For Employers

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel gain a wealth of practical experience operating in potentially stressful and arduous environments, or working long hours in time critical situations.

Your Service. Strengthening Victoria. Army image

"I worked in HR in the Health Sector for many years and over that time I have seen and recruited numerous ex-ADF personnel to roles, including Executive and management roles in which they have been very successful. So when recruiting I am always aware that ex-ADF candidates are already extremely well trained and motivated to succeed and always seem to be able to get their staff onside."

- Judy Leggatt HR Manager Public Sector

Hear what veterans working in the VPS have to say

Why hire a veteran?
The ADF environment
Would you like to know more?

Why hire a veteran?

  • While media coverage suggests some veterans need support, most ADF personnel transition successfully to become active social and economic participants
  • All ADF personnel have worked in mixed military/civilian environments and are highly adaptable and agile
  • The selection process for the ADF is highly competitive and is a thorough scrutiny of all candidates
  • Ongoing education and training is a requirement of service and progression through the ranks
  • A veteran may bring some of the following personal attributes to your organisation.


Veterans are used to changing locations, environments, situations and approaches to problems. They have the potential to readily adapt to changing needs and requirements.


Improved resilience due to service requirements means veterans can manage and meet numerous task deadlines under pressure. Resilience is a key component of military training.

Problem solving
& initiative

They will take the initiative when identifying a shortfall. A veteran will see a problem, consider how to solve it and act without requiring direction.

Strong communication     

Defence requires clear and concise communication both written and verbally. Veterans can structure communication logically and clearly, and can readily adapt communication styles to suit diverse audiences.

Security awareness

This encompasses security of personal belongings, work equipment, information and the workplace. They are very conscious of sensitive information and will protect it accordingly.

Teamwork & leadership

All ADF personnel are instilled with the importance of teamwork and will have experienced a variety of team make ups and dynamics throughout their career. Leadership is experienced from the beginning of service, constantly understudying those above them to learn and be ready to lead when the opportunity arises.

The ADF environment

  • Defence, like all other Government departments has a high degree of governance and administrative tasks.
  • There is constant planning and collaboration whilst in the ADF, requiring clear and consistent communication.
  • ADF personnel constantly recognise the achievements of the team above self, and often refer to ‘we’ or ‘the team’ in interviews or applications.
  • The ADF uses unique terminology. We are developing our own glossary of terms relevant to the VPS – Please contact us if you encounter any unknown terms or phrases in veterans applications.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Defence rank structure, noting that rank does not simply translate to VPS grades. We’ve condensed some of this information for you below.

They say

What it means

Soldier / Sailor / Airman or Airwoman

The junior rank of the services, bulk of the workforce.

NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer). 
Can be Junior or Senior

A junior or senior leader who was responsible for supervising a small team or a number of small teams.

Warrant Officer (WO/WO2/WO1)      

A senior leader who has extensive experience. Technical expert and responsible for standards, conduct and assisting achievement of strategic perspective.


A person specially selected and trained in command, leadership and management.

ADF Ranks

For visual representation, view the Badges of Rank and Special Insignia.

Senior Officers

  • Defence executive level who are equivalent to senior public servants
  • Decades of experience in the organisation



Air Force

  • Admiral
  • Vice Admiral
  • Rear Admiral
  • Commodore
  • Captain
  • General
  • Lieutenant General
  • Major General
  • Brigadier
  • Colonel
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice-Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain

Junior and Mid Ranking Officers

  • Middle Management
  • Take strategic direction and produce operational outcomes
  • Adept at command and leadership



Air Force

  • Commander
  • Lieutenant Commander    
  • Lieutenant
  • Sub Lieutenant
  • Acting Sub Lieutenant
  • Midshipman
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • 2nd Lieutenant
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer
  • Officer Cadet

Senior Non Commissioned and Warrant Officers

  • Supervisors and foremen
  • Technical specialists and advisors to more senior leaders



Air Force

  • Warrant Officer of the Navy
  • Warrant Officer
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army
  • Warrant Officer Class 1
  • Warrant Officer Class 2
  • Staff Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Warrant Officer of the Air Force
  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant

Junior Enlisted Ranks

  • Majority of the workforce which currently equates to 66% of veterans leaving ADF
  • Constantly delivering on tasks
  • Proven junior leaders who can be responsible for small teams



Air Force

  • Leading Seaman  
  • Able Seaman
  • Seaman
  • Corporal or Bombardier   
  • Lance Corporal or Lance Bombardier
  • Private
  • Corporal
  • Leading Aircraftman or Aircraftwoman
  • Aircraftman or Aircraftwoman
  • Non-Commissioned Officer Cadet

Would you like to know more?

Contact DPC’s Veterans Branch at

We want to hear from you!

  • How can we improve the experience for veterans and employers by better understanding their skills and diversity?
  • Do you have veterans working in your team?

Meet some veterans working in the VPS

Last updated on Monday, 09 October 2017