About Joining Reserves


The primary role of the New Zealand Defence Force is to protect New Zealand from security threats.  As a Reservist, you will utilise your military skills in a wide range of situations from assisting in civil emergencies to operational deployments overseas.

Joining the New Zealand Defence Force as Reservist means to join as a paid part-time member. The Navy and Army both have Reserve Forces which offer military positions on a causal, part-time basis.


There is a variety of reserve roles available in both the Navy and Army:

Navy Reserves MTO (Maritime Trade Operations) Officer MTO (Maritime Trade Operations) Rating
  Seamanship Combat Specialist  
Army Reserves Armoured Combat Driver
  Combat Engineer Combat Medical Technician
  Gunner Infantry (Rifleman)
  Movement Operator Officer


To apart of the Reservists you need to be ready to spring into action at any time. That's why it is important to be in shape. In order to join the Naval or Army Reserves you must meet the fitness entry requirements, for more information see the links below:


On completing your Initial Training, you will be fully trained in your chosen trade which will see you contribute to the Defence Force and New Zealand in many ways, from assisting Civil Defence to deploying on operations overseas.

On an annual basis, there is an exception that you will maintain your level of military skill by attending weekend training and an annual period of training of about nine days in duration.

The Reserve Force also offers both professional development within your military trade and training for promotion to becoming a military leader.

Navy Basic Training

Your introduction to the Navy begins with a five-week basic training course at the Tamaki Leadership Centre where you will train alongside your Regular Force counterparts. These courses are held in February, July and September. After this you will go into your trade training.

Army Basic Training

Initial training consists of three modules which equate to approximately 7 weeks of training. Mod 1 and 2 are conducted throughout the year, and Mod 3 in early January. It is preferable that you are able to complete these modules back to back. See more information on the Army Basic Training.


The Defence Force will enhance your lifestyle with adventure, challenge, excitement and opportunities that only the Defence Force can offer.

The Navy and Army works with you and your current lifestyle commitments, while developing your military skills and knowledge in your chosen military trade.  There will be times however, in which you will be required to visit a camp or base to update your training or to participate in regional specific activities.

New Zealand has a long and distinguished history of military service, by joining either the Navy or the Army as a Reservist you will carry on these traditions and values while gaining the personal recognition of serving your country.


People who employ Reserves are vital to the effectiveness of New Zealand's Reserve Forces. Without their support, employees can’t get time off for military training. Both the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council, and the New Zealand Defence Force provide our valued supporters with various channels of support.

Find out more about Employer Support