Applying For A Defence Career

Before you can apply for a Defence Career, you need to register so you can get access to your own personal secure candidate portal.  From there, you will be able to complete the application form and follow your application as it moves through the process.

Before you register, it's best to make sure you have the following information ready:

  1. Full Name
  2. Date and place of birth
  3. Address & Contact Details
  4. NZ Driver Licence number (to support the initial background check)

Once you are registered, you will want to move onto Apply within your secure candidate portal.


To be a member of the New Zealand Defence Force you will need to demonstrate that you have the right qualities and skills that we are seeking.

Candidates should allow 3-6 months for their application to be processed in a normal circumstance.  This is to allow enough time for health checks, security check, assessments and interviews to be completed.  Selections are then made from the pool of processed candidates in time for successful candidates to receive induction presentations before joining their intake. 

The time it takes will also depend on your motivation and readiness for the various assessments. Depending on the needs of the service, Defence Recruiting reserves the right to close off applications for a specific trade when necessary, or to offer an alternative trade.


As the application and selection process is very thorough, you need to allow yourself time to prepare. This means giving yourself time to gather together all the personal information and documents before you begin.


As part of your application, you will be asked for personal information so we can assess your eligibility to be considered for a role in the Services.

To help you, we have prepared a list of all the information you need to fully complete the Online Application. You don’t have to do it all in one go though – at any time you will be able to save the parts you have completed, and then return to it later.


  1. Your Next of Kin's name and contact details
  2. NZQA Number if you have one
  3. School qualifications including subjects, grades gained and year obtained
  4. Any tertiary or trade qualifications you have achieved with grades gained and year obtained
  5. If relevant, any previous employment details including dates, employer, locations and duties
  6. Your driver licence details (number, classes and any endorsements)
  7. Dates and outcomes of any criminal convictions
  8. Your current accurate height and weight
  9. Your Doctor's name and contact details i.e. telephone and address
  10. Dates, details and outcomes of any past or current medical conditions, (e.g. operations, broken bones, asthma history, any medications)
  11. Your vaccination/immunisation history (this can be obtained from your Doctor)
  12. A list of your preferred trades and Service(s)
  13. If you have served previously, you will need to supply some previous service details e.g. your Service Number

Once you have completed the application form, you have formally applied, and your application will be reviewed by a candidate coordinator. If everything appears in order, you will receive an email requesting you to return to your secure candidate portal in order to fill out a medical questionnaire and an initial background security check.

If you would like to know more about the stages your application will go through, you can visit our Stages of Application section.