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Will I be required to move location?

Most likely yes. Career Managers make an effort to accommodate your posting preferences and personal situation, but organisational requirements come first, and personnel may be required to move to different locations depending on where personnel and resources are required. A posting cycle is typically 2-3 years.

Can I use my mobile phone in the NZDF?

Yes. Mobile phones are allowed in the Defence Force, but use is not permitted in some occasions. For example when on operations or exercise or during parts of your initial training.

Can I attend evening social events off base after work?

Downtime can be spent however you wish. As an NZDF member it is important your personal conduct on and off duty is responsible, respectful and appropriate. If you are going to be consuming alcohol we encourage our personnel to drink responsibly, organise safe and sober transport home after a night out, and to look out for each other’s safety and well-being.

Can I submit a postal application?

You can only apply via this website. If this presents a real difficulty to you and you need to speak to somebody, please call us on 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723).

If I fail my entry level fitness test, when can I reapply?

If you fail an entry level fitness test your entire application is not rejected, it is merely put on hold until you pass the entry level fitness test. There is no stand-down period, you could re-sit the test the following day if another test happened to be scheduled. However, after failing an entry level fitness test we recommend you set goals and allow yourself a reasonable timeframe to achieve them before resitting the fitness test.

What is a Return Of Service Obligation (ROSO)?

A Return Of Service Obligation (ROSO) is a contractual commitment by yourself to remain in the NZDF for a specified period of time. ROSOs are associated to courses or training that require a significant investment of funding or resources by the NZDF, for example our Pilot Course and Tertiary Scholarship Schemes. Prior to joining, you will be informed if the initial training and career pathway you intend to conduct has any associated ROSOs.  The details of your ROSO will be stated on your Offer of Service.

My medical reconsideration application was declined, and I still disagree, is there a process to have this reviewed?

Request a review form from your Candidate Engagement Facilitator and send it to the address enclosed with supporting documents (Note: you can only request this form after the reconsideration form was declined, it must be received within 4 weeks of the day you were notified the reconsideration was declined, and you are responsible for any costs associated with your own medical reports). A board of Senior NZDF Medical Officers will review this application at their next medical reconsideration meeting held four times per year. If this application is denied you may be unable to reapply, or be given a stand-down period before you can reapply.

Where will my training take place?

The location of your inital training depends on your service.


All initial training is conducted at Waiouru Military Training Facility.


All inital training is conducted at Devonport Naval Base.

Air Force

All inital training is conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne.

Trade and/or Corp Training

After your initial training is complete, you will continue on with your trade-specific or Corp training. The location of your trade training varies depending on your trade.

Check your trade page on our website for the location of initial trade training. For further clarification contact your Candidate Engagement Facilitator or call 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723).

Can I wear make-up?

Make-up can be worn provided it is appropriate for a military environment. Each service has clear guidelines for what is appropriate, but in general, make-up should be light and natural.

What hairstyles are permitted in uniform?

Each service has a slightly different policy on appropriate hairstyles for men and women.

In general, hair is to be neat and tidy. Fringes should not fall below the eyebrows, and hair length (if untied) should not extend below the lower edge of a button-up shirt collar. Longer hair should be tied up off the collar in a bun or plait.

You can wear plain hair-ties, clips and hair-nets similar to your hair colour. Brightly coloured hair ornaments such as ribbons, headbands or scrunchies are not permitted.

Hair colour should be complementary to your natural colouring, so extreme colouring, bright contrasting or multiple colours are not permitted.

Your Candidate Engagement Facilitator will give you more information on appearance standards prior to your intake.

Can I get a tattoo after joining?

Tattoos, including large and highly visible cultural tattoos are acceptable provided they are appropriate for a military environment and are complementary to the NZDF’s values and image. Each service has clear guidelines on getting new tattoos.

How does the NZDF prevent discrimination and harassment?

We are committed to ensuring that our workplaces are safe and free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying because we recognise the effects of personal-wellbeing on our operational effectiveness. We make an effort to recruit good people, and install a positive culture early in initial training. Robust support processes are in place to deal with any alleged incidents sensitively, appropriately, and quickly.

When will I be promoted?

Promotion is based on eligibility requirements that include completing trade specific courses, seniority (how long you have held your current rank), and performance.

If I gain new qualifications in my spare time while I am in the NZDF, can I change to a new trade?

We are keen to see people who have improved their skills and want to take on new challenges. We move a number of internally-recruited personnel into new trades each year, but in the interest of fairness, they must meet the same minimum entry requirements as new applicants, and other factors like demand for the trade you wish to change to are taken into consideration.

I am currently serving but I want to change trade or service, do I do this via this site?

If you are a currently serving member, either Regular or Reserve Forces, you need to apply via your unit chain of command.

Is there are forced retirement age in the NZDF?

There is no upper age limits to continuing your service in the NZDF. Continued service is determined by vacancies, your performance, and your health and fitness.

What accommodation options does the NZDF offer?

The NZDF offers very affordable barrack accommodation for NZDF members on most bases and camps. Regular Force members become eligible for a housing allowance after 3 years of service. Regular Force members also become eligible for service housing after three years of service or under exceptional circumstances.

What is service housing like?

The majority of NZDF service houses were built in the 1950’s and are of wood construction. They have been maintained but are not as good as most modern homes of this century.

As a Reservist, will I continue to accrue annual leave while I am on Military Leave?

Yes, being granted Military Leave provisions under the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 means that your normal employment is viewed as uninterrupted and you are entitled to accrue your normal leave entitlement.

Is there someone I can talk to about re-enlistment and different trade options for me?

Yes, call 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723) and ask to speak to a uniformed re-enlistment recruiter.

When re-enlisting, will I have to go through initial training again?

This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you were fairly junior in your career when you left the NZDF, it may be decided that you need to start again alongside new recruits to re-familiarise yourself with a military environment.

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