What's Involved?

Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves operate alongside full-time personnel in a fully-trained military capacity, ready to serve if and when Australia needs them.

Choice of roles Choice of roles

A choice of roles

You can join the Navy, Army or Air Force Reserve in any number of roles and levels of responsibility.

As a Sailor, Soldier or Airman/Airwoman your work will be of a hands-on, practical nature and may involve a trade. Reserve training will strengthen your communication and teamwork skills and provide new outlets for the vocational assets you bring to the job.

As an Officer your role will be more leadership and management focused, complementing your civilian career with increased responsibility and new experiences.

Rewarding Activity Rewarding Activity

Rewarding activities

Reserves have always been there when the country needs them. As well as supporting Navy, Army and Air Force capability, members of the Reserves help rebuild lives and communities after natural disasters and help deliver humanitarian support overseas.

Reserves provide security at major sporting, religious and political events and build, protect and maintain Australian Defence Force infrastructure. They have played an integral role in the defence of Australia and the Australian way of life for over a century. Participating in deployments is generally voluntary, but in rare circumstances the Government has the power to 'call out' the Reserves.

Flexible commitment

The amount of time you commit to the Reserve will depend on the role and service you choose. In the Army you are normally expected to serve between 35 and 70 days a year, whereas In the Navy and Air Force, Reservists can serve up to 200 days a year.

Whether that's a number of days or weeks off work, occasional long weekends, or an evening each week, is up to you. Our aim is to ensure your Reserve work fits in with your life, as well as your study, work and family commitments. Once you start building friendships with like-minded colleagues and experience the lifestyle, there's every chance you'll want to do more rather than less.

Local Service Local Service

Local service

There are Reserve units in every major city and many large towns. Where exactly you serve will depend on your role and the service you've chosen, and interstate and overseas travel could be involved.

Importantly, as a volunteer it is always up to you how much time you spend away from home, and you have the choice of whether or not to go on exercises and deployments.

Sport and Exercise Sport and Exercise

Sport and exercise

While not all Reserve roles are physically demanding, a reasonable level of fitness is encouraged.

For most Reserves the physical exercise they do is all part of the fun. They enjoy improving their health in a supportive team environment without having to pay for gym memberships and personal trainers. The fitness level required to join the ADF is within most people's capability. Find out about the Pre-Entry Fitness Assessment and how to prepare for it on our Health and Fitness page.

Time away from work

You can find information for your employer on this website. The ADF will help you approach them about your ambition to serve, and you may not need to take much time off.

Once they hear about the benefits of having a Reserve in their ranks - which include the free training you receive, the leadership qualities you gain and the compensation they can claim - they are very likely to support your application. Of course, your employer may already be an enthusiastic supporter of the Reserves, so may not need any convincing.