Intelligence Operator

New Zealand Army Intelligence Operators fulfil an important role. They gather and process information to assist commanders in decision making.

  • Predict what the enemy is going to do
  • Safeguard Army operational information
  • Help prevent the enemy from being able to predict what we are going to do
  • Record, collate and process information from a variety of sources, following the "Intelligence Cycle": Direction, Collection, Processing and Dissemination
  • Need to be analytical and be able to operate under stressful conditions
  • Will be expected to work near the front line in field conditions

From early on in your career you will be briefing military commanders and what you say will influence their decisions. You will have the chance to develop new skills and meet new challenges as your career progresses.

If you think you have what it takes, you will need to attend an Intelligence Operator Selection Board to be considered for the role.

This trade is currently only available to Regular Force Soldiers, and is lead by Officers from the New Zealand Intelligence Corps (NZIC).

Your day-to-day responsibilities as an Intelligence Operator at camp will see you developing the skills required to advise battlefield operations. You will work with the equipment and practice the techniques of Intelligence analysis in live scenarios.

As well as your day to day responsibilities as an Intelligence Operator, you will also continue your soldier training including weapons, medical and radio/communications training.

As an Intelligence Operator you will have the opportunity to deploy wherever the Army goes. In combat situations, you will use your skills to analyse the combat terrain and battlefield conditions to predict how it will impact operations. You will then be responsible for reporting your findings to military commanders to ensure they have the most accurate information to make the most informed decisions.

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 18 years of age
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade
  • Driver's Licence: A Class 1 restricted driver's licence is recommended, but is not compulsory
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you’ll be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have got 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


A four-week course held at Trade Training School (Trentham) alongside the trainees of the Royal NZ Army Logistics Regiment, where you will be introduced to further military skills. These skills include training in Operational Concepts as well as operating in-service communications equipment, concealing equipment systems and operating vehicles and equipment in a camp and field environment. You’ll also learn about the role and history of the Intelligence Corps.


On completion of your Junior Soldier training (All Arms Recruit Course and RNZALR Corps Training) you will attend specialist courses in Basic Intelligence and Security in Waiouru.


Until you complete your Basic Intelligence and Security Courses, your performance will be monitored by the NZIC Board of Studies. You can expect to be periodically evaluated to ensure you continue to display and develop the character and qualities required of an Intelligence Operator.


All information gathered by the Army, whether it be by Special Forces or Infantry patrols, chance sightings by a signals detachment or a technical report from an Engineer patrol, is useless until you have analysed and interpreted the significant intelligence it contains.

Combat Intelligence involves the core skills of processing and analysing information. One important example of this is the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB). Used correctly, IPB will answer vital questions such as where, when, how and why an enemy is likely to attack. IPB often provides a graphic representation of an area, illustrating crucial details and giving an insight into likely enemy courses of action.


Security involves the identification of and protection against enemy intelligence operations such as espionage, sabotage, subversion or terrorism.

Supporting the core disciplines of Combat Intelligence and Security are three specialist areas that employ specific skills and equipment. These are Human Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Imagery Intelligence.

In the first year you will be based in Wellington and Waiouru, undergoing your initial training. In the second year you can expect to remain in Wellington where you will develop your skills in Combat Intelligence. Each major Army Camp in New Zealand has Intelligence posts, so after your training you could be posted to Linton, Burnham, Trentham or Waiouru.

*keyword Combat Communicator