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Switching on as an Armoured Vehicle driver

Who wouldn’t want to operate an Armoured Fighting Vehicle, says Trooper Nadia Amaral.

24 March, 2023

Civilian life became a little too mundane and predictable for Trooper Nadia Amaral’s liking.

Now she drives a Light Armoured Vehicle for Scots Squadron, in the Armoured Regiment Queen Alexander’s Mounted Rifles.

“I didn’t want to spend the rest of my adult life sitting behind a desk, nine to five. I was looking for some action. Something exciting. Something I could wake up every morning and be proud of. The Army, specifically QAMR, was just what I was looking for.


“When first joining the Regiment, you get placed as either an NZ Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) Driver or Gunner. I am an NZLAV Driver for Scots Squadron. Besides a 16-week Basic Training and a 18-week Corp training, I did the NZLAV Drivers Course. It’s a five-week long course where you learn the ins-and-outs of the vehicle and how to drive it. Although it was a challenging and full-on course, it was definitely a lot of fun tearing it up in Waiouru.

“Being in an NZLAV crew can be quite challenging, especially if you’re quite new. Everyone has their individual roles within the vehicle and finding your feet in the crew can take some time. Communication is definitely key.

Being out in the field is definitely the highlight of the job. Constantly being switched on and under the pump as a driver, although tiring, is thrilling.

“Who wouldn’t want to operate an Armoured Fighting Vehicle? The more people who join QAMR, the better. Although females are slowly making their way into QA, we want more!”


New Zealand Army: Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles training