What they do
Soldiers occupy a number of administrative, managerial and specialised service roles in the operation and support of the Australian Army. They undertake duties in their specific area of expertise in both peacetime and combat situations, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of the Australian Army's military and general operations.
Soldiers can expect different working conditions depending on their specific role within the Army. For example, administrative or finance clerks work mostly in office environments, but mechanical and electrical engineering staff work in workshops and on location on Army missions.
Tools and technologies
The tools and technologies used by soldiers vary greatly depending on their specialised role. Whilst a cook works with food preparation equipment, and dental assistants work with specialised dental equipment, others such as chaplains or finance and legal clerks work with computers in word processing or data management roles. Some soldiers utilise weaponry in combat situations, whilst others undertake administrative or finance-related work. All Australian Army personnel are required to wear uniforms.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a soldier within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you must pass the recruitment process and complete recruit training at the Army Recruit Training Centre.
You must be an Australian citizen (although permanent residents may be considered for some positions), have passed Year 10 English and Mathematics, and be at least 16 years and six months old to apply. You will undergo a series of written, aptitude, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police Check.
Successful applicants are required to complete 12 weeks of recruit training at the Army Recruit Training Centre at Kapooka, near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales.
Once you have completed basic training you will undertake Initial Employment Training where you will receive training in your specific role. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into. Once you have finished your Initial Employment Training you will be assigned to an Army unit.
If you are aged between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed Year 12 (or equivalent) and passed Year 10 English and Mathematics, you can join the Army through the ADF Gap Year program.
You can also join the ADF on a part time basis within the Army Reserves.