Reservist training shortened to speed up capability

25 July 2023

Soon it will be much faster for general entry soldiers to join the Army Reserve thanks to upcoming changes to initial training.

Previously, general entry Reserve soldiers undertook a five-week part-time recruit course (PTRC). 

From August 25, the PTRC will be replaced with the three-week Army Initial Foundation Training (AIFT Mod A).

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Carter from Headquarters 2nd Division said the changes would deliver soldiers to units much sooner. 

“Current ab-initio training paradigms are based on lengthy residential training courses, which take people away from their families and civilian work responsibilities for long periods of time,” Lieutenant Colonel Carter said.

“The reality is the majority of the Service Category 5 [SERCAT 5] workforce doesn’t have time for lengthy residential courses away from home.

“The re-designed Army SERCAT 5 Initial Foundation Training continuum reduces time spent in residential training courses, and increases opportunity for flexible learning in home station locations.”

The officer commissioning program for Army SERCAT 5 officer cadets remains unchanged but will eventually transition to the AIFT.

Lieutenant Colonel Carter said the removal of two weeks’ training would not impact safety.

“Soldiers will still learn the same skills, just in a different way, and there is no impact on safety in training,” Lieutenant Colonel Carter said.

“The three-week recruit course will be followed by several exported training blocks, which can be completed over a couple of weekends in home station locations, or on-the-job training.

“One of the key principles in the design of training is about being smarter about how, where and when we train. It’s about providing more options for people to choose how they train.”

The Army Directorate of Recruiting is engaged with Defence Force Recruiting to promote the changes to potential recruits.

Lieutenant Colonel Carter said the re-designed Army SERCAT 5 Initial Foundation Training continuum could be complemented by the Reserve Accelerated Training Scheme (RATS) to increase efficiency in Army Reserve training.

“The RATS is a program that can take a reservist from recruit school to being fully qualified in rank and trade in as little as three months. People can choose to sign up for between three and 12 months’ continuous service to complete all their training and gain quality experience in their unit,” he said.



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