About the Job

The Air Force regards attention to the spiritual needs of its members as a matter of the highest importance and is committed to providing them with the opportunity and facilities for the practice of their religion. Air Force Chaplaincy is ministry without borders.

Chaplains enter the Air Force as ordained ministers of religion. As such they are responsible to their religious authorities and remain faithful to their own traditions, whilst working in a team with other chaplains in the Air Force. Chaplains must be team players, willing to deploy and able to sustain themselves in the operational environment. They seek to minister to all RAAF members and their families, as they are able and required. All Chaplains are officers.

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.


You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia.



Applicants may apply up to the age of 56 years. The compulsory retirement age for Chaplain Officers is 60 years.

Education & Experience

An applicant for appointment as an Air Force Chaplain must:

  • Have met the educational requirement of their faith group prior to ordination and
  • Be a minister of religion and deemed suitable by the appropriate denominational Principal Chaplain and endorsed by the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services

Degree qualified officers normally start their careers at one rank higher that non-graduate officers.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of three years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.


Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 17 Weeks

Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 18 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force Values and attitudes, Ground Defence and Weapons training, Leadership and Personal Development, Communication Skills and Air Force Operations studies.

Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website.

During Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

All ADF Chaplain Employment Training is conducted at the Defence Force Chaplains College (DFCC), the home of ADF Chaplaincy Training. The DFCC is located within the Albury Wodonga Military Area.

An ADF Chaplain will be required to complete the specified employment training throughout their career in preparation for varying roles and responsibilities. Both permanent and part-time Chaplains are required to complete this training.

The courses are:

ADF Chaplain Initial Course - Mod 1 (12 days) and ADF Chaplain Initial Course - Mod 2 (6 days)

The purpose of the Initial Course is to train newly commissioned Chaplains in Navy, Army and Air Force in common core service areas for employment in their respective Services.

The ADF Chaplain Initial Course - Mod 1 aims to prepare Navy, Army and Air Force Chaplains for their first appointments and deployment. The training will provide an understanding and a contextualisation of Defence and Chaplaincy processes.

The ADF Chaplain Initial Course - Mod 2 aims to train Navy, Army and Air Force Chaplains in support of the Defence Mental Health Strategy. It involves training in suicide awareness and post traumatic stress responses.

ADF Chaplain Intermediate Course (12 days)

The aim of the ADF Chaplain Intermediate Course is to prepare Navy, Army and Air Force Chaplains for employment as Coordinating Chaplains.

ADF Chaplain Senior Course (5 days)

The aim of the Chaplain Senior Course is to educate Division 3 Chaplains in Navy, Army and Air Force in common Service areas in preparation for advancement to and employment as Senior Chaplains at the Division 4 Level within ADF.