As a Defence applicant, you need to meet a strict fitness standard in order to be considered for the job. If you’ve been told to go and gain life experience and come back in a year then you could look at that as ‘gifted time’ to work on your fitness.
The Defence Force application process is a super exciting time in anyone's life. The decision to apply for the Military and become a serving member of the Australian Defence Force is huge and is a wonderful step forward in your career.
The process has several components to it and all of these must be met to a particular standard in order to progress onto the next. If you’re already in the thick of this process then this won’t be news to you!
Firstly we start with the actual application online or over the phone. How exciting! You’ve applied and you are about to step forward to your YOU session. This is where you’ll have an interview with a serving member, fill out some paperwork, conduct your aptitude testing and gain some insight into the job preferences you’ll be suitable for.
Once this is successfully done, you’ll then go forward to your Assessment Day. This will be both exciting and daunting. You’ll need to conduct a Defence Interview with a serving member, a Psychological Assessment with a psychologist, a Medical examination with the medical team and a few other bits and pieces.
There is a strong emphasis on preparation for Assessment Day. You want to go into all of your interviews and be able to show the staff that you really do want this, that you’re prepared, you know what you’re getting yourself into and that you can handle the rigours of defence life.
Many people conduct research online, speak to current serving members, talk to others on FaceBook forums, conduct mentoring sessions with DFR and ensure they learn as much as they possibly can prior to the day.
If you’re cleared with Medical, Psych and the Defence Interview then you’ll progress through to the next part of the process- PFA. This is very exciting, however for some Applicants they can be given a different outcome
It is a common occurrence that applicants are asked to reapply after a determined period of time on the grounds of ‘Requires more life experience’.
What does that even mean?
This means that either your Defence Interviewer or Psychological Examiner has determined that you need some more time to insert yourself into the world and improve on some skills that will ensure you are fully prepared for Defence life. Some people are told that a 6 month wait would be suitable and others are told that up to 3 years is necessary. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is determined by the staff member on the day. The reasons for this wait are different for every single person.
If this is you, then you can look at it two ways.
1. You can be upset and angry and make a decision that your career in defence is over.
2. You can see this as an excellent opportunity to improve on some facets of your life that will give you a more grounded outlook for your future as a Defence member.
Namely, your fitness. As a Defence applicant, you need to meet a strict fitness standard in order to be considered for the job. If you’ve been told to go and gain life experience and come back in a year then you could look at that as ‘gifted time’ to work on your fitness.
So what should you do?
Take on the feedback given to you on Assessment Day. You may need to improve your confidence, prove that you can hold down a job for 12 months, improve your social skills and expand your social setting, volunteer, gain leadership experience, take up some hobbies, travel, further your education, move out of home to gain some independence, join a gym (We know of a good one). Whatever feedback you received on your Assessment Day alongside the recommendation to wait 6/12/24 months will need to be put into action.
You want to go back after that period of time and show them that you’ve done exactly as they asked. That you’ve improved who you are as a person and gained ‘life experience’. That you did more with your time than sit on the couch and eat chips. If nothing changes, then nothing will happen when you re-apply. If you make the changes, then you have a better chance of receiving a better outcome. So why not also use the time to work on your fitness?
You want to get to the end of that 12 month wait and be ready to smash a PFA if you pass your Assessment Day. If you decide to wait and see what happens when you re-apply, you may have left it too late. You’ve been given the gift of time, so use it wisely. Gain life experience but also gain control of your fitness. If you still get knocked back after that 6 or 12 month wait then at least you’re fitter, stronger and healthier for it.
Listen to Oscars podcast to learn how he used his 'gifted time' to improve his fitness whilst undergoing a medical appeal.
How do you start working on your fitness?
The most important thing to recognise here is that you just need to start! Get up and go for a walk, join a gym, invest in some online programming specific to Defence preparation, go for a jog, get some decent running shoes. Anything. Just start!
If you make sure that the training you are conducting is relevant to Defence then you’ll be in a good position to make some awesome progress in the time that you’re waiting. Incorporate some interval style training to improve your running. Conduct some basic strength training to get your body moving and to create a good foundation for your fitness.
You want to be ready to pass that PFA as soon as you pass your next Assessment Day. You want to be ready to handle anything that comes to you at Basic Training. Use the time you’ve been gifted to work on your fitness and evolve into the most Badass version of yourself prior to enlisting.
You will never regret spending the time on fitness.
If you feel you need expert help to you get started, feel free to get in touch for a commitment-free chat with one of our coaches.
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.