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As a Combat System Specialist you will use state of the art sensors and satellite based systems to gather information which will allow Command to act.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Navigation, Combat and Security
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    20 February, 2023
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About the role

As a Combat System Specialist you will use state of the art sensors and satellite based systems to gather information which will allow Command to act – whether to intercept pirates or drug smugglers, check fishing boats for quota compliance, conduct a search and rescue, hunt terrorists and weapons smugglers or let the whale pass by.


HMNZS TE KAHA tests its live firing combat capabilities.

Career progression and training

Career progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Specialist Training

Combat System Specialists also undergo training in general seamanship tasks, such as slipping and berthing, boat operations, anchoring, underway replenishment, and upper deck maintenance and ship’s husbandry. Training occurs at various levels throughout the Combat System Specialist career. As you gain more experience you will have the chance to specialise in either above water or underwater detection.

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

  • Teamwork and support
  • Naval history and customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Core mariner skills and weapons training
  • First aid and firefighting
  • Physical fitness
  • Self-discipline

On completion of basic training you will be provided with a brief period of leave at the end of which you will return to the Recruit Training School and conduct your Basic Branch Training (BBT). This is where you will develop your skills which are specific to your trade and allow you to be posted to the fleet on successful completion of BBT. As a result of the specialist training received, Combat Systems Specialists also develop faster reaction times, improved retention and memory, excellent observational techniques and improved attention to detail.

As a very specialist role it is essential to ensure that training as maintained. This will require the Navy to continuously develop your skills as a CSS and provide opportunities through promotion to further your skills specific to your trade.

Many opportunities exist for CSS to develop specialist skills. Within SONAR or RADAR specialists there are also opportunities to learn a variety of other skills through discussion with your Divisional system.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Navy 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

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Access to subsidised equipment on base

Subsidised food on base

Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements



Fitness and medical


Period of Service

  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
  • Be free of any criminal conviction for the previous two years.
  • Must pass the Navy swim test, conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes:
    • Swim of 50 metres and, on completion,
    • Remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes.

You must have 10 NCEA Level 1 credits in each Literacy and Numeracy.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the SV security clearance required for this trade. You must be free of any criminal convictions.

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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