As a driver in the Army, you will be a part of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment. Within that corps, you will be a member of a tightly knit section of four to six vehicles, operating within a Combat Service Support organisation.
You will be trained to operate your vehicle by day and night, anywhere in the world, and in all weather conditions and terrain. You will be driving, operating and maintaining general service vehicles. You will also gain a range of licences, licence endorsements, and NZQA unit standards towards New Zealand Road Transport Industry National Certificates.
The New Zealand Army uses a variety of vehicles, from motorbikes and cars to the Pinzgauer Light Operating Vehicle, the Unimog U1700L truck and Heavy Equipment Transport (HET). You will be taught how to safely operate all these vehicles in all kinds of terrain. You will also learn basic mechanic skills to allow you to maintain these vehicles.
As a Driver your day to day responsibilities include driving soldiers to training exercises, driving a bus for community groups, servicing vehicles, and training on skills such as vehicle recovery, convoy drives, driving in formation and stalls carrying. You will also practise vehicle deployments and concealment of vehicles.
As well as your day to day Driver tasks you will also continue your soldier training including weapons, medical and radio/communications training.
Drivers deploy on a variety of overseas deployments and postings whenever the need arises. That could mean as part of a United Nations deployment or Multinational Observer Force in the Sinai, Egypt. You will work with other international forces driving civilian trucks between Sinai and Israel. You will be moving supplies and providing logistics support.
Drivers have also been deployed to East Timor, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. While in these locations you could be driving infantry patrols and providing logistics support. When you are not doing your primary role of driving you will be doing your normal responsibilities as a soldier such as foot patrols and support to the local community.
Initially you will train as a Driver, then progress to Driving Instructor and Section Commander positions. You can also be posted as a Driver to an engineer regiment, NZSAS or a stand-alone appointment to another unit as a Fleet Manager in charge of 50 - 100 vehicles. You could also train to be a Driving Instructor where you will be in charge of training courses, teaching the operation of vehicles in the New Zealand Army.
As your career progresses, you will gain experience in the different positions within the driver trade such as second in command for a transport section (7 trucks and 14 people), Section Commander (Corporal rank), Transport Sergeant (looking after up to 30 – 40 vehicles) and Platoon Sergeant (in charge of 3 sections).
Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Private and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
Being able to show that you are a team player and have some mechanical ability will make you a more competitive applicant.
A Return of Service obligation will be required after you have completed your training.
Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:
A six-week driver training course, where you will learn skills like on-road convoy driving, defensive driving, vehicle dynamics and off-road driving in a light 4WD and Unimog truck. You will finish this course with a Full Class 2 (truck) licence.
This is a four-week course at the Trade Training School (Trentham), where you will be introduced to basic RNZALR skills:
You will also learn about all military vehicles and their functions.
A six-week course at the Trade Training School, where you will be introduced to advanced RNZALR driver skills:
You will be posted to one of the two logistic battalions, either in Linton Military Camp or Burnham Military Camp.