NZSAS opportunities opened to all

8 August 2011

The NZ Defence Force is changing one of the ways it recruits people for the elite NZSAS, meaning motivated and talented people will be able to join the NZSAS directly.

“Generally, people typically spend a number of years in the NZDF before going through the NZSAS selection process,” says Director of Army Recruiting, Major Helen Horn.

“The new early specialisation we are introducing potentially shortens the process because recruits can signal their interest right at the start when they fill in their application form.”

Applicants will still have to join the NZ Army and indicate what trades they’re interested in, for example, engineering or electronics, but now they can also select a specialisation in the NZSAS as an option.

“We then choose candidates who might fit a role within the NZSAS and invite them to a presentation, and if successful they can decide to train for the NZSAS,” says Major Horn.

“This is very rigorous training and if they decide not to keep going, they will pursue the other trade options they identified in their original application and they’ll continue to go through Army training.”

If the candidates last out the NZSAS selection, they would then leave and attend Army Basic training before rejoining the NZSAS.

“Those already serving in the NZ Defence Force can continue to apply for selection into the NZSAS, just as they do now,” says Major Horn, “but this early specialisation potentially gives us a wider range of people and backgrounds to choose from.”

The NZSAS is one of the New Zealand Defence Force’s highest performing Units and is benchmarked against other premier special forces units operating within defence forces around the world.

“This high level of achievement will be strengthened through this initiative and there is no intention that the NZSAS will be lowering its very high entry standards.

“This initiative is about allowing our recruiters to guide those people with the right talent into the right job,” says Major Horn. 

Those who choose to apply for NZSAS early specialisation will have contact with the new Defence Careers organisation which is supported by a modern, efficient Prospect and Candidate Management System. This system will enable them to have greater visibility of their progress as their application moves through the system.

The first group to have this option will be those putting in applications up until early September with the first NZSAS selection in January next year.  Applications can be made at or by calling 0800 1FORCE.


Media Contact: Chris Wright 04 496 0296, 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 9 August 2011.