A strong desire to help people was the turning point for Ron Varghese to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as a medic.

He has just graduated the 14-week recruit training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and will now head to Burnham to complete two-and-a-half years of medic training.

Aircraftman Varghese, 33, was born in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and after coming to New Zealand in 2012 lived in New Lynn in Auckland.

His career had been in the information communication technology field.

“I was wanting a change of career. I was done with sitting in front of a computer screen all day,” he said.

That motivated him to look at a new career with the RNZAF.

“I also worked as an elderly support worker for a year. That’s when I decided I wanted to join the medical field.

“I was going to study nursing when I came across this opportunity in the Air Force as a medic,” Aircraftman Varghese said.

He said the highlight of the recruit course was the camaraderie.

“We’ve all worked together to achieve results and that has been a highlight for me, especially during the challenging times.

“As one of the older ones on course, it has been a challenge at times to keep up the intensity but my younger peers have kept me going.”

He said to anyone wanting to join to “just give it a go”.

“If you think you’ve got what it takes, then go ahead and apply. It’s a great career choice.”

Aircraftman Varghese said he was grateful to be serving in the RNZAF and hoped to give back as much as he can.

“I’ve come a long way to be here and I know my journey has only just begun.”

New Zealand Defence Force medics train in a tri-service environment at Defence Health School 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 Heal Centres across Defence Force camps, ships and bases. On graduating, medics are deployable and able to operate interdependently within Defence Medical Treatment Protocols.

To learn more about a career in the Air Force visit www.defencecareers.mil.nz(external link).

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