Basic Training


Your first 16 weeks of training will be spent on an All Arms Recruit Course (AARC), commonly known as Recruit Training. It’ll give you the basic skills you’ll need to become a successful soldier, covering everything from the fundamentals of weapons training to first aid, navigation and lessons on military law. It’s also where you’ll first be introduced to your chosen trade.

Your training will be based at our Waiouru Army Camp, though you’ll also do some exercises further afield. This will be an intense period of training, demanding a lot of you physically – but the great thing is you’ll be getting paid to keep fit, including playing social sports with your mates.


Even though this time will be fairly intense, you will still get some downtime – including most Sundays, which will be kept free to give you some personal time and the ability to attend church if desired. You can also spend your free time at any of our recreational facilities, including the gym, swimming pool, or library. There are even shops where you can get basic everyday items, so you’ll have access to everything you need.


There will also be a break halfway through the course to give you some time to go home and rest before beginning the remainder of your training. There are also two visitors’ days where you can invite your friends and family to visit the camp.


Once you’ve graduated from Basic Training you will be posted to your unit at any one of the Army camps within New Zealand. Your next stage of training will be your trade specific ‘corps training’ which will teach you the basics for your specific trade. You will find life in the Army quite different once you march out of your basic training, in that your freedom and spare time will increase significantly. You’ll even find that your working days return to normal hours and your accommodation will move from shared rooms to single rooms if you choose to remain living in barracks.


As potential future commanders and leaders within the Army, Officers undergo different training to that of Soldiers. The training course at the Officer Cadet School (OCS) is 11 months in duration. The first seven weeks will be your basic training, learning many of the same skills soldiers learn on their basic training. This initial phase of training is the Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) and it is held at RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim). You will complete this training alongside Navy and Air Force Officer Cadets.

Upon completion of the JOIC all Army Officer Cadets are then posted to Waiouru where they commence their specific Army Officer training which is known as the New Zealand Commissioning Course (NZCC). This runs for the duration of the year with graduation in December. The course is tough and designed to produce competent, fit, durable and determined leaders ready to command soldiers here in NZ and overseas on operations. The course is both mentally and physically demanding, and upon graduation you will commission as an Army Officer acknowledging the world class skills and knowledge imparted during the course.

Only the most determined and hard working individuals complete the NZCC and graduating from this course is internationally recognised and a very prestigious achievement. The course is tough so that by the time you graduate, you have been tested and trained proving you are ready for the highly rewarding career as an Army Officer.

For more information on ‘Officer Training’ view our 'Officer' section.


  • Basic Training (All Arms Recruit Course)
    Basic Training      (All Arms Recruit Course)

    Ever wondered what it's like to go through basic training in the NZ Army? See a round of brand new recruits taking it on and toughing it out for 16 weeks in the All Arms Recruit Course.