About the Job

On the battlefield, the Royal Australian Corps of Signals (RA Sigs) provides commanders with the means of controlling the battle using a number of methods including radio, fibre optic, microwave, information systems and satellite links. By planning, deploying and maintaining robust, scalable, secure local and wide area networks, RA Sigs ensures the Army's information services are available 24/7 anywhere in the world.

The Communication Systems Operator is responsible for the operation of communications equipment at a number of different levels; whether it is within a Special Forces patrol or within a large headquarters, you'll find members of the Communications Systems employment category there.

As a Communication Systems Operator you will ensure that your Commander can communicate over a range of different communications networks, using satellite terminals, radios, hand-held and desktop data terminals and security equipment. Your training will give you the skills you need to become proficient in radio-telephone voice procedures, touch typing, electronic data transfer and a variety of software applications.

As a Communication Systems Operator you will be a member of a closely-knit detachment, where teamwork, self-motivation, co-operation and good inter-personal relationships are essential. You will be relied upon to exercise a high degree of judgment as you conduct a range of diverse tasks in challenging and time constrained situations. Your work environment and career will be varied, giving you the opportunity to operate from 4 x 4 vehicles, armoured vehicles, communication centres in air conditioned offices, foot patrols in support of small teams, field command posts, airfields or large Navy vessels.

Additionally, Communications Systems Operators conduct Battlespace Spectrum Management (BSM) and Force Protection Electronic Counter Measures (FP ECM). Whatever the location, deployment or task, Communication Systems Operators provide the appropriate communications systems for the Army whether it is on land, in the air or at sea.

Your duties:

The duties listed below are those that you will be trained in during your initial employment training and subsequent trade training courses that you will attend over the course of your career, but note that not all duties are performed in each individual Communication Systems Operator position:

  • Plan, design and manage a variety of communications networks
  • Conduct the configuration, deployment and operation of tactical radio and satellite systems, antenna systems, computer networks and computer terminals
  • Perform customer service tasks including transmitting and receiving messages
  • Conduct general maintenance of radio equipment, satellite systems and data links
  • Identify faults and perform basic fault rectification of radio equipment, antennas, batteries and associated ancillary equipment

Typical work hours

Work hours within a unit location, such as Brisbane QLD, Townsville QLD or Darwin NT, are typically 7:30am to 4pm weekdays and you will also periodically spend time in the field environment supporting various exercises around Australia.

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

Army is currently undertaking a review of civil accreditation gained through Army 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.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.

Salary Calculator



Applicants must have reached 17 years of age on entry.
Applicants will not normally 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, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.
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.

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

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.

Additional Requirements

It is highly desirable that all applicants for Communication Systems Operator hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Drivers Licence for a manual vehicle, in their state or territory.


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 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.


Military Training

All General Entry recruits into the Australian Army Reserve are required to complete the Recruit Course.

Duration: 35 days continuous

Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the Reserve Recruit Training Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, drill, first aid, navigation 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.

Note: You must be aware that you must commence recruit training within 6 months of enlistment.

Employment Training

Communication Systems Operator

Duration: 2 x 16 day modules.

Location of Training: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks Macleod, Victoria and at your local Reserve unit.

Training incorporates all aspects of communications used in RA Sigs units. Subjects include operation and maintenance of digital radio equipment, cryptographic equipment and field antennas.

Reserve Unit Locations

  • Bullecourt Barracks
    Adamstown NSW 2289
  • Holsworthy Barracks
    Holsworthy NSW 2173
  • Randwick Barracks
    Randwick NSW 2031
  • Larrakeyah Barracks
    Larrakeyah NT 0820
    Alice Springs NT 0870
    Nhulunbuy NT 0880
  • Gallipoli Barracks
    Enoggera QLD 4051
  • Lavarack Barracks
    Townsville QLD 4813
  • Mt Isa Depot
    Mt Isa QLD 4825
  • Thursday Island Depot
    Thursday Island QLD 4875
  • Weipa Depot
    Weipa QLD 4874
  • Keswick Barracks
    Keswick SA 5035
  • Geraldton Training Barracks
    Geraldton WA 6530
  • Irwin Barracks
    Karrakatta WA 6010
  • Taylor Barracks
    The Pilbara Regiment C Troop, 2 Sqn - Taylor Barracks Karratha WA 6714
  • HMAS Harman
    Canberra ACT 2600
  • Atherton Depot
    Atherton QLD 4883
  • Exmouth Depot
    Exmouth WA 6707
  • Newman Depot
    Newman WA 6753
  • Port Hedland Depot
    Port Hedland WA 6721
  • Tom Price Depot
    Tom Price WA 6751
  • Carnarvon Depot
    Carnarvon WA 6701