There is no other trade like that of being Armoured. You will be trained to operate and fight from within an armoured vehicle and trained in mounted reconnaissance.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
    Linton | Palmerston North
  • Starting Trade Training
Army Armoured landscape
Army Armoured 3

About the role

For future intakes, you will join the Army as a Combat Specialist and operate in a range of different environments. You will be introduced to the strategy and skills for combat, before branching into Armoured, Infantry or Gunner towards the end of basic training.

As an Armoured soldier you will train to operate the New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle. The NZLAV is a highly mobile eight wheeled armoured vehicle fitted with a modern hi-tech fire control system, optics that allow the vehicle to be used by day and night, early warning systems that enhance survivability, and communication equipment to receive and share information.

As part of a tight-knit crew of three, you will operate the NZLAV in a combat role, providing the Army with a light armoured vehicle capability. Your crew tactically manoeuvres the vehicle to directly engage with an enemy, gather information and provide protected mobility to soldiers from other trades across the Army. NZLAV crews can be part of ‘combined arms’ teams - groups of soldiers with the common goal of winning on operations, often in high threat situations.

You will train in the skills required to operate the NZLAV in a wide range of situations, from supporting NZ Police and civil authorities, to peacekeeping and war-fighting. You must be able to operate in the confined space of the vehicle, for extended periods, at all times and in all environmental conditions. You must also be able to quickly process and react to all that you see and hear, under challenging operational conditions.

You will begin as either an NZLAV gunner or driver, eventually being trained to do both. As you complete further training and gain experience you will become a Crew Commander. Throughout your career, you will maintain your skills as a combat soldier.

Job on base

At Linton Military Camp (Palmerston North) you will conduct routine training to maintain trade competence and proficiency. Simulation (virtual battle space) can be used to assist with this, as well as regular and rigorous physical training. You will often train in Waiouru, and around New Zealand.


As a Driver, you will train to safely and confidently operate the NZLAV in all kinds of conditions and over all kinds of terrain. You will also learn basic vehicle maintenance and recovery, and many other skills required to perform your job.


A Gunner is primarily concerned with the operation of the turret. You'll train to safely and proficiently operate the 25mm cannon, the 7.62mm machine gun, night-vision and other specialised optical equipment.


As a Crew Commander you are in overall command of the vehicle, and you are responsible for your crew and any passengers being carried in the vehicle. At Linton, this will include some personnel management and administrative responsibilities.

Job on deployment

Armoured soldiers are deployed overseas whenever the need arises, predominantly in vehicle mounted operations. The most recent examples were deployments to Afghanistan and the Sinai. Armoured have also deployed in support of overseas training exercises conducted in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Canada and USA.

Watch || Our Light Armoured Vehicles in action on the battlefield.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

After your induction into the NZ Army you will attend initial trade training (Combat Corps Training) prior to attending your first NZLAV course. As a NZLAV driver or gunner you can expect to spend at least three to four years gaining experience in those roles. You will work in a vehicle crew under the supervision and guidance of a Crew Commander. This may also include other senior staff and instructors. You will attend both tactical and live fire exercises at home and overseas in all sorts of challenging environments.

Through experience you will learn leadership, organisation and administration skills to help you progress in your career. Once your skills are refined, you will be selected to become a Crew Commander.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness

Towards the end of this course, you will branch into the ArmouredInfantry, or Gunner trade, depending on the best match for your skills, personal preference and spaces available.


This course is both physically and mentally challenging. It covers the essential basic trade competencies of Armoured and Infantry Soldiers so that you can function within a combat operational unit.

You will continue to improve your physical fitness, and learn combat first aid and casualty evacuation, navigation, and how to operate military communications equipment. Other skills learnt in this course include the detailed organisation of Armoured and Infantry units, and how they operate together within various types of tasks and conditions.

Army Armoured 2

Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17 years of age
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade

3 years secondary school.

Note, that qualifications may be used to assess trade suitability.

Additional Requirements:

Driver's License: At least a Class 1 learner's license.

  • You must be medically fit for Service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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