Our full-time soldiers undergo 83 days of training and our part-time soldiers complete 35 days. During this time they make a transition from civilian to soldier. Essentially, they are training to be able to shoot, move, communicate, survive and adapt; the skills and values required of the modern soldier.

They must be able to effectively employ service weapons, navigate, operate communications equipment, survive in multiple threat environments in various terrain, by day and by night, against both conventional and unconventional threats including nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological, and improvised explosive weapons. Soldiers must be comfortable in uncertain, volatile, complex and ambiguous situations; this is essential to achieve mission success on the contemporary battlefield.

Kapooka Training

Most importantly, Australian soldiers are instilled with the Defence values and core soldier behaviours. They must live the values of courage, integrity, respect, and excellence. They must be:

  • an expert in close combat
  • physically tough
  • mentally prepared
  • committed to continuous improvement
  • courageous
  • take the initiative
  • work for the team
  • be compassionate
  • and show respect.

By doing so they have earned the title of being an Australian soldier and carry the ANZAC legend forward.


The 1st Recruit Training Battalion (1RTB) is structured in much the same way as an infantry battalion, with a battalion headquarters, subordinate training companies, and a support company.

Each recruit training company at 1RTB is commanded by a commissioned officer of the rank of Major known as the Officer Commanding or OC.

The OC of the company is responsible for the overall management of up to six recruit training platoons. The OC is assisted by a Warrant Officer Class 2 known as the Company Sergeant Major or CSM. The CSM is the senior non-commissioned rank in the company. The CSM is responsible for discipline, standards, and the daily routine of the company.

A recruit training platoon is commanded by a Lieutenant. The Lieutenant is assisted by Sergeant. As a team, they make up the Platoon Headquarters and are responsible for the platoon’s leadership, instruction, discipline, administration and welfare throughout the conduct of training.

The Platoon Commander is a graduate of the Royal Military College – Duntroon. On average, they have completed five to six years of service and have been trained in military tactics, policy and administration. The majority of Lieutenants have previously commanded at platoon level in a deployable unit (such as a battalion or a regiment) for at least two years prior to their posting to 1RTB; with a small number having been deployed on operations overseas.

The Platoon Sergeant is the senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Platoon. On average, the Platoon Sergeant has completed 12 years of service and has broad experience in their corps trade and military training. They provide technical advice to their Platoon Commanders and they are the person who is responsible for the platoon’s administration, discipline and routine. A large majority of the Platoon Sergeants have operational experience.


Under command of the Platoon Headquarters are four sections, commanded by Junior Non-Commissioned Officers who hold the rank of  Corporal (or Bombardier if they are from the artillery corps). The junior Non Commissioned Officers are known as ‘Seco’, which is short for ‘Section Commander’. On average the Section Commanders have completed six years of service, like their superiors, a number will be deployed overseas on military operations throughout their careers. Many of them are family men and women, with 68 percent either married or in a de facto relationship and have one or more children.

The Section Commanders are expected to deliver high-quality training and achieve high standards at all times; they are charged to provide training in drill, weapons handling, live fire coaching, field craft, personnel administration, discipline, and many other military subjects. They are trained in personal counselling and are able to provide excellent support and guidance to recruits in the management of personal issues.

The Section Commanders maintain a firm style of leadership, which enables them to effectively shape new recruits into Army’s soldiers of the future. The large majority of recruits who march into the 1RTB respond positively to the training experience and grow to respect their instructors and are driven to achieve their goal of becoming an Australian soldier by their Section Commander’s example.

All staff at the 1RTB are dedicated to training your family member or friend through their journey to become one of Australia’s newest soldiers. They sacrifice time with their family in order to improve the knowledge, skills and attitudes of Army’s recruits. Their combined experience, knowledge, passion and strength of character, ensure that all recruits have the greatest chance of success in their chosen military career.