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Reserve MTO Officers fuse maritime trade related information and experience with expert analysis and assessment in order to support the decision-making processes of military commanders at sea and ashore.
- SpecialisationNaval Reserve
- LocationAuckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
- Starting Salary$176.00 Daily Rate in addition to an allowance for holiday pay
About the role
Maritime Trade Operations (MTO) is an element of the Defence Force’s Information Warfare Domain. The capability is a key enabler, delivering awareness of maritime economic activity including merchant shipping, cargo, fishing, energy and port infrastructure.
MTO personnel are the RNZN’s subject matter experts and provide the interface between the maritime industries and the NZDF ashore and afloat in support of routine constabulary tasks, Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) and warfighting operations.
- contribute to the “common operating picture”
- brief merchant vessel masters alongside in port and underway at sea on known security threats and military operations that may impact on their passage
- debrief masters to collect information that will enhance understanding of the threat environment, and
- provide advice to military commanders on the maritime industries and the impact of military operations on commercial activities.
MTO Officers may be employed at sea or ashore in New Zealand or overseas supporting NZ Defence Force operations and activities.
Career progression and training
Basic Training - JOCT
Job Training - MTO
Initial training consists of three stages which equate to approximately 4 weeks of block training, alongside a blend of one weekend per month, and one night's training per week.
Basic Training - Junior Officer Common Training: During your first 11 months in the Navy, you will be taught core military, mariner and leadership skills in order to be an effective officer in the Navy. This initial training is known as Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa.
Job Training: Following completion of JOCT, you will begin your branch training. MTO training is conducted through a combination of self-study, online learning, formal courses run by the Maritime Trade Training School (MTTS), and practical experience in your home unit and on exercises.
On-going career progression: Your hard work, experience and training accomplishments as an MTO Officer are rewarded by promotions in rank and salary.
Course dates will be advised by your Candidate Engagement Facilitator as part of your recruitment journey.
Reservists who have not previously served in the Regular Force (ab initio Reservists) commit to a minimum cumulative total of 20 days’ service each year for professional development and operational delivery. This is made up of a minimum of 14 days of full-time training, exercises, operational activity and/or supplementation to the Regular Force plus weeknight and weekend training. An additional 20 days is available for supplementary activities that benefit both individual Reservists and the NZDF.
Weekend training may also include Friday evenings. Longer exercises are conducted over periods ranging from four to 14 days. Naval Reservists receive a daily rate of pay, commensurate with their rank and experience, and this encompasses travel time required to attend training.
Much of the MTO professional training is designed to be flexible, enabling you to choose when you train – meaning you can tailor your service to fit around work and family commitments. Provision also exists for periods of leave of absence from training commitments.
Ex Regular Force personnel may also elect to qualify as MTO Officers and, on attainment of the necessary qualifications, transfer to the MTO Branch.
During your first 11 months in the Navy, you will be taught core military, mariner and leadership skills in order to be an effective officer in the Navy. This initial training is known as Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa. JOCT continues once you return to your home unit, with weekend training once a month, one evening of training each week, and self-study. You will also complete another week of full-time training in August and again in November, focusing on leadership skills.
Reserve officers receive the same initial training as their Regular Force counterparts. This includes parade training (drill), an introduction to the laws of armed conflict, first aid, naval customs and ceremonies, communications, an introduction to damage control, and small arms.
Upon the successful completion of JOCT, you will be promoted from Midshipman to Ensign and begin your MTO branch training.
Following completion of JOCT, you will begin your branch training. MTO training is conducted through a combination of self-study, online learning, formal courses run by the Maritime Trade Training School (MTTS), and practical experience in your home unit and on exercises.
Your professional training starts with an introduction to merchant shipping, the maritime industry and trade, merchant vessel navigation and tracking. You will then attend the one-week “Sub-Lieutenant (SLT) MTO Professional” course held at Devonport Naval Base or at one of the Reserve units. Following the course, you will complete a “task book” to assess your retained knowledge and competence in the required practical skills. Once you have completed the SLT MTO Professional course and the task book, you will be professionally qualified for promotion to Sub-Lieutenant.
As you progress towards the next rank of Lieutenant, you will undertake the comprehensive “Lieutenant (LT) MTO Professional” course that builds on your previous qualification and gives you the practical skills necessary to manage a shipping coordination team. This includes acting as a briefing officer with ships’ masters and with the wider maritime industry at an operational level. You will again complete a task book to assess your retained knowledge and competence in the required practical skills.
Promotion to Lieutenant Commander requires further specialist training. At this point of your career, you may be selected to attend advanced courses at HMS Collingwood in the United Kingdom.
Your hard work, experience and training accomplishments as an MTO Officer are rewarded by promotions in rank and salary.
It is a requirement for all promotions that you be medically and physically fit. You will also need to have completed the required professional courses and have your Commanding Officer’s recommendation for promotion to Ensign, Sub-Lieutenant and Lieutenant.
Once you have obtained two years of seniority as an Ensign you will be eligible for promotion to Sub-Lieutenant. Your next promotion to Lieutenant requires three years of seniority as a Sub-Lieutenant and the completion of three courses alongside your Regular Force counterparts: the Lead Leaders course (five days), the Divisional Management Course (two weeks), and the Incident Managers Damage Control course (five days). You can choose to intersperse these courses between your MTO professional training or to undertake them after you have completed your professional training.
Promotion to Lieutenant Commander and above is based on merit. Promotion to Lieutenant Commander requires the completion of the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Joint) or an equivalent international course. Promotion to Lieutenant Commander and Commander is also subject to minimum lengths of service and seniority in rank.
MTO Officers of all ranks are eligible to be posted in support of MTO and other NZDF exercises and operations in New Zealand and overseas.
As a Reservist you are paid on an hourly rate rather than a salary. Pay rates depend on the role you are in and your rank; your pay will increase as you move up through the ranks.
As an MTO Officer, the minimum remuneration you will be paid from day one is a daily rate of $175.90 plus an allowance for holiday pay. You are paid for each hour you work, up to a maximum of eight hours’ pay per day. Your remuneration will continue to increase on promotion and with the gaining of seniority.
Daily Rate - Upon Completion of JOCT(R) (ENS)
Fitness and Medical
- Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
- Be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.
- Pass an Officer Selection Board
- Must pass the Navy Swim Test, conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes:
- Swim of 50 metres and, on completion,
- Remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes
You must have a minimum NCEA Level 3, and/or a recognised qualification of equivalent standard or five years of relevant operational management experience (at sea or ashore).
A Relevant Degree and three years of practical industry experience across (but not limited to):
- Aviation Management,
- Business Management,
- Computer and Data Sciences,
- Human Factors,
- Information Technology,
- Nautical Science,
- Political Science,
- Safety Science,
- Supply Chain Management, and
- Transport and Logistics.
If you have experience or a degree in an area that is not listed, but you think it might be relevant to MTO, then we encourage you to get in touch.
Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements
- You must be medically fit for service.
- You must meet the minimum entry fitness standards.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the SV security clearance required for this trade. You must be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.
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