From Reservist to Specialist Officer

19 February 2016

After a career as a paramedic and a Reserve soldier, Officer Cadet (OCDT) Michelle Piercy has taken up a chance to become a specialist nurse.

“I was approached and encouraged to attend an Officer Selection Board and upon success I was offered the chance to be a specialist officer as a nurse.”

OCDT Piercy, from Wellington East Girls College, spent ten years travelling, working and building a career as a paramedic before having a family. She then attended Massey University as a mature student to study nursing.

She says the best thing about working for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is the variety of opportunities within her speciality.

“I am an emergency nurse and have been given the opportunity to learn primary health care.

“Because health in the NZDF is now tri-service I may find myself nursing on a Navy frigate or under a pop-up hospital with the Army or I could find myself nursing in underprivileged villages after a natural disaster or within war zones.”

Managing family commitments has been the biggest challenge for OCDT Piercy during the induction training.

“The NZDF is a very family-focused organisation and is understanding and helpful in many ways for members with families.”

“The Army has far exceeded my expectations. I did not expect the Army to provide the services and support that I have received, not only for myself but for my family - like housing, leave to care for the children and the NZDF community that’s always there to help with anything.”

OCDT Piercy says her biggest challenge for the future is to keep progressing and learning so she can develop into a better leader.

“I expect that in the next few years of my journey I will be looking to balance my nursing competency and currency with my fitness requirements and my military qualifications.

“I am excited for the future and the challenges it holds.”


For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 19 February 2016.