Throughout the Defence Force, physical fitness is important and maintained at a high level. You need to be fit to do your job well. What’s more, you need the energy reserves to respond to any emergency situations. This doesn’t just mean being physically strong – we need total fitness. And we’ll help you achieve it.
It starts with a full medical to make sure you are in good shape. Unfortunately some medical conditions do preclude you from service, such as degenerative diseases, disabilities and conditions that require regular medication.
To apply for the NZDF you are required to be fully medically fit for service. As enlisted members of the NZDF you may find yourself in situations which are physically and mentally challenging at home and overseas. For example, you may be in a combat zone without ready access to standard medical facilities.
Should you be selected, the initial training you will undertake for the NZDF will be physically demanding, therefore you need to prove that you are fully medically fit prior to commencing.
You will have to complete a number of health checks throughout the application process including having a full medical with an approved doctor. This will then be reviewed by an NZDF doctor to ensure that you are up to the military health standard.
You are advised to submit your online application as quickly as possible so that your case can be reviewed.
In some cases your preferred trade may not be available to you due to the particular health requirements of some trades, in which case your Candidate Coordinator may discuss other suitable options with you.
“If you are considering having surgery immediately before, or during the application process, please ensure you discuss it with your Candidate Co-ordinator before-hand, as some things (Lasik eye surgery for example) may require a stand-down period before your application can be continued.”
The examples below give an indication of some (not all) of the factors which will be taken into account.
“In general, those with an asthma tendency are not considered fit for operational service nor, therefore, for military service. This is because training and service in the NZDF requires people to undertake activities that pose a high risk of provoking asthma such as vigorous exercise, fire fighting, dust and other irritants, and exposure to changes in temperature. In addition, there are only limited facilities on NZDF operations and exercises for treating an asthma attack, and this could have a very serious outcome if expert medical assistance were not available.
If you wish to pursue a career in the NZDF it will be necessary for your asthma to be completely controlled. It is acceptable for you to be on preventive steroid medication to achieve asthma control, but not a long-acting beta agonist. (eg. Seretide)
If you have a history of asthma, you will be required to provide proof of a negative hypertonic saline challenge test before you can be considered fit to join the NZDF.
In general, your height should be between 153 - 193 cm, weight < 125kg and BMI 18-34. These limits are not absolute, but these restrictions may apply for certain trades and jobs due to safety considerations. Most military equipment is designed for a person of average height and build, and some clothing, fittings, and equipment cannot be altered to accommodate extremes.
Some trades require a high level of uncorrected eyesight (20/20 vision), for example the lookout on a ship. Some other trades require no decreased colour perception (colour blindness).