Infantry (Rifleman)

As Infantry (Rifleman), you are a front line soldier, and the backbone of Army service. You'll be physically strong with a high level of endurance and stamina. You'll work mainly in outdoor environments and receive advanced training in combat skills, weapons and equipment. You'll acquire navigation, field-craft and survival skills. You'll be a team player in an exceptionally tight team.

As Infantry (Rifleman) you will spend a vast majority of your time transitioning between a camp and field environment. While in camp you will continue to enhance your infantry core skills such as, Weapon Training, Navigation, Communications, Various Combat Techniques, Range shooting and Physical Training. Then when you move into the field you will put all your skills into practice during a tactical field exercise.

As Infantry (Rifleman) you will deploy in your primary role. Your main focus will providing security by conducting patrols within your area of operations. Riflemen have had a vast history of serving overseas and currently they deploy on a variety of overseas peace keeping and humanitarian operations.

As Infantry (Rifleman) you will spend your initial years developing your infantry skills within a Rifle Company. You may then have the opportunity of working within a Specialist Infantry Platoon where you will develop some advanced infantry skills such as Reconnaissance, Snipers, Heavy Weapons, or Advanced Communications. Over time you may progress in rank and hold different command positions within an Infantry Battalion. As your career progresses, you will work towards being an Infantry Instructor. In this capacity, you can be posted to the Combat School in Waiouru, tutoring on advanced combat courses, or to the Army Depot where you would tutor on promotion courses or train recruits during their initial training.

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.

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.

You must have achieved the NCEA level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

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:

  • Organisation and Administration

  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness 


This course is more physically and mentally challenging than the recruit course. The aim is to prepare you to operate as a member of a rifle section.

You will be trained in the use of specialist weapons that are capable of engaging a wide range of selective targets. You will hone your physical fitness and learn to apply first aid to a combat casualty. Other skills learnt on this course include working with military armoured vehicles and Air Force helicopters, performing navigation, operating combat radios, and learning the detailed organisation of the infantry battalion.

During your initial three years of training, you will be posted to either 1st Battalion, RNZIR at Linton Military Camp or to 2nd/1st Battalion, RNZIR at Burnham Military Camp.

Which island you come from in New Zealand may influence which battalion you are posted to.