1.0     IntroductionADF Flag

In the First and Second World Wars, men had come forward to join the colours willingly or, later on, had been compelled by conscription. But after the end of National Service, and the demobilisation of the last conscripts in 1972, Australia’s military needed to find new ways to fill its ranks, without an ideological enemy threatening it directly, or conscription (NAA, 2014).

With the discharge from the Australian Army of the last National Serviceman in December 1972, the Australian military became an entirely professional force. The end of National Service also meant that there was a need for the Australian Army to maintain its numbers of professional regulars. A brief outline of the 1965 to 1972 National Service scheme can be viewed here: Factsheet.

As such, the Australian military – since 1972 to present – has utilised a variety of methods to sell itself to potential recruits, which has also been varied across the service branches of land, sea and air.

This article will provide an overview of the structure of the Australian military and organisational changes since 1972. The article will then look at manpower requirements, recruit attraction methods and the Defence People Group. The article will then move on to general eligibility criteria before providing a general outline of the recruitment and selection process (how to join the Australia Defence Force).

Finally, the article will highlight some funding streams and provide the reader with some useful links.

2.0     Structure of the Australian Military

The Australian military, or Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it is more accurately known, is one of three significant component organisations which form the Defence portfolio:

  • The Department of Defence is a department of state, headed by the Secretary of the Department of Defence;
  • The ADF, including Reserves, commanded by the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) which consists of the three Services:
    • Royal Australian Navy (RAN);
    • Australian Army; and
    • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF.
  • The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), a prescribed agency within the Department of Defence, headed by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DMO.

In practice, these bodies work together closely and are broadly regarded as one organisation known simply as Defence (or the Australian Defence Organisation). There are also a number of other organisations which sit within the Defence portfolio, but the focus of this article is the ADF.

Each of the three service branches is made up of Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks, known as Soldiers (Army), Ratings (RAN) or Airmen/Airwomen (RAAF).

Due to a number of structural changes (see below), economic pressures and policy shifts the ADF has increasingly utilised a Defence (Joint Force or tri-Service) model of working. Typically the Defence concept is the removal of duplication and the standardisation of procedures, but also enables the Department of Defence to make efficiency savings.

3.0     Organisational Change

Since 1976 there have been a number of important organisational change initiatives by both the Department of Defence affecting all three Service branches – resulting in greater integration (tri-Service model) – and cost savings between the three service branches) and initiatives by the individual Service branches resulting in both greater integration and significant structural change for the branch. These organisational change initiatives are outlined in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Defence reviews since 1976


Year Government

Manpower Change

(Total/By Service Branch)

Australian Defence: Report on the Reorganisation of the Defence Group of Departments, aka “The Tange Report”

1976 Labour
  • Amalgamation of the 5 defence ministries (Defence, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Supply) into a single Department of Defence in 1973, while conscription under the National Service scheme was abolished.
  • On 1 January 1976, the three branches of the Australian military were brought together as a unified, all-volunteer, professional force known as the Australian Defence Force (ADF)
Dibb Report 1986 Labour
  • Changes to ADF force structure and equipment acquisition programmes.
  • Adoption of Defence of Australia Policy
Defence of Australia 1987 Labour
  • Defence of the Australian continent from direct military attack.
Defending Australia 1994 Labour
  • Focuses on important interests beyond the direct defence of own territory.
Australia’s Strategic Policy 1997 Liberal/ National Coalition
  • Changes to ADF force structure and role.
Defence 2000 – Our Future Defence Force 2000 Liberal/ National Coalition
  • ADF expanded to 57,000 full-time personnel & real Defence expenditure increased by 3% per year.
  • Greater emphasis on preparing the ADF for overseas deployments.
Defence Updates 2003 & 2005 Liberal/ National Coalition
  • Emphasised the focus on expeditionary operations and led to an expansion and modernisation of the ADF.
Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 2009 Labour
  • Policy of increasing ADF capabilities over the period to 2030.
Defence White Paper 2013

Liberal/ National Coalition

  • Focuses on the regional economic and social change over the decade;
  • ADF posture review; and
  • Review of budget model for Defence.

4.0     Manpower Requirements

As at 30 June 2013, Defence had 78,112 permanent employees (headcount) comprising 56,172 permanent ADF members and 21,940 ongoing APS employees. An additional 167 APS employees were employed on a non-ongoing basis. Gap Year enlistments ceased at the end of 2011–12 and there no longer any participants.

In the 12 months to June 2013, the permanent ADF strength (headcount) decreased by 546. The Reserve Force comprised 25,680 active employees. The total ADF workforce was 81,852, and included:

  • 18,675 Navy Permanent and Reserve members;
  • 44,962 Army Permanent and Reserve members; and
  • 18,215 Air Force Permanent and Reserve members.

In the 12 months to 30 June 2013, the Reserve component of the ADF decreased by 349, from 26,029 to 25,680. This included both Reservists on continuous full-time service and Active Reserves. At 30 June 2013, 1,586 Reservists were also Defence APS employees.

The latest figures suggest that the ADF requires approximately 5,000 new personnel each year (1,900 Officers and 3,100 Other Ranks).

4.1     Female RepresentationADF Female Recruits

The Services have all set targets for women’s representation to ensure sustained efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of women in the Permanent Force over the next decade. Navy and Air Force have set a target of 25% by 2023, which means an increase from 18.4% in the Navy and 17.5% in the Air Force. The Army aims to increase the representation of women from 11% to 12% by mid-2014, and to 15% by 2025.

4.2     Indigenous RepresentationADF Indigenous

The Army Indigenous Strategy has expanded in scope and seeks to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation to 2.7%, in line with Australian Government targets.

4.3     Key Points

Key points to note regarding ADF military manpower include (Department of Defence, 2013):

At 30 June 2013:

  • There were 48,866 (trained and training) ADF permanent personnel, of which 11,563 were officers and 37,303 were other ranks.
  • The percentage of women in the ADF Permanent Forces was 13.8%.
  • Women continue to be under-represented at senior levels (Brigadier and above) in the ADF with 175 men versus 11 women.

5.0     Recruit Attraction MethodsADF Defence Jobs

The ADF utilises a number of marketing channels in order to engage with domestic and international populations and these include:

  • High street stalls;
  • Trade shows and other events;
  • School and university visits;
  • Commercial recruitment fairs;
  • Own websites;
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress);
  • Newspapers;
  • Television;
  • Billboards and posters;
  • Cadet and other youth organisations; and
  • Friends and family of current and ex-military personnel.

Total expenditure on advertising and marketing research for the year 2012-13 was (Department of Defence, 2013):

  • Defence People Group: $32,933,303
  • Army: $40,969
  • Navy: $81,836
  • Air Force: $147,617

5.1     Barriers to Joining

A number of barriers to joining the military have been identified and include:

  • Misconceptions about the qualifications needed;
  • A lack of awareness of career options available;
  • Uncertainty about the type of training provided;
  • Concerns about military discipline and having to follow orders;
  • Being killed or injured; and/or
  • Disruption to family life and the belief that individuals are cut off from civilian life.

6.0     Defence People Group

The Defence People Group (DPG) delivers human resource (HR) outcomes across the Defence employment cycle from strategy and policy development, through to implementation and service delivery. DPG was established on 30 May 2012 in response to the standing up of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Organisation and ongoing Defence reform, such as Shared Services and the Defence Culture Reviews. DPG brings together people elements from across the Australian Defence Organisation to deliver sustainable people capability in line with the People in Defence Blueprint, and contributes to the COO Organisation’s mission by delivering integrated people systems and building a capable workforce. DPG is headed by the Deputy Secretary Defence People and is part of the COO Organisation which consists of four Divisions:

6.1     People Capability DivisionADF DFR

The People Capability Division is headed by an OF-7 level officer, known as Head People Capability. The division plans and designs the Defence workforce structure and then recruits to the Australian Defence Force (the focus of this article). It also takes care of ADF families and the ADF community. As such it is responsible for:

  1. Defence Jobs (Defence Force Recruiting): is headed by an OF-6 level officer, known as the Director General Defence Force Recruiting. The Branch is the strategic focus for ADF recruiting. DFR uses a combination of innovative recruitment methods, state of the art technology and highly trained personnel to achieve its mission to recruit the right people to sustain and enhance Defence capability. Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) is a collaborative venture between the Department of Defence and Manpower Services (Australia). This means that DFR is a composite organisation comprising Navy, Army and Air Force, Australian Public Service (APS), and Manpower Services (Australia) personnel. This collaboration provides an integrated recruitment organisation for the ADF.
  2. The Workforce Planning Branch: is headed by an OF-6 level officer, known as the Director General Workforce Planning. The branch is responsible for integrated strategic personnel planning including strategic workforce planning; strategic personnel research; workforce modelling and analysis; workforce costing and management; education, training and development policy; and personnel reporting. The Branch develops policies directed at maintaining equilibrium between retention and recruitment levels which sustain current capability, and that will meet future capability demands.
  3. The Defence Community Organisation (DCO): is headed by a civilian manager, known as the Director General DCO. DCO is responsible for the provision of comprehensive and responsive support services including: client services, information, child care, Family Support Funding Program, Spouse Employment Assistance Program, and Families with Special Needs and support to command.

6.2     People Policy and Culture Division

The People Policy and Culture Division develops and maintains a safe Defence working environment by drawing on effective people management and a competitive employment package. This Division focuses on diversity and inclusion strategies, APS career management, and evolving Defence culture under Pathway to Change. As such it is responsible for: the Centre of Diversity Expertise; Defence Diversity & Inclusion Strategy 2012-2017; Indigenous Affairs; Graduate Development; Pathway To Change; Pay and Conditions; Transition Support Service; and Work Health & Safety.

6.3     People Reform Division

The People Reform Division is responsible for delivering the strategic reform outputs related to shared services, creating more efficient back office support services, contractor in-sourcing, civilianisation of military support roles and other workforce efficiency measures.

6.4     People Solutions Division

The People Solutions Divisionrecruits the Defence APS workforce; manages pay and benefits; recognises and rewards commitment, high performance and potential; supports a fair and respectful workforce by reinforcing Defence values. The Division also manages complaints and complex case resolution. As such it is responsible for: APS Careers; and Honours & Awards.

7.0     General Eligibility

There are a number of eligibility criteria that must be considered before making an application to join the ADF and these vary across the Service branches due to the nature of the job/role an individual may wish to undertake. The general principles are outlined below:

7.1     Age

Every job/role in the ADF has a minimum and maximum age limit. The minimum age can differ between jobs/roles and is specified within each job description. However, the earliest application is at least 16 years old and 6 months when an individual applies, being at least 17 years old on entry. As a general rule, the maximum recruitment age for the ADF is three to six years before the Compulsory Retiring Age (CRA), depending on the length of the Initial Minimum Period of Service for the preferred avenue of entry.

7.1.1  When Can an Individual Join?

If an individual is under 18 years of age, they will need consent from their parent or guardian before they can progress their application with DFR. The ADF policy on employing under 18s can be viewed here: ADF Under 18 Policy (2008-04-22).

7.2     Gender

On 27 September 2011, the Minister for Defence announced that the Australian Government had formally agreed to the removal of gender restrictions from ADF combat roles. Subsequently, the Department of Defence developed a phased 5-year implementation plan (Department of Defence, 2012), which was endorsed by the Government in June 2012.

Prior to this the law excluded women from serving in direct combat roles and there were a small number of positions which they could not apply for. The following positions were not available to females:

  • Navy: Clearance Diver.
  • Army:
    • All Royal Australian Infantry Corps.
    • All Royal Australian Armoured Corps.
    • Royal Australian Artillery Corps Field Artillery units (may serve within Surveillance Aircraft Operator, Weapon Locating Radar, Artillery – Air Defender or related officer employments).
    • Combat Engineer (posting opportunities for female Combat Engineers are limited to Construction Squadrons and Topographical Units).
  • Air Force:
    • Ground Defence Officer.
    • Airfield Defence Guard.

The Australian Army is committed to making every role available to women by January 2016. The Royal Australian Air Force began the removal of gender restrictions in January 2013, with all Air Force roles opening up to female applicants. The Royal Australian Navy removed the gender restrictions to the clearance diver category in 2013.

Women are precluded from initial employment in the above roles. However they may apply later in their careers (known as in-service entry); with the exception of Special Forces, which will be available once the Physical Employment Standards are established in 2014.

7.3     Fitness Standards

The exercises performed during the Personal Fitness Assessment (PFA) are the same regardless of the Service the individual wishes to join. However, the standard to be achieved varies depending on the role the individual applies for and their gender. The PFA includes press-ups, sit-ups and a shuttle run: Table2, PFA Standards.

7.3.1  Get Fit To Join

Due to the nature of military training and operations it is critical that individuals get in the best possible shape in order to help them excel during pre-joining fitness tests, initial (basic) training and throughout their military career.

The ADF has put together a training programme designed to help individuals get their fitness levels to what they should be and increase their chance of success: ADF Fitness Plan.

7.3.2  Physical Employment Standards

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), working in partnership with the University of Wollongong, have developed the Australian Defence Force Physical Employment Standards (PES) to reflect the varying demands of the different roles in the three Services (DSTO, 2012). The establishment of objective PES provides a reliable way of assessing an individual’s ability to perform a role, regardless of their trade classification, rank, age or gender.

The current Army Basic Fitness Assessment (BFA) standard specifies a 2.4km run (or shuttle run), press-ups and sit-ups – adjusted according to age and gender. DSTO scientist Dan Billing, who headed the research project, suggests that the BFA is a good test of physical capacity but that it does not necessarily assess an individual’s capability to do the job (New.com.au, 2012).

The new test, implemented at recruit training centres, starts with a 55 minute, 5km march, wearing protective equipment and carrying weapons. Soldiers must then carry two 22kg jerry cans for 150m, which mirrors the effort it takes to carry a casualty on a stretcher. Soldiers must also demonstrate the basic tactical skill of fire and movement by running 6m, kneeling and lying prone in a firing position and repeating that 12 times. Finally, there is a requirement to lift a 25kg weight a distance of 1.5m – comparable to lifting store onto a truck or moving sandbags in a disaster relief operation.

The development of the PES means that a trade’s peak physical demands for strength, speed and endurance have been translated into a generic set of physical tests specific to that trade. PES will have been developed for the whole ADF jobs spectrum by 2016.

The Physical Employment Standards have not been integrated into the recruitment process and I am currently unaware (as at June 2014) of intentions towards this.

7.4     Medical Standards

There are various criteria including height, weight, eyesight, and checks on medical conditions and any ongoing illnesses.

7.4.1  HIV (Aids) & Other Viral Testing

An offer of enlistment is subject to individuals being tested for HIV (the AIDS virus) and other viral infections, including Hepatitis B and C.

7.4.2  Body Mass Index

All applicants applying for entry into the ADF are required to meet the entry Body Mass Index (BMI) standards. The ADF uses the National Health and Medical Research Council endorsed BMI approach to assess healthy weight ranges. The maximum allowable BMI for entry to the ADF is 32.9 (29.9 for pilot candidates who also have additional weight requirements). Candidates with a BMI less than 18.5 are also potentially at risk of injury in training and may be deemed temporarily unfit by DFR medical staff.

7.5     Compulsory Drug Testing

Under the Prohibited Substance Testing Programme individuals are required, pre-enlistment and periodically during service, to provide a urine specimen. A positive test result or refusal to provide a proper specimen may constitute grounds for dismissal.

7.6     Nationality & Residency

Individuals are required to be a citizen of Australia. Documents required include passport, birth certificate or citizen certificate. In exceptional circumstances certain permanent residents may apply (view Useful Links Section).

7.6.1  Overseas Applicants

The ADF looks to overseas candidates to fill gaps in their Services, which cannot currently be satisfied by standard recruitment (view Useful Links Section).

7.7     Criminal Convictions

Some kinds of offences and sentences can bar recruits from joining or rejoining.

7.8     Tattoos & Piercings

These are dependent on location and nature and will usually need to be declared and shown during a medical examination.

7.9     Other Prerequisites

Depending on the job an individual is interested in, further restrictions or prerequisites may apply. For example, some intelligence roles have strict security requirements such as ten-year background checks.

8.0     A General Outline of the Recruitment and Selection Process

Table 3 provides an outline of the current ADF military recruitment and selection process. The ADF utilises a unified process but there is some tailoring of questions and fitness standards to allow for differences across the Service branches due to the nature of the job/role an individual may wish to undertake.

Table 3: Outline of the ADF military recruitment and selection process


Australian Army Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Air Force


Initial Application


Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) Session


Aptitude Evaluation


Medical Interview


Careers Counsellor Interview


Assessment Session


Medical Assessment


Psychological Interview


Defence Interview


Flight Screening Programme (Pilots Only)


Officers Selection Board (Officer Applicants Only)


Pre-Entry Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)


Enlistment/Appointment Day


Final Medical Check


Welcome Ceremony


Start Initial (Basic) Training

8.1     Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course

The Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IRPC) is an 8-week programme that is designed to prepare Indigenous Australians (who have left school) for the ADF recruiting processes and for a rewarding career in the Navy, Army or Air Force. The IPRC is delivered jointly by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. It is a Defence Specialised Pathways to Employment Programme that directly supports the Australian Government’s agenda to close the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes. These courses are delivered with support from TAFE and local community groups.

8.2     Initial Application

The first stage in the ADF recruitment and selection process is the online initial application. This consists of: creating an account; filling in personal details; application details; job interests; and finally booking a YOU session.

8.3     YOU Session

The YOU (Your Opportunities Unlimited) Session consists of three elements and is conducted at 1 of 16 Defence Force Recruiting Centres. Prior to the YOU Session individuals should receive a pack which includes the YOU Session Confirmation Letter and Supporting Documents. It is important to read and complete the relevant forms before the session and bring them on the day.

At a minimum, individual’s require photo ID and the Consent to Test Form but other useful documents include: original birth certificate; education results; employment history/Trade qualifications; proof of citizenship or permanent residency; and/or supporting documentation relating to medical conditions. The three elements of the YOU Session are:

  1. Aptitude Evaluation: consists of a general ability or reasoning test, and mathematical ability test. The results of this evaluation will help to determine which position(s) in the ADF an individual is most likely to be suited to: Guide to Aptitude Testing.
  2. Medical Interview: is conducted by a nurse and will include a colour perception eye-test. If there are any significant issues with eye sight or colour perception, there will be some positions that the individual will be unable to apply for. There are also height restrictions which apply to certain positions in the ADF, so height will be measured. Weight will also be recorded to determine BMI.
  3. Careers Counsellor (CC) Interview: during this interview individuals will be asked questions about their education, fitness level and sporting history and any relevant leadership experience that they may have had. The CC will also ask some questions to determine an individual’s motivations or why they are interested in a career in the ADF. Towards the end of this session the CC will present individuals with a Job Opportunity Report. This lists all of the eligible jobs that may be applied for, based on aptitude test results. Individuals will still need to meet a job’s eligibility requirements, which will be discussed on the day. Depending on an individual’s suitability and level of interest, they may also be invited to undertake further evaluations at a later date, for some of these positions.

Success at the YOU Session stage means an individual can now move on to the Assessment Session stage. However, depending on the role applied for, individuals may also be required to sit additional testing before attending an Assessment Session.

Note: if the position an individual has applied for is in critical demand they could attend the Assessment Session very quickly after completion of the YOU Session. However, if there are few positions available, or the intake dates are later in the year, individuals may not attend the Assessment Session for several months.

8.4     Case Manager

At this point in the process individuals will be assigned a Case Manager who will provide guidance through all aspects of the application process, including the steps that need to be completed before an individual can be booked for an Assessment Session. Individuals should aim to be proactive with their application and not rely on the Case Manager to chase them for outstanding documentation as this may delay the application unnecessarily (being proactive also demonstrates initiative which is an important skill in the military environment).

As a result of the interviewing and testing processes an individual’s job preferences may change. If this does occur, the Case Manager may also change. This ensures that individuals have the most qualified person to provide them with the best possible advice and care.

8.5     Assessment Session

The Assessment Session is conducted over one-day and also consists of three elements:

  1. Medical Assessment: is conducted to assess an individual’s physical fitness, suitability to perform military specific duties and to ensure that they do not have any pre-existing medical conditions which may affect their ability to perform in their role. This is a head-to-toe examination and requires individuals to dress down to their underwear. The assessment will also include tests for flexibility and individuals may be required to perform exercises such as press-ups and sit-ups, to enable the medical professional to assess physical capacity.
  2. Psychological Interview: is used to determine how individuals will be able to cope with living within a military environment, whether their own values and life outlook are personally compatible with the ADF and whether they will be effective in their chosen role. In order to make this judgement, the DFR Psychologist will ask questions about various aspects of an individual’s life including their educational and employment histories, family circumstances, social and sporting activities, and interest in joining the ADF.
  3. Defence Interview: is an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate why they want to join the ADF and what they know about the job(s) they have applied for. Based on responses the interviewer will make an assessment about an individual’s suitability for the position(s) and their ability to withstand the demanding requirements of ADF service. Questions/issues encountered during this interview may include:
  • Where can you expect to undertake your initial military training, for how long and what would you expect from this training?
  • Where do you undertake your employment training, how long for and what are the expectations of this position?
  • What are the base locations relevant to your job and some of the equipment you will be using?
  • Defence Force Guidelines.
  • Think about why YOU want to join.

Note: although the ADF are looking for correct answers to military specific questions, the Defence Interview is also similar to any professional job interview, so make sure you approach it like one.

8.6     Flight Screening Programme

Successful, Pilot, applicants will be allocated to the next available Flight Screening Programme at the BAE Systems Training Academy at Tamworth, New South Wales. The 2-weeks of training and assessment is divided into two courses, the Basic and Advanced. Both encompass 15 hours of flight time and two simulator sessions. Individuals will be assessed on both their technical performance and their character. The Pilot Selection Agency website provides detailed information about this process.

8.7     Officers Selection BoardADF Female Officer

Individuals will have to appear before an Officer Selection Board if they have applied for entry as an Officer through Defence University Sponsorship, ADFA or RMC, or for an ADFA Education Award and have successfully completed the YOU Session and Assessment Session.

Each Officer Selection Board is slightly different depending on the Service. Individuals could be required to participate in a combination of a written exercise, oral presentation, a group exercise, a practical exercise and an interview with a panel. Army applicants are required to participate in the Fitness Test during the Officer Selection Board.

As preparation is required it is useful to understand, as a minimum, the following:

  • Know the correct names of specific Defence locations.
  • Be able to identify specific ships, vehicles and aircraft.
  • Be able to identify basic weaponry.
  • Reasonable knowledge of current affairs.

8.8     Pre-Entry Physical Fitness Assessment

Refer to Table 2 @ Section 7.3 above.

8.9     Enlistment/Appointment Day

If an individual successfully completes each stage of the application process, they will:

  • Receive a Letter of Offer (the official ADF job offer); and
  • Joining Instructions: for the Service an individual has been accepted into (these provide a good indication of what to expect while undertaking initial (basic) training).

Take the time to read the Letter of Offer properly, paying close attention to the Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS).

On the day of an individual’s enlistment or appointment they will be required to complete an Attestation Medical/Final Medical Check to ensure there have been no changes since the last medical examination (several months could have passed). Individuals will also complete any final administrative procedures, for example:

  • Results from any requested blood tests have been received by DFR;
  • If relevant to the position and included with the Letter of Offer, the Security Pack has been completed and returned;
  • Notify DFR of any changes to health or medical; and/or
  • Notify DFR of any criminal pending matters (a second criminal history check will be performed before the day of an individual’s enlistment or appointment).

The Enlistment or Appointment ceremony is the moment an individual becomes an official member of the ADF. Individuals are encouraged to invite friends and family along to watch them undertake the official oath or affirmation, to find out more about what lies ahead for their loved one/friend and to say a proper goodbye.

8.10   Start Initial (Basic) TrainingADF Barracks

At the conclusion of the ceremony individuals will head straight to initial military training and commence life as a member of the ADF.

9.0     Funding and Scholarships

The ADF offers a number of funding and scholarship options, as highlighted below:

  • Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA): at ADFA individuals will be paid to study for their degree, receiving a salary package (excluding superannuation) which increases with each year of study. ADF will also take care of all HELP fees (previously known as HECS), medical and dental care and subsidise accommodation. ADFA attendees are guaranteed a career in their chosen Service upon successful graduation. Details of the Application Process for the University of New South Wales can be found here.
  • ADFA Education Award: If an individual is currently studying Year 11, they could be eligible to apply for the ADFA Education Award. Should an individual be successful, there is no obligation to join ADFA.
  • Defence University Sponsorship: students pursuing certain disciplines, at an Australian university, can consider applying for a Defence University Sponsorship. Sponsorship is available to undergraduate and graduate (medical only) students. Undergraduate students must have completed one year of a 3-4 year degree or two years of a 5-6 year degree before sponsorship can commence. Students seeking sponsorship for the Graduate Medical Programme must have already obtained a relevant undergraduate degree.
    • Current undergraduate programmes include: administration; dentistry; engineering; environmental health; law; logistics; medical science; medicine; nursing; pharmacy; physiotherapy medical; radiography; and scientific.
  • Defence Technical Scholarship: provides an opportunity for Year 11 and 12 students, intending to pursue an ADF general entry technical trade career after completing Year 12.

More detailed information can be found at: ADF Training & Education.

10.0   Useful Links

Listed are some links which the reader may find useful:

11.0   References

Department of Defence (2012) Removal of Gender Restrictions on Australian Defence Force Combat Role Employment Categories: Implementation Plan. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.defence.gov.au/Women/docs/Implementation%20Plan2.pdf. [Accessed: 28 May, 2014].

Department of Defence (2013) Defence Annual Report 2012-13. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/. [Accessed: 28 May, 2014].

Dibb, P. (1986) Review of Australia’s Defence Capabilities. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

DSTO (Defence Science and Technology Organisation) (2012) Defence Physical Employment Standards on Show. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/news/6963/. [Accessed: 28 May, 2014].

Gee, D. (2007) Informed Choice? Armed Forces Recruitment Practice in the United Kingdom. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.informedchoice.org.uk/informedchoice/informedchoiceweb.pdf. [Accessed: 04 January, 2014].

Horner, D. (2001). Making the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Centenary History of Defence. Volume IV. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

NAA (National Archives of Australia) (2014) National Service, 1965-72 Fact Sheet 164. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs164.aspx. [Accessed: 28 May, 2014].

News.com.au (2012) Defence Shows of New Fitness Standard. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/fitness/defence-shows-off-new-fitness-standard/story-fneuzle5-1226524472919. [Accessed: 28 May, 2014].

Thomson, M. (2005). Punching Above Our Weight? Australia as a Middle Power. Canberra: Australian Strategic Policy Institute.


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