Reserve MTO Specialists support the provision of maritime trade related information and intelligence to military commanders at sea and ashore.
- SpecialisationNaval Reserve
- LocationAuckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
Starting Trade Training$176
About the role
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”
- process and interrogate data in databases used for Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping
- assist in briefing 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 and support to military commanders’ staff.
MTO Specialists 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 - BCT
Job Training - MTO Rating
During your first eight months in the Navy, you will be taught core military and mariner skills, in order to be an effective rating in the Navy.
Basic Training - Basic Common Training: This initial training is known as Basic Common Training (BCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa.
Job Training: Following completion of BCT, you will begin your trade 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: You will be eligible for promotion to Able MTO Specialist once you have completed 18 months’ effective service, the Able MTO Specialist course and two Regular Force courses.
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 Specialists and, on attainment of the necessary qualifications, transfer to the MTO Branch.
During your first eight months in the Navy, you will be taught core military and mariner skills, in order to be an effective rating in the Navy. This initial training is known as Basic Common Training (BCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa. BCT continues once you return to your home unit, with weekend training once a month, one evening of training each week, and self-study. BCT finishes with another week of full-time training in August.
Reserve ratings 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.
Following completion of BCT, you will begin your trade 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 the 'Able Maritime Trade Operations Specialist' course, held over five days at Devonport Naval Base or at one of the Reserve units. The Able MTO Specialist course will introduce you to maritime communication methods, information management processes, merchant industry characteristics, and MTO terminology.
Professional training for promotion to Leading MTO Specialist, Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer is delivered by a combination of formal courses and distance learning. At each level you will need to complete a 'task book' to assess your retained knowledge and competence in the required practical skills.
Your hard work, experience and training accomplishments as an MTO Specialist are rewarded by promotions and increases in 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 Head of Department’s recommendation for promotion to Able MTO Specialist. For promotion to Leading MTO Specialist, Petty Officer, and Chief Petty Officer, you must be approved for promotion by the Naval Ratings Promotion Board.
You will be eligible for promotion to Able MTO Specialist once you have completed 18 months’ effective service, the Able MTO Specialist course and two Regular Force courses: Sea Qualifying Seamanship (two weeks) and Sea Qualifying Damage Control (two weeks). Further promotions are based on merit, efficient time at each rank, and the completion of professional and development (leadership) courses at each level.
MTO Specialists 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 Specialist, 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.
Starting Trade Training
Fitness and medical
- Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
- Be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.
- 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 of NCEA Level 1 (or a recognised qualified of an equivalent standard), with:
- 10 credits in Literacy,
- 10 credits in Numeracy, and
- elective credits in two or more of:
- Digital Communications
- Information Technology
- 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.