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Riverton man embraces opportunity of Army medical career

The ability to both think on his feet while also being fit was a drawcard for William Wallace to join the New Zealand Army as a medic.

09 June, 2021

He has just graduated from Defence Health School based at Burnham Military Camp following two-and-a-half years of study where he earned himself the Peers Choice Award and Top Trainee Award.

Private Wallace, 22 from Riverton, tried university but it wasn’t right for him so he enlisted into the Army.

“I joined as a medic as I wanted a job that required physical challenges as well as academic ones.

“It seemed to fit what I wanted in a job the most, requiring a lot of thinking, as well as being physically fit,” he said.

Private Wallace said he has enjoyed the operational phases of training, particularly the parts based around trauma.

“Along with that, I have really enjoyed getting a taste of the different services medicine, including the aeromedical evacuation course.”

He is looking forward to the next part of his New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) journey.

“I am looking to further my understanding of military and clinical medicine, and ensuring that any patients I treat in the field, on operations, or at the Health Centre are given the best care.

“In a medical sense, I will also be furthering my study through a Bachelor of Paramedicine.” 

Private Wallace will now be posted to Southern Health Support Squadron in Burnham where he will put his medic training into practice.

He said anyone wishing to join the NZDF should ensure they do their research.

“Make sure you read all of what the trade requirements are and that you are medically and physically fit, this will put you in good stead for whatever job to would like to do.”

NZDF medics train in a tri-service environment at Defence Health School based at Burnham Military Camp. The training takes two-and-a-half years and is a mixture of theory and practice.

They also experience on-the-job training at Health Centres across Defence Force camps, ships and bases around New Zealand.