New Zealand Army
The Army is New Zealand’s fighting force, trained and ready to protect the country, safeguard its interests and support our allies. But that’s just the start of things.
Our Army is here to protect and assist the New Zealand population. This could be anything from search and rescue to natural disaster relief, bomb disposal or even assisting the police with crime scene investigations. The Army played a vital role in the months following the Christchurch earthquakes in search and rescue, medical assistance and damage assessment, plus in maintaining a security cordon around the badly affected central business district.
In civil emergencies the Army is there to provide shelter, supplies, transport and security, and not just at home in New Zealand. The Army is a global force and you could find yourself helping out just about anywhere from Antarctica to the Middle East, or in our South Pacific backyard.
Lots of roles open to you, all relevant in your post-army life
There is a huge range of roles or jobs on offer in the Army, most with direct relevance in the outside world. Army-trained tradespeople are highly sought after with employers recognising the quality of training this service provides. The qualifications gained are the same as you would gain by doing an apprenticeship with an Industry Training Organisation. Meanwhile, you get trained for all sorts of other roles, see the world, get well paid and even get your trade tools paid for.
Getting into the Army requires a good level of fitness, a willingness to work hard and to keep learning. The more NCEA credits you can take in with you, the better. These credits can help determine what role you initially train for, or whether you can train as an officer or as a regular soldier.
Training as an Army Officer
The Army has two equally rewarding career streams, Officers and Soldiers.
Becoming an army officer involves a further 9 months of specialist training. To train as an officer, you must have NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in Level 2 English.
The training course at the Officer Cadet School (OCS) is 11 months long, with the first seven weeks being basic training, learning many of the same skills soldiers learn. This first phase of training is called the Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) and it is held at RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim) alongside Navy and Air Force Officer Cadets.
The next phase is the New Zealand Commissioning Course (NZCC) at Waiouru and this runs for the duration of the year with graduation in December. The NZCC course is tough and designed to produce competent, fit, durable and determined leaders ready to command soldiers here in NZ and overseas on operations. Is that you?
Studying in the Army
How about getting paid to study a course at university? When you have completed your initial officer training and have spent some time in a unit getting skills and experience, you have the chance to apply for a range of further educational opportunities that the Army will support you through. Adding qualifications can not just speed you through the promotion stakes but put you in a really strong position when your service is done.
The Army supports external study through the Kippenberger Scheme, this programme named for Sir Howard Kippenberger who left school in Christchurch early, joined the Army and went on to become one of the most important and inspirational New Zealand generals through the Second World War.
If you are thinking about a career in the Army and want to combine it with your studies, talk to the Defence Forces recruitment team