You are a leader in the Army; you are tasked with planning and executing Operations in difficult situations. Take command of soldiers, equip yourself to lead and inspire others to bring out the best in themselves.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
    Linton, Burnham, Trentham, Wellington, Papakura and Waiouru.
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    10 January, 2022
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About the role

Officers are the leaders of the New Zealand Army. They are the managers and strategists. Their decision-making skills and problem-solving abilities enable them to plan and execute tasks in wide-ranging conditions. It is their job to earn trust and respect, and to display the strength of character to inspire their soldiers in potentially difficult situations.

After completing Officer training, you will join a corps, specialising in combat, engineering, intelligence, communications or logistics.

Job on base

As a Army Officer you are the frontline leader of the Army, to begin with, as a junior officer, you will be expected to:

  • Organise and conduct training
  • Budget and managing of resources assigned to you
  • Work alongside the troops you lead, participating in training and exercises
  • Take on an instructional role, passing on knowledge to your troops
  • Manage and coordinate field exercises

Job on deployment

Officers are deployed all around the world, including UN missions (e.g. as an observer in Lebanon or Syria) and Afghanistan as part of our Provisional Reconstruction Team. Officers
 also have the opportunity to be chosen for exchange postings or conduct professional training and development overseas.

Training as an Officer is a 12 month course, conducted in Waiouru at Officer Cadet School. It’s a very intense course, really pushing you to your limits and beyond.

Nicholas Fuller


Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Specialist Training

As you continue in the organisation, you will move between your primary specialty and into areas such as capability, project management (procurement of Army equipment), Human 
Resource Management and Training and Development.

Initial Induction Training (IIT) – Jan-Mar

(12 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

All direct entry NZ Army Officer Cadets and selected individuals are required to complete IIT. This full-time course will introduce potential officers to the standards and discipline required to be an effective member of the New Zealand Army. It is designed to train basic individual military skills which includes:

  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Drill
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Leadership

New Zealand Commissioning Course (NZCC) – Apr-Dec

(38 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

This course commences at the end of IIT. It is designed for those with the potential to undertake a career in the New Zealand Army as a Regular Force Officer. Students will be exposed to a range of military environments, aimed at developing the leadership, character, and education of individuals in order to prepare them for commissioned service. Training includes:

  • Leading Teams
  • Leading Leaders
  • Physical Training
  • Field-craft
  • Enhanced Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Drill
  • Enhanced Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Tactics
  • University Study

The NZCC training cycle is based upon an Infantry Platoon training continuum. Therefore individuals wishing to complete NZCC need to be motivated, adaptable, resilient, physically fit and have a desire to be an effective leader within the New Zealand Defence Force.



Junior officer training within the New Zealand Army includes further formal courses. Officers are expected to complete these courses in their first 1-4 years. These are:


The aim of an officer’s initial corps course is to prepare the officer to assume a junior command appointment within his or her corps. This training is conducted as soon as possible after an officer completes his or her initial officer training. In most cases this training is conducted in New Zealand at the officer's parent corps school however, for selected corps, an officer's initial corps course may need to be conducted at an overseas training establishment.


The Junior Staff Officers Course is designed to prepare officers to perform the non-operational duties of an officer at unit and formation headquarters level. This training is sponsored by the School of Army Administration and is delivered by distance education and residential training.


Intermediate Officer Training within the New Zealand Army includes three formal courses aimed at further developing leadership, command tactics and planning skills.

You may be required to conduct other courses or training depending on how your career progresses.

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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.




Starting Salary


Higher Rank

Military Factor

All full time members of the NZ Defence Force receive an added portion to their salary known as Military Factor. This additional compensation recognises the unique nature of military service and the commitment you make to serve your country. This can include short notice postings around the country and overseas. You will be directed at times to be continuously alert, undertake arduous and hazardous duties, and be exposed to adverse working environments exclusive to military life. This also includes the exercise of military skills not recognised by market comparisons. The part you play in our Defence Force and your commitment to our country will be financially rewarded.

Free medical and dental

5 weeks annual leave

Access to additional compensation and housing allowances

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Defence discounts at selected stores and services

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17.5 years of age when you apply or older
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • You should be self-motivated and display leadership potential

While we accept school leavers, we would prefer people who may have a bit of life experience and possibly some tertiary education. There are some tertiary scholarship opportunities for school leavers who have achieved well at school and are interested in engineering. All Officers will have the opportunity to pursue further study as you progress through your career.

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in Level 2 English.


You must have achieved NCEA level 3 with a minimum of 18 credits each at level 3 English, Mathematics and Physics. You also must have obtained a minimum of 100 level 3 credits and a minimum of 45 level 3 credits achieved at Merit or Excellence level.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

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

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

Find out if you’re eligible here.

Upon enlistment you are given an offer of service of 15 years. This is the standard Army offer but does not oblige either yourself or the Army to complete this. It is subject to factors including the your right to cease service with 3 months notice once your initial training is complete.

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