How to join

Health and fitness

Ready for anything

If you want to be part of the Defence Force you need to be medically and physically fit for military duties worldwide.

If you're selected, your initial training will be physically demanding. And later, as an enlisted member of the Defence Force, you may find yourself in situations which are physically and mentally challenging – both home and overseas.

Here's the requirements you need to meet:

General health

You'll be required to complete a number of health checks throughout the application process, including having a full medical with an approved doctor (a list is provided during the recruitment process). This medical information will be reviewed by a Defence Force doctor to ensure that you meet the military health standard.
Your medical history is confidential and won't be divulged to anyone who is not authorised to hold the information.
In some cases your preferred role may not be available to you due to the particular health requirements of the trade. In that case your Candidate Co-ordinator may discuss other more suitable options with you. Please also contact your Candidate Co-ordinator if you're planning on having surgery before or during the application process, as there may be a stand down period before your application can be continued.

Vaccinations

You're required to be completely up to date with your vaccinations prior to enlistment. These include: Tetanus, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Hepatitis B. Please check with your parents or your GP if you have records of receiving these as part of your childhood immunisation program. If you have not been immunised for Hepatitis B, it's best to start this process early, as it can take up to 6 months to receive the required 3 doses and may cause you to miss out on selection for the next intake.

Height and weight

The minimum acceptable height is 1.52 m. There's no maximum height restriction, but applicants over 1.96m may be unsuitable for specific trades. The maximum acceptable weight is 125kg. The acceptable BMI range is 18 – 33, however we may consider BMIs up to 36 if, on assessment, the BMI is found to be due to large muscle bulk.

Eyesight

Vision

A high level of uncorrected and corrected vision is required, as certain trades need to perform complex tasks in conditions of limited visibility. The ability to see targets at a distance and distinguish signals is very important for you and your team’s safety. You may be unable to wear visual aids under certain conditions, especially in an emergency, so each trade has a minimum visual requirement which you must meet.

If you're considering corrective photorefractive surgery (such as LASIK), you will need to talk with your doctor and your Candidate Coordinator before proceeding, as some vision correcting procedures are not compatible with our medical standards.

Colour perception

Like the vision standards, you need to have a certain level of correct colour perception in order to perform your role within the Defence Force accurately. In many trades perfect colour perception is essential in order to interpret signals such as coloured lights that may relate to aircraft flight safety, map reading, and marine navigation. There are trade options for candidates with decreased colour perception, but you'll need to have a discussion with your candidate coordinator about what you may be eligible for.

Medications and asthma

Medications

In general, any applicant who requires regular or long-term medication to control a medical condition (contraception excluded) will be unfit for service. This is because a supply of medications cannot be guaranteed in the deployed situation and medications may be destroyed/degraded (by heat and humidity), or unavailable for periods of time.​

Asthma

In general, people with asthma are not considered fit for operational service – and therefore not fit for military service. This is because training and service in the Defence Force requires people to undertake activities that pose a high risk of provoking asthma such as vigorous exercise, firefighting, contact with dust and other irritants, and exposure to changes in temperature. In addition, there can be limited medical and other facilities on Defence Force operations and exercises for treating an asthma attack, and this could have a very serious outcome if medical intervention was not possible.

If you wish to pursue a career in the Defence Force you'll need to provide proof that your asthma is completely controlled, including a negative hypertonic saline challenge test and evidence that you're not on any long-acting beta agonist medication (eg Seretide).

Allergies and coeliac disease

Allergies

Significant food or other allergies (especially if you have also had asthma or are required to carry an Epipen) are a limiting factor to entry.​

Coeliac disease

While coeliac disease is manageable day-to-day within New Zealand, in certain situations (such as deployment) there may be limited dietary options for a prolonged period. In such situations there is a risk of complications ranging from gastrointestinal symptoms to nutritional deficiency. This has potential implications not only for the individual, but also those around them. The Defence Force has an obligation to minimise risk to the individual and the organisation wherever possible, and accordingly if you have coeliac disease you may not be admitted entry to the Defence Force.

Mental health

Initial military training, military life and long periods of exercises and deployment can be stressful. Your life in Defenec Force may involve separation from family and friends, cramped living conditions, lack of sleep, hunger and fatigue. Mental disorders can be aggravated by this lifestyle, so we need you to disclose if you have, or have had any mental conditions, including (but not limited to): obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorders; depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; drug alcohol dependence; ADHD requiring treatment; anorexia or bulimia.​

Other medical conditions

Other conditions that limit entry to the Defence Force are

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure (readings of 140/90 or above) and/or requirement for blood pressure medication
  • Epilepsy (or seizures within the past 5 years)
  • Severe headaches or migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic or recurring back pain
  • Cancer within the last 5 years
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Severe acne and/or current use of Isotretinoin
  • Widespread eczema
  • Current pregnancy
  • Endometriosis
  • Severe polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Non-disclosure​

It pays to be completely honest with us, and if you’re not sure about your medical history, then check with your Candidate Co-ordinator. Failure to disclose any past history of a condition that could have an impact on your performance will result in your application being declined.

If failure to disclose medical information comes to light once you are enlisted, you may be released from the Defence Force.​

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Fitness requirements

Sports
Navy fitness
Army fitness
Air Force fitness

Sports aren't necessarily a requirement, but they are a big part of life in Defence Force. There's a number of reasons for this. For one, it's fun. Secondly, it keeps us fit and that's a really important part of the job. Fast and strong is good when it's your job to protect the country. 

We do need great individuals, but the ability to create something bigger and better through teamwork is ultimately what defines us. Team games can help us build the skills we need to work together.

So don't be surprised to find lots of opportunities to indulge your passion, whether that's kicking a ball through the posts, sticking one in the back of the net, or dunking one through the hoop. On all our bases you'll find pitches and posts, courts and courses. In addition to all the big crowd-pleasers (rugby, football, basketball, netball, cricket, etc), there are quite a few specialist sports, too.

As one of our crew, you will have to be ready for action anywhere, anytime. This means you will need to be physically prepared. Life in the Navy not only means you'll have access to all the facilities needed to stay in shape, but fitness will be part of your daily work.

RECRUITMENT FITNESS TESTING

At your Assessment Day (A Day) you'll be required to pass a fitness test and your results will be graded (Grade 0 is minimum pass, with Grade 5 being the highest level). This means that the better your fitness test results, the more competitive you are within the overall selection process. 

Your fitness test consists of a Multi-Stage Fitness Test (beep test), press ups and curl ups. Although curl ups are not required for entry into the Navy, you'll do them as part of the A-Day fitness test to keep your options open for the other services. You won't be graded on them but it's recommended you aim above the minimum pass.

To help you prepare for the A-Day fitness test you can use one of our Force Fit training programmes. 

The fitness requirements and grades for the test are tabled below:

 

MSFT (BEEP TEST)

CURL-UPS 
(NOT GRADED)

PRESS-UPS

MALE

7.10 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass) 
>10.5 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

35 
>65

5 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass) 
>29 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

FEMALE

5.9 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass) 
>8.6 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

25 
>54 

1 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>14 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

INDUCTION DAY

At your Induction Day (I-Day) you will be required to pass the fitness test again to the same standard as the A-Day. For you to get the most out of basic training and to prevent injuries, you should train and prepare to exceed this standard, and be as fit as you can before I-Day and joining your intake. 

ENTRY SWIM TEST

Navy candidates are required to pass an Entry Swim Test (EST) during the recruiting process. You'll be given more information about this test after the interview stage. When you've passed the EST you'll receive a Swimming Certificate of Competency (CoC) which is valid for 12 months.

DIVER RECRUITMENT FITNESS TESTING

The minimum MSFT standard for diver is Level 9.5 on the beep test, 30 press ups and 66 curl ups.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS DURING INITIAL TRAINING

During initial training you will need to pass a swim test and a fitness test that both differ slightly from the recruitment tests. The swim test requires you to swim 50 metres and, on completion, remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes. This test will be conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes. The fitness test includes a Multi-Stage Fitness Test (beep test) and a body drag and lift/carry. During your initial training physical training sessions will be a regular occurence, building your physical ability and equipping you with the skills required to pass the required fitness tests. There is no need to practice swimming in clothing or doing the body drag or lift/carry before you join.

Age and gender-specific standards for the Navy fitness test during initial training are shown below. However, most people find that the physical component of basic training improves their fitness level beyond the minimum standards. There's only one age/gender group that has to increase their fitness level beyond the minimum entry requirement. The focus during training is on achieving the highest fitness level that you can.

ONGOING FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

After basic training, and throughout your career, you're still required to maintain your fitness level to the below standard.

MSFT <30 years 30-40 years 40+ years
MALE 7.10 6.10 5.09
FEMALE 5.09 4.09 4.01

Simulated Body Drag - 86kg weighted drag - 15m in less than 30 seconds.

Equipment Carry - 20kg kettlebell weight carry - 4x15m in less than 45 seconds.

 

*Multi-Stage Fitness Test (beep test).

 

 

Fitness is a huge part of Army life – and maintaining the required fitness levels is critical. As a soldier or an officer, you’ll be given the facilities and time to train both in and outside of working hours, as well as advice on nutrition and hydration from our Army dietitians. Regular physical activity and healthy eating will not only get you fit physically, but keep you mentally sharp – which is critical in all aspects of Army life.


RECRUITMENT FITNESS TESTING

At your Assessment Day (A-Day) you'll be required to pass a fitness test, and your results will be graded (Grade 0 is minimum pass, with Grade 5 being the highest level). This means that the better your fitness test results, the more competitive you are within the overall selection process.

Your fitness test consists of a Multi-Stage Fitness Test (beep test), press ups and curl ups. To help you prepare for the fitness test you can use one of our Force Fit training programmes.

The requirements and gradings for the test are tabled below:

 

MSFT (BEEP TEST)

CURL-UPS

PRESS-UPS

MALE

9.2 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>12.5 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

35 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>65 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

10 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>34 (Grade 5)

FEMALE

7.3 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>11 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

25 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>54 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

3 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>20 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

 

INDUCTION DAY FITNESS TESTING

The EFL (entry fitness level) test will need to be completed at your induction day (I-Day). The requirements for the test are tabled below:

 

RUN 2.4 KMS

CURL-UPS

PRESS-UPS

MALE

12 Minutes

45

15

FEMALE

14 Minutes

35

8

ONGOING FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

Once you've been accepted into the Army, you're required to maintain a high level of fitness. The different levels of fitness you'll need to attain are detailed below. Ultimately every soldier and officer should aspire to be in the 100 club - the peak level of fitness that will help you achieve the best you can in the Army.


RFL G2 (REQUIRED FITNESS LEVEL - GRADE 2)

RFL G2 is what you need to achieve to graduate recruit training. Allowances exist for people aged 25 years or over.

 

RUN 2.4 KMS

CURL-UPS

PRESS-UPS

MALE

10 Minutes 30 Seconds

60

28

FEMALE

 

12 Minutes 20 Seconds

 

50

 

14

 

RFL G1 (REQUIRED FITNESS LEVEL - GRADE 1

RFL G1 is the desired fitness level for all serving Soldiers and Officers.

 

RUN 2.4 KMS

CURL-UPS

PRESS-UPS

MALE

10 Minutes

66

30

FEMALE

 

11 Minutes 50 Seconds

 

55

 

15

 

 

THE '100 CLUB'

The '100 Club' is the fitness level that all New Zealand Army officers and soldiers aspire to reach.

 

RUN 2.4 KMS

CURL-UPS

PRESS-UPS

MALE

8 Minutes 

130

55

 FEMALE

 

 

 10 Minutes 5 seconds

 

 

118

 

 

36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular physical activity is crucial in preparing for your role in the Air Force – not only will it help you get physically fit, but it will help increase your mental sharpness too. We'll help by giving you time during working hours each week to maintain your fitness – and this won’t just involve intense workouts at the gym, but social sports with your mates too.

RECRUITMENT FITNESS TESTING

At your Assessment Day (A-Day) you will be required to pass a fitness test and your results will be graded (Grade 0 is minimum pass, with Grade 5 being the highest level). This means that the better your fitness test results, the more competitive you are within the overall selection process.

Your fitness test consists of a Multi-Stage Fitness Test (beep test), press ups and curl ups. Although curl ups are not required for entry into the Air Force, you will do them as part of the A-Day fitness test to keep your options open for the other services. You won't be graded on them but it is recommended you aim above the minimum pass. To help you prepare for the fitness test you can use one of our Force Fit training programmes.

The requirements and gradings for the test are tabled below:

 

MSFT (BEEP TEST)

CURL-UPS (NOT GRADED)

PRESS-UPS

MALE

7.10 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>10.5 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

35 
>65 

5 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>29 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

FEMALE

5.9 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>8.6 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

25
>54

1 (Grade 2, Minimum Pass)
>14 (Grade 7, Strong Pass)

ONGOING FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

Everyone who joins the Air Force will first need to pass an Operational Fitness Test (OFT), which involves both marching and push-ups to test both your core fitness and dexterity. The march involves carrying an evenly distributed weight of 20kgs. This is to simulate carrying the heavy equipment you will have to take with you on deployments. Have a look below to see what you'll need to achieve at each level.


TIME STANDARDS FOR THE 5 KILOMETRE WEIGHTED MARCH

 

AGE GROUPS

MALE

FEMALE

 

Time (F1)

Time (F2)

Time (F1)

Time (F2)

16-29

42:00

44:00

44:30

46:30

30-39

44:00

46:00

46:30

48:30

40-49

46:00

48:00

48:30

50:30

50 +

48:00

50:00

50:30

52:30

(F1) is the highest level of pass. (F2) is the minimum standard required. 

REPETITION STANDARDS FOR PRESS UP TEST

 

AGE GROUPS

MALE

FEMALE

 

Repetitions (F1)

Repetitions (F2)

Repetitions (F1)

Repetitions (F2)

16-29

40

30

22

16

30-39

33

23

18

13

40-49

28

18

16

11

50 +

22

12

12

08


(F1) is the highest level of pass. (F2) is the minimum standard required.

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