FAQs Full Time Soldier
What training will I do after I finish recruit training?
On completion of recruit training you will be relocated to your Corps School, where you will undertake ‘Initial Employment Training.’ This involves learning your job within the Corps you enlist into. The length of Initial Employment Training depends on the job or trade you have enlisted to do. As a general rule the training will be anywhere between 6 and 18 months duration. The Corps Schools are in various locations around Australia. Detailed information on most of the jobs and trades in the Army can be found at the Defence Jobs Army website.
Will I get paid whilst I am on the recruit course? How much?
Yes you will be paid whilst you are on the recruit course. Up to date information about pay and entitlements can be found on the Defence Jobs website.
You will be required to bring your Tax File Number, along with your bank account number and BSB for your bank account, to allow direct payment into your bank account. Prior to attending recruit training you should ascertain the current net rate of pay from your recruiting centre/unit and ensure that it is sufficient to cover all financial commitments for the duration of recruit training. If it is not, you should make some form of alternative arrangements for these obligations. There is little opportunity to rectify these problems once the course has commenced. Particular attention should be paid to personal banking arrangements. There will be an opportunity to visit a Rediteller Automatic Teller Machine during training.
If I want to get my hair cut before joining what sort of haircut should I get?
The required haircut for a male recruit is a number two all over, so if you want to get your haircut you should choose this style; however, all male recruits will have a haircut in the first week of training, if you have a haircut prior to arrival, you will have it cut again once you get to ARTC.
Female recruits are required to wear their hair in a neat, tidy bun on the back of their head if they have long hair. It is advisable to practice putting your hair up in a bun quickly and neatly prior to arrival – there is very little time each morning to spend on doing hair. Bring hair nets, bobby pins and plenty of hair bands with you. The standard for a short female haircut is that it must be neat and tidy, and not touch the bottom of your collar.
What civilian clothes should I take with me?
Your civilian clothes should be ‘neat civilian attire.’ For males the minimum standard for neat civilian attire is jeans (in good order, no rips/tears), a belt, collared shirt (polo shirts are acceptable) and leather shoes (not runners of skate shoes).
Females should bring the equivalent of male attire. Do not bring any revealing or showy clothes as you will not be permitted to wear them. Ensure that you bring a pair of enclosed shoes such as dress shoes, you cannot wear sandals.
You should be aware that the majority of your time will be spent in uniform, this includes evenings. Civilian attire is required for when you have local leave (trips to the City of Wagga Wagga).
What day of the week does the course start and when can I expect to finish?
You will ‘March-In’ to your recruit course, that is arrive to the Army Recruit Training Centre, on a Tuesday. You may be required to attend the recruiting centre on the day prior to this to conduct your pre-enlistment fitness training. If you do need to attend prior, the recruiting staff will let you know.
You will finish your recruit course 80 days after you March-In. This is usually on a Friday morning.
Do I really need any physical preparation? I am pretty fit already and play sport regularly?
YES! You must ensure that you are physically fit before joining the Army. Regardless of what sporting history you have, the type of physical activity that is required by the Army is very intense and challenges even the fittest recruit. If you follow the four week training program on your Joining Instruction you will be off to a good start. If you find that the program doesn’t challenge you, concentrate on running approximately 2.4km in the fastest time you can and on your upper body strength.
You will be required to complete a 2.4km run test, among others, at ARTC. If you can complete this run in about 10 minutes for males and 11 minutes for females you can then focus on building your upper body strength. You are also required to complete an Army Swim Test at ARTC. This involves swimming 30m fully clothed and then treading water for 2 minutes fully clothed. If you are a weak swimmer practice this test wearing heavy pants such as jeans to ensure you can pass it on arrival at ARTC. It is important to remember that with some reasonable preparation, recruit training is quite achievable for you.
If I really don’t like the Army lifestyle after the first week can I just go home?
No. If you decide that you really don’t think that the Army lifestyle is for you after enlisting you will be required to go through the discharge process. You must complete 21 days of training before you are eligible for discharge. This means that all potential recruits should be 100% sure of their decision before enlisting.
I don’t have a bank account set up, are there facilities to join a bank at Kapooka?
Can I take my mobile phone with me?
Yes. You can bring your mobile phone with you, but be aware that you will only be allowed to use the phone at certain times and cannot receive or make calls during training hours.
I wear contact lenses. Will they be all right for the training that I am going to do?
For recruits with glasses it is recommended that you don’t wear contact lenses, as much of the training is not suitable for them. If you have an old pair of glasses bring those and a strap to hold them on your head for activities such as the obstacle course where you need to keep them on at all times.
How much time off will I get?
You will have very little spare time, or time off during recruit training. Most evenings you may get about half an hour to do your own administration. You will work each weekend, though later in the course there are scheduled visits to the City of Wagga for shopping. The first opportunity is in the fourth week of training, where you will get three hours in Wagga. During later stages of training you will get some free time, during which some of the Kapooka facilities will be available to you.
You should keep in mind that the recruit training course is not very long, once you complete this and move onto Initial Employment Training at your Corps school, you will have much more free time.
I haven’t worn boots very much. Will I have to wear Army issued boots all the time?
Boots are part of the standard uniform, and you will wear them for the majority of the training. The course is structured so that you won’t be wearing your boots all day for the first few days; however, for much of the training you can expect to wear your boots for up to fourteen hours a day. You may develop rubbing or blisters as you wear your boots in. If this does happen, you will be provided appropriate blister treatment.
Do we get a lunch hour where we can do our own administration or just relax?
No. Meal times are relatively short, and you will most likely be preparing to move onto further training during your lunch and dinner times. You will have about half an hour to eat your meal. The recruit mess often feeds up to 1000 recruits at any one time, there is little time or space to sit and relax during meal times.
I am pretty fit but a bit concerned about the pack marching and combat type fitness tests. What can I do to increase my fitness in this area and what can I expect to do in training?
The first step is to follow the four week training program that you will have been provided. You can expect to do pack marching, you will be required to climb ropes and complete the obstacle course. To prepare for rope climbing, the obstacle course and other combat tests you should work on building your overall body strength with the aim of being able to lift and support your own weight, plus military webbing. A good activity to develop this fitness is to do chin-ups. Complete sets of 2-3 chin-ups, making sure you bring your chest all the way to the bar. If you have never walked with a pack, you may wish to do some bushwalking with a pack. Start by walking for 10-20 minutes and gradually build up to one hour over a period of a number of weeks. You should aim to maintain a pace of 11 minutes per kilometre – this is the rate you will be expected to maintain during training.
Other Frequently Asked Questions can be accessed at Defence Jobs: Army.