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Mātauranga me te whakangungu

Our people are highly trained. We need them to master their profession and to know how apply those skills as part of a team, operating in complex and uncertain environments.

A new recruit's training starts when they join the Defence Force. They are immersed in military culture, learn how to work as a team, and are familiarised with following detailed instructions. No-one works alone. As a team, recruits get used to working quickly and with urgency, in order to complete tasks. They learn basic skills like weapon handling, first aid and drill. This is all part of developing a culture of being able to perform tasks in tough situations, under the direction of a leader and in a team with people who can be relied upon.

Recruit Training

An introduction to Defence Force life

How does a civilian transition into a sailor, soldier or airman?
It starts with the basics.

Basic training, also known as recruit training, is designed to take a person from civilian to a competent and self-disciplined military person while confirming that person’s suitability for life in the forces.

They may have passed the aptitude tests and have the right qualifications, but after walking through the gate at a military base and ‘signing on the line’, the Defence Force needs to confirm that our recruits are suitable for a career in the military. They need to be sure about the choice they’re making as well.

Under limited controlled stress, in a controlled environment, recruits learn to work as a team to support one another. They become accustomed to following orders, adapting to military discipline, moving with urgency, and learning self-discipline – including how to care for and clean their uniform. Physically, they become fitter and stronger.

Basic training usually takes 15 – 18 weeks. As recruits progress through, they build institutional knowledge about the Defence Force and the service they are in. We boost their confidence, self-esteem and self-respect.

Drill and parade ground training becomes an important part of military life because it teaches our people to think and work as a team, and to complete instructions quickly and correctly. In an emergency, this ‘muscle memory’ and ability to react quickly and without hesitation will come in handy when our people need to respond to a superior’s command. It may save their life or the life of a comrade.

Core military skills include weapons training, first aid, navigation, and lessons on military law. Recruits are welcomed onto their service marae as part of their journey into their service and the New Zealand Defence Force whānau.

Basic or recruit training concludes with a formal graduation ceremony in front of family and friends.