (Wagga Wagga, NSW) is actually the Reserve Recruit Training Course. Qualified soldiers who are selected to be officers may be granted recognition of this training and commence the OCC at Training Block 2. Likewise any officer candidate who does not wish to continue officer training is able to become a soldier on completion of this training block. This training block is conducted throughout the year.
Training Block 2 - Small Military Team Leader Theory - is 16 days duration and is conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block builds on the skills introduced at Recruit Training and provides Officer Candidates with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to operate as part of a section.
Training Block 3 - Small Military Team Leader - 16 days duration conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to command at section level. This training block is also your first step along the way to learning the leadership and management skills that you will need to successfully command soldiers in the Australian Army. This training block also gives qualifications in the conduct of military live fire weapons range practices.
Training Block 4 - Command, Leadership and Management - 23 days duration conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the theoretical knowledge required for the conduct of platoon level operations and introduces Officer Cadets to command at platoon level.
Training Block 5 - All Corps Army Reserve Platoon Commander - 23 days duration conducted in January and July by External Training Wing RMC Duntroon at Majura (near Canberra), ACT. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to command at platoon level and confirms you have all attributes, skills and values to become an officer in the Australian Army. It also confirms that you have the leadership, management, operational skills and knowledge required of a junior officer to command a platoon on likely Army Reserve operations. On the successful completion of Training Block 5 you will be commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve.
Training in Your Unit
In between residential training blocks, you will undertake training and assessment and consolidate your skills in your University Regiment. You will be expected to attend parade nights and weekends organised by your parent Army Reserve University Regiment. Your unit will look after all your administration for attending the OCC training blocks. The training staff will help you prepare for the residential training blocks, revise the skills you learn as well as provide instruction and assessment on military skills like fieldcraft, drill, training, military justice and written and oral communication. There are also some additional requirements for training which can be obtained through external organisations. These requirements will be explained to you by unit training staff.
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.