How to become a Navy Officer

Navy officers manage, lead, train and take responsibility for maintaining the team spirit and safety of the Navy's non-commissioned officers and sailors in both peacetime and wartime.

Personal requirements of a Navy Officer

  • Able to lead and motivate others
  • Prepared to accept responsibility
  • Meet aptitude and medical requirements
  • Australian citizenship

Education & Training for a Navy Officer

To become a Navy officer you usually have to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with passes in English and three other tertiary-accredited subjects. To join the Navy you will need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews. If you are successful there are four different education and training pathways for Navy officers: you may apply to join the Navy as a non-degree, direct-entry officer cadet; you may complete a degree through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA); you may apply as a sponsored undergraduate; or you may apply after completing a selected range of specialist degrees. Entry to all non-degree officer cadet positions requires completion of the New Entry Officer Course at the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell at Jervis Bay, NSW. This is followed by specialist training with the Navy. Entry to ADFA usually requires you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an appropriate score in prerequisite subjects relevant to your chosen study. All ADFA students are required to complete a 3-year course of academic study at the Academy, incorporating the Academic Military Education and Training (AMET) program. Sponsored undergraduates are full-time university students who are currently studying for a degree relevant to the Navy at a recognised tertiary institution. They can apply for sponsored undergraduate entry into the Navy, having completed at least one to two years of their degree, depending on its duration. Following completion of their specialised degree, they must then complete the New Entry Officer Course at the Royal Australian Naval College before becoming officers in their specialised field. People who already have specialised degrees may apply for direct entry into the Navy as Graduate Officers. These applicants are then also required to complete the New Entry Officer Course before becoming officers in their specialised field. Different specialised occupations have different entry requirements. For full details on this option, contact your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Additional Information
To enter ADFA, you must be at least 17 years of age and have satisfied entry requirements for a relevant degree at the University of New South Wales or equivalent. Applications usually close in September of the year prior to entry. Some specialisations may have additional age restrictions. Check the Australian Defence Force website for full details. Students who apply to ADFA during Year 11 may be eligible for the ADFA Education Award. The Education Award is presented annually to Year 12 students in recognition of outstanding achievement shown during the ADFA recruiting process.
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