2023 Recruit Joining Instructions

    Congratulations on your selection to be an Aviator in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Your Initial Military Training (IMT) at Number 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) will equip you with the basic skills required to become a uniformed member of the Air Force. Upon successful completion of your recruit training, you will progress on to Initial Employment Training (IET) where you will learn specialist skills before joining operational squadrons and units throughout Australia. You can look forward to an interesting and challenging career in the service of your nation.

    1RTU prepares newly enlisted personnel of the Air Force for full time and reserve service – Air and Space Power starts here. This preparation centres on the fundamental principles of basic military training and ensures members are provided with the required knowledge, skills, and attitude to successfully integrate into the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

    The purpose of this Joining Instruction (JI) is to provide you with information about the steps necessary to prepare yourself for recruit training and to help your family adjust to your new life in the Air Force. Read this JI carefully and bring it with you. Initial training can be challenging and there is little time to make good on poor preparation. Failure to fully prepare yourself mentally, physically, and administratively may hamper your training progression and undermine your chances of completing the course in the time allocated.

    Should you require further information, it is recommended you contact your Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC). If you are unable to enlist on your appointed Enlistment Day for Personal or any other reason, you are to inform your Enlistment Coordinator at DFR immediately.

    Recruit training can be challenging and preparation is a key enabler to success.

    Preparation includes reading and understanding this Instruction carefully. Failure to prepare yourself mentally, physically, and administratively will disrupt your training progression, limit your opportunities for weekend leave, and undermine your chances of completing the recruit course in the allocated 9 weeks. There is limited time, phone and internet access, or leave to remedy poor preparation.

    As the JI is subject to change you can ensure you have the current version by consulting your Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) point of contact.

    Should you require further information, contact should be made with your Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC) in the first instance. Additional information can be obtained by emailing the Ground Academy Services Centre at

    Before arriving at 1RTU

    You must satisfy several requirements prior to enlistment in order to safely and efficiently commence recruit training. Failure to complete these requirements may affect your safety, training progression, finances and dependants.


    Fitness Before commencing training at 1RTU you need to be medically and physically fit. DFR will provide a range of testing prior to your enlistment and it is in your best interest to ensure your physical, medical and mental fitness does not degrade between your testing days at DFR and your arrival at 1RTU. Physical fitness is a major component of recruit training – you will need to arrive at 1RTU with a high level of fitness.

    Challenging physical activity is an essential part of the recruit course. Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) will guide you through multiple periods of physical training each week, which may include activities such as strength and conditioning sessions, swimming (weather dependant), confidence courses, circuit training, and endurance training. While your instructors will help build your confidence and fitness levels progressively, physical preparation prior to commencing training at 1RTU is essential. In addition to programmed physical activities, all recruits are required to march/walk in excess of 10km daily. Applicants should refer to the DFR website and the ADF Active application (available from the relevant app store) to assist preparation.

    Candidates are highly encouraged to have their personal fitness standards well prepared prior to commencing their course at 1RTU. It is highly recommended that you try to exceed the minimum fitness standards required by DFR as this will assist you to pass the fitness requirements. The physical fitness test should be considered the minimum fitness standard, not the goal. Air Force Fitness Standards are detailed at Annex A


    Personal Medication

    ADF members may only take medication issued or approved by the ADF Medical system. On arrival at 1RTU, you must declare all medication and prescriptions. Replacement prescription and non-prescription medication will be arranged through the RAAF Base Wagga Health Centre.

    Many over the counter medications return a positive reading during Defence mandated random drug tests. Should you return a positive drug test result for medication (prescription or over the counter) that is not annotated on your Defence health record, you may be removed from training and discharged from the Air Force.  

    Electronic Devices

    Air Force is currently undergoing a great deal of change as we migrate to atechnologically advanced Air Force, training is evolving as a result of this change. 1RTUhas adopted a blended learning environment where course material and study aids areprovided in an electronic format.

    Recruits will be issued with a student iPad for the duration of the course. A genericsmart phone is also required for some applications including personal email. Limited Wi-Fi access is provided. 1RTU accepts no responsibility for any network charges incurred or any damage caused during training. The following applications should be preloaded:

    • Internet browser
    • QRCode reader, such as QRCodeScanner
    • Email application.

    You are required to provide a personal email address to establish an account with the ADF online learning environment. This email address must have your full first and/or last name. Addresses must not be offensive or have contractions of names (e.g. Ben instead of Benjamin). Free email accounts can be established with providers such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo!

    Recruits will have very limited access to personal electronic devices (PED’s),including mobile phones, during course. Therefore, you need to prepare your family and friends that your communications with home will be limited during your time on course. If you utilise your phone for EFTPOS, ensure that you bring your Visa/Debit card with you.

    Security Clearance

    You are required to gain a security clearance with security clearance documentation (called an ePack) being raised and provided to you as part of the enlistment process. Commencement of this process prior to arrival at 1RTU is a priority and should occur ASAP. Failure to do so may result in a delay in the completion of your training and subsequent graduation.

    To minimise distraction to your training, you are to make every effort to complete as much of your ePack as possible prior to enlistment. This includes the myClearance online component and uploading of all supporting documentation.

    Applying for a security clearance is a very thorough and lengthy process. To ensure the speedy processing of your application it is very important you bring all the documentary evidence required to 1RTU, regardless of the status of your security clearance or ePack. You must bring the items listed in Annex B and copies of documents previously submitted during the recruitment process. Failure to bring these documents may result in a delayed security clearance which may affect graduation, follow-on training and employment.

    Personal Documentation

    DFR will have already asked to see some of the documentation listed in Annex B; however, you must still bring them to 1RTU as the Air Force and the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) have specific requirements which are separate to those of DFR.

    Note: If you require a Positive Vetting security clearance (highest-level clearance), you will be advised by your DFRC of any additional documentary evidence that will be required. Failure to supply the additional information may cause delays to training.

    Interdependent Relationship (de-facto)

    Interdependent relationships (de-facto) If you are seeking recognition of your interdependent relationship by the Air Force this must be approved by the Senior Military Recruiting Officer at your DFRC before your enlistment. You should ensure the Enlistment Coordinator at your DFRC is provided with all the required documentation to be able to process your application well in advance of your proposed enlistment date. In certain circumstances, applications for recognition of an interdependent relationship can be processed while you are at 1RTU; however, the process will be slower due to training requirements and the possibility that required documentation is not available. If approved by DFR, you must provide a copy of the recognition documents on arrival.

    Financial Documents

    Financial documents You are required to have a bank account with an Australian financial/banking institution and have the relevant information regarding your account with you, as per Annex B. You are also to have a registered myGov account.

    Vaccination Records

    Whilst training at 1RTU you will receive vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B, COVID19, Diphtheria, Flu, Tetanus, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Varicella Zoster (Chicken Pox) and Meningococcal C. There are possible complications with repeating a full dose of some of these vaccinations. Recruits are to advise Wagga Health Centre if they have previously contracted the Chicken Pox virus. You are required to bring proof of your vaccinations to 1RTU, which can be obtained from:

    MyGov and Medicare

    You are to have your own myGov account or at least be in the process of creating one. This will assist with your annual payment summary reporting and other government functions linked to your service within the ADF. You must also have your own Medicare card and number, or be in the process of gaining one. If you are still on your parent’s card, you are to supply a copy or photograph of the parent’s card to facilitate the application for your own Medicare card

    Corrective Eyewear

    It is recommended that if you require corrective lenses, you arrive at 1RTU with two pairs of glasses and that you have a copy of your current prescription. Weapon training at the range environment and a lack of personal time makes contact lenses hard to maintain during training and glasses are preferred.

    Before commencing training you are required to be medically and physically prepared. Members will undergo an attestation medical prior to proceeding to 1RTU. This is to confirm your medical status upon joining. Members are not covered for undeclared preexisting medical conditions. If you are in any doubt about anything that might affect your training, you should discuss your concerns with your enlistment officer, doctor or psychologist.

    Note: Failure to disclose an existing medical condition (including any medication that you are currently taking) may result in your removal from training and termination from the Air Force.


    You are required to bring basic clothing and equipment for use during the initial stages of the recruit course. This equipment includes but is not limited to appropriate sporting attire, toiletries, civilian dress clothing and sundry items. A full list of equipment is provided in Annex C.

    Prohibited Items

    Due to storage, safety, security and portability restrictions, some items/equipment must not be brought to 1RTU under any circumstances. These items include:

    • prohibited weapons or articles as listed in the Prohibited Weapons Act 1996
    • illegal drugs, including synthetics and their associated implements
    • Citizen Band (CB) radios
    • flick knives, fireworks, firearms (including replicas) or other weapons such as martial arts weapons, bludgeons, knuckle dusters, switchblades, crossbows, sling-shots, spear guns and spears
    • offensive or inappropriate material (such as pornographic magazines, posters, books, clothing, videos and DVDs)
    • alcohol
    • sporting equipment (not including clothing or running shoes), including skateboards, roller-blades, hover boards, bikes and scooter
    • food supplements, pre-workout powders, protein shakes/bars, sports
      supplements, vitamins or dietary pills/powders that are not in line with the international standard and found on the ‘Prohibited List’ released by the World Anti Doping Agency.
    • electrical extension leads, power boards or double adaptors
    • televisions, stereos, gaming consoles or large electrical items.

    Note: The above list is not exhaustive and if there are any concerns ask your DFRC in the first instance and then declare any items that you’re unsure about on arrival at 1RTU.


    Some incidental expenses may be required before you receive your first pay. $200 in a bank account accessible with a card is the recommended amount, however don’t be too concerned if you don’t have access to this amount of money. It is for items such as:

    • toiletries and other personal hygiene items
    • boot polish and cloths
    • haircuts (all haircuts are at own expense).

    Pre-course study

    To ensure the best possible start to your new career, you may wish to undertake some pre-course study. While this is not mandatory, previous recruits have suggested that this has been advantageous to their training. If you wish to start studying now, suggested topics are: Air Force, Navy and Army ranks – The ability to identify ADF ranks visually from a rank indicator will assist in your transition from civilian to military life.

    ADF aircraft – Ability to visually identify the various air frames currently used by the three ADF services.

    ADF establishments – Know the location of the major Defence bases operated by all three ADF services.

    To assist your study, only reliable sources such as,,, or sources provided by the Australian Government should be referenced in your study.

    Travelling to 1RTU

    Significant measures have been put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection Page 9 transmission and any possible exposure that staff and newly enlisted recruits might have. These measures include the screening of all recruits (regardless of geographic point of origin) at DFR prior to enlistment. Your DFRC coordinates all aspects of your travel to 1RTU. Typical arrival details are as follows:

    • Albury. Recruits enlisting in Albury will arrive in Wagga Wagga by rail. You will be met at the Wagga Wagga Train Station by uniformed representatives of 1RTU will then be transported to RAAF Base Wagga via service vehicle.
    • Canberra. Recruits enlisting in Canberra will be transported to 1RTU by road. Upon arrival at the 1RTU complex you will be met by uniformed representatives of 1RTU.
    • All other locations. Recruits enlisting from the remaining DFRCs around the country will arrive at Wagga Wagga by a combination of air and road transport.

    You are advised that Wagga Wagga is a regional centre and baggage limits apply. You will be responsible for paying any ‘excess baggage’ charges. Baggage limits can be found on the QANTAS or REX websites. Should there be any change to your travel plans, or your travel details change due to cancellations or missed connections, recruits are to contact one of the following numbers:

    Primary contact (business hours) – 1RTU Operations – 02 5950 7254

    Secondary contact (after hours) – 1RTU DSM – 0428 737 116.

    Recruits are not permitted to make their own way to 1RTU nor use their own transport.

    About your training

    1RTU is where all enlisted members of the Air Force begin their careers. Our mission is to graduate Aviators with the essential knowledge, skills and values to enable them to become effective members of the Air Force team and the integrated Joint Force. Training will be physically and mentally challenging. Recruits will be required to work hard with little time available for recreation. Your success will be determined by your personal commitment to the training, your ability to work as part of a team, and your adherence to the Defence Values of Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence.

    Some recruits find the change in lifestyle, communal living and marching in excess of 10km per day difficult, particularly in the first two weeks of training, but the vast majority successfully make the transition and go on to complete their training.

    Course Location

    Course location 1RTU is located at RAAF Base Wagga, Forest Hill, New South Wales 2651. Forest Hill is located 10km east of Wagga Wagga, which is the largest inland city in NSW. Wagga Wagga’s population exceeds 62,000, and it is geographically located midway between Sydney and Melbourne. For more information about 1RTU, RAAF Base Wagga and the city of Wagga Wagga go to

    Course Length

    The 1RTU recruit course is conducted over an 9 week period, including public holidays and some weekends. This is the minimum course length and may be extended due to a range of factors. Instruction can formally commence as early as 0500h and may not finish until 2200h. Recruits are required to march (under supervision) to meals and conduct after-hours tasks as directed. Recruits can expect to be awake at 0500h, with lights out strictly at 2200h.

    Course Content

    All recruits complete the same training regardless of gender, age, cultural backgrounds, intended mustering (job) or prior experience. You must successfully complete all theoretical, practical and physical assessments to graduate. The key course components are:

    • Service knowledge: You are taught ADF ranks, courtesies to superiors, Defence Force law, Defence and Air Force Values, ADF aircraft and Work Health Safety.
    • Air and Space Power: You are taught the core and enabling roles of Air and Space Power to provide a basic understanding of Air Force core business.
    • Physical Training (PT): 1RTU PTIs will instruct you in nutrition and conduct PT lessons to progress all recruits from the pre-enlistment standard assessed at DFR, to the Air Force standard required to pass the Air Force Fitness Test. Refer to Annex A for more information. • Weapons and Force Protection training: Military Skills Instructors (MSIs) and Security Forces (SECFOR) personnel will teach you the safe handling and operation of the current individual weapon of the ADF, coach you in the application of fire at a firing range and instruct you in basic Force Protection. This period of training is finalised with your participation in a one week ground defence exercise.
    • Drill (marching): MSIs will teach you the appropriate skills to march as a uniformed member of the Air Force and ADF. Recruits will be required to perform in a number of parades and 9 weeks of drill will culminate in the execution of the ceremonial Graduation Parade. 
    • Medical and dental screenings and inoculations: To ensure all recruits are and remain healthy, various medical and dental appointments form part of your training at 1RTU. Members requiring non-urgent dental treatment will have appointments made for them at a suitable time following their departure from 1RTU.
    • Personal/character development: The ADF is a values-based organisation and has expectations of how our members perform either on or off duty. Failure to adhere to these values has a negative impact on Defence, your progress through 1RTU and your service as an ADF member. You can find the Defence values listed on their respective service webpages.
    • First aid: You (regardless of any qualification already held) are required to undertake a civilian accredited First Aid course while at 1RTU. Recruits will need a Unique Student Identifier (USI) to complete this training and you should arrange this prior to Page 11 arriving at 1RTU.

    Day to day activities at 1RTU are dynamic and are subject to change due to external influences such as instructor availability and weather. You can expect to spend up to 16 periods (30 minutes each) in a classroom environment, undertake programmed physical training lessons and other activities to assist your transition to life in the Air Force. Your recruit course may consist of people from many different walks of life, as the Air Force is committed to establishing a diverse workforce. 

    Course structure

    The recruit course is divided into three phases. Broadly, these phases are:

    Phase 1: Induct – During this phase, recruits are exposed to the Defence values and behavioral expectations of the Air Force. Recruits are essentially provided with the core survivability skills for initial military training. On completion of the ‘Induct’ phase, recruits are to have successfully completed the essential initial engagement requirements such as uniform kitting, first aid training, mandatory briefings such as behavioral expectations, and passed the Fitness Screen. Through these objectives, Induct recruits are confirmed as ready for training.

    Phase 2: Educate – This phase is the imparting or acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours which can be applied to a range of potential jobs, roles and tasks. Education prepares individuals to deal with the range of challenges that will be faced in the workplace beyond being able to perform specific work tasks. The Educate phase is designed to empower recruits to actively engage with the course content in an Adult Learning Environment. During this phase, recruits should be empowered to undertake self-learning/pre reading, which should result in a reversed classroom environment, or similar, rather than the previous lecture type training environment. On completion of the Educate phase, recruits will have received training in all learning outcomes and successfully complete all summative assessments with the exception of the force protection exercise and final Personnel Performance Report. ‘Educate’ recruits will have successfully completed the Force Preparation Training week and are assessed as ready to deploy on exercise.

    Phase 3: Consolidate – This phase is the confirmation of knowledge, skills and attitudes that recruits have developed throughout their initial military training course. This phase commences with the force protection training exercise as the culmination of training and education, and concludes with the graduation parade. Throughout this phase recruits complete additional activities that prepare them for their next stage of training; being initial employment training (IET), or posting to an operational Squadron for those recruits who entered as qualified and don’t require an IET. On completion of this phase, recruits are assessed as ready for further service.

    Arrival at 1RTU

    On arrival, recruits (up to 76) will be assigned to a squadron, which is further divided into two flights of up to 38 recruits. This basic structure forms the basis of the organisational structure of the Air Force. A Course Director who holds the rank of Recruit Course Recruit Course Recruit Course Sergeant will manage your squadron. Up to three squadrons will report to a Flight Adjutant who holds the rank of Flight Sergeant, who reports to a Flight Commander, who holds the rank of Flight Lieutenant. This structure is shown in Table 1.

    Recruit training should be seen as a 9 week long job interview to ensure you are the right fit for the ADF. You will receive a welcome address by staff members of 1RTU, be allocated your accommodation, and informed of the expected standard of behaviour while you are at 1RTU. There will be a significant amount of information given to you in a short period. You will also need to complete a number of forms and provide some basic personal information.

    Recriut Flight Structure

    Your first few days at 1RTU consist of administration, induction lectures, medical and dental checks as well as fitness assessments. You will remain wearing civilian clothing until your first issue of uniform within the first few days.

    Limitations to Course Participation

    In the event you are subject to any commitment(s) that may require you to be excused from training at Recruit School, you are to notify your DFR Enlistment Coordinator in writing of the details before your enlistment day


    All recruits are accommodated on base and are required to ‘live-in’ whilst undertaking recruit training in dedicated 1RTU Living-In Accommodation (LIA) buildings. These buildings are two storeys and contain 16 rooms per floor, with one floor being allocated to one course. Each room contains four beds, and each bed space includes equipment for individual use (such as a locker and desk). The majority of your personal belongings will be stored in a lockable suitcase or bag in a store room. Each floor has a communal laundry, shower and toilet facilities. You will be required to keep your room and communal living areas to a high standard of cleanliness. The LIA is cleaned and maintained by all recruits and is subject to daily inspections. Males and females are not accommodated in the same rooms and do not share ablutions. Males and females may be accommodated on the same floor in adjoining wings, with communal access to common areas.

    Dress and Personal Grooming

    At all times, you must be mindful you are representing an organisation with a distinguished record of service to the Nation. The requirement also applies to personnel in civilian dress when their status as a member of the Air Force is known or apparent. Accordingly, your appearance, bearing and behaviour, in and out of uniform must be of the highest standard.

    Upon arrival at 1RTU, it is expected you will be dressed in smart casual clothing (comfortable shoes are recommended). Active wear, shorts, singlets, runners and jeans do not create a good impression, and are not to be worn. Your first day of a new career should create a favourable impression.

    Extremes in hair colour and style will not be permitted. Male and female hair colour must be conservative and as close to your natural hair colour as possible before your enlistment date.

    Females may have their hair cut in the first week of training at own expense. Hair below collar length is required to be worn in a bun with a hair net, or braided in a single braid. Hairpins, elastic and nets must be the same colour as your hair. ‘Scrunchies’ are permitted when in certain uniforms and must be dark blue or black, and course staff will assist recruits with the correct wearing of hair.

    Males will be required to get a haircut in the first week of training at own expense (approximately $20). Hair is to be a uniform natural colour.

    You will be required to conform to Air Force standards of dress and grooming:

    • Shaving. Male recruits are authorised to commence training with a beard or to start growing a beard at 1RTU. Uneven or untidy facial hair is not permitted. 1RTU staff will monitor all aspects of male recruits’ facial hair to ensure they maintain a professional, clean and presentable appearance at all times.
    • Cosmetics and jewellery. Females are not permitted to wear makeup during the conduct of recruit training, with the exception of official course photographs and graduation. While in uniform, females may wear ear rings and rings, however ear rings must:
      • Only be gold, silver, clear stone or pearl studs (one in the lower hole of each ear lobe), or plain sleepers, either gold or silver colour.

      • Studs are to be either circular of 4 mm or less in diameter, or square, no more than 4mm from corner to opposite corner. •

      • Sleepers are to be round and no larger than 10 mm diameter. To be designated a sleeper; the ring must be able to rotate fully through the hole in each ear lobe

      • Recruits are not permitted to wear any other body jewellery.

    Members, when in uniform or on duty, may wear a maximum of four rings on no more than two of the eight fingers. Such rings are to be of subdued appearance and design and of moderate size. Due to the nature of recruit training, there are times where jewellery is required to be removed.

    The wearing of facemasks is in accordance with NSW Health and base routine instructions. A reusable mask of plain black or dark blue colour is recommended.

    Personal clothing. Dress is to be neat with collared shirts and jeans or slacks preferred. The following items are not acceptable

    • Midriff tops or sheer/see through clothing,
    • Clothing with offensive mottos or pictures or death symbology,
    • Clothing which is in poor condition (torn or designed ripped look) or is soiled,
    • Clothing that does not cover the shoulders, such as singlets, strapless tops or muscle shirts,
    • Shorts/skirts above the mid-thigh, and
    • Enclosed shoes are to be worn at all times when leaving your LIA.


    You will be issued with several Air Force uniforms, each with its own purpose: working dress, ceremonial occasions, and physical training. You are responsible for the cleanliness, presentation and upkeep of all of your uniform items, and will be required to replace them if they are damaged or lost. You will be required to wash and dry your own uniforms in the facilities provided. Some uniform items, such as ceremonial uniforms, will require dry cleaning at your expense. All Air Force members receive a
    Military Salary which is expected to cover the cost of maintaining your uniforms.
    Information about pay and allowances can be found in the Pay and Conditions Manual.

    Recruits who have a requirement to wear specific religious items with the Air Force uniform, as a part of their faith, are approved to do so, such as a turban, hijab or long sleeved smock. Turbans and hijabs are not issued from the Air Force Clothing Store; members who wear these items are to bring at least one ‘Air Force blue’ (or colour as close as possible) item for wearing with different uniforms.


    Meals Recruits are provided all meals with the majority provided at the Aviator’s Mess. The Aviator’s Mess caters for three meal sittings a day and provides a cyclic menu, catering for most dietary requirements. If you have specific dietary requirements (cultural, religious, or medical), contact 1RTU Operations on 02 5950 7640 or email prior to your arrival to advise of any dietary requirements or restrictions.

    Recreational Facilities and Store

    The recruit recreational area (Middleton VC Club – named after FSGT Rawdon Middleton VC, the first Royal Australian Air Force aviator to be awarded the Victoria Cross) has a pool table, table tennis table, television/cinema room and video games. Recruits also have access to a small shop for purchasing snacks, drinks and other basic essentials. Access to the recreational facilities in the first weeks of training is limited; however, recruits may access the shop at various times during the course (dependant on NSW restrictions).


    Pay The first payday for new entry recruits falls within the first 21 days post enlistment. Wages are paid into your nominated bank account electronically. Current rates of pay may be found at

    Allowances for dependents

    Recruits with recognised dependents may be eligible for additional allowances, and those that maintain a home for their dependants may be eligible for rental assistance (RA). Documents required are included in Annex B.

    Pay Deductions

    You are required to pay for meals and utilities while at 1RTU, you do not pay for accommodation. Meal and utilities payments are automatically deducted from your pay. Recruits with recognised dependents may submit an application to be categorised as Member with Dependants Unaccompanied MWD (U) and, if successful, will not be required to pay for meals or utilities.

    Removal Entitlements

    There are no removal or local housing entitlements for recruits or their dependents
    while undertaking recruit training.

    Undertaking training

    Air Force recruit training may not be what you expect if you have based your opinions on stereotypes that you may have seen in Hollywood movies or members that have undertaken military training in the past. In order to develop the type of person Air Force requires, 1RTU derives its training approach from the 1RTU Training Philosophy.

    Various training/instructor approaches are applied during the course depending on the phase and outcomes required. At times, 1RTU applies a coaching/mentoring approach, this style of training is designed to empower you to be able to make informed and considered decisions, to meet the objectives of Air Force. There is still a time and place for conventional autocratic style training – which you will experience at 1RTU.


    In addition to the normal working week, recruits are required to keep duties. The duty routine means that, regardless of weekends and public holidays, recruits are required to work outside normal working hours. Leave is not permitted and visitors are not allowed when personnel are on duty.

    Mobile Phone Use

    1RTU policy restricts access to mobile phones; however, there will be designated periods and tasks where recruits are permitted to access mobile phones. Recruits should consider their service providers as some providers do not have suitable coverage at RAAF Base Wagga. Providers that use the Telstra network generally outperforms other networks. If you use your mobile phone for EFTPOS, bring your bank card with you.

    Internet Access

    You may access the internet via Defence desktop computers or the recruit Wi-Fi
    network during designated times. At the time of writing, download speeds were very
    limited due to the state of the local telecommunications network.

    Photography/Social Media Use

    In order to maintain Operational and Physical security at our Defence establishments, explicit permission must be given prior to taking photographs within military bases. Social media is an easily accessible platform for recruits and their families to stay informed of current Air Force and ADF events. The Air Force has an official Facebook page that recruits and their families are encouraged to follow. Recruits and their families should consider security and privacy implications prior to posting any content on this page. Recruits are to be aware that once enlisted they are prohibited from posting Defence related information, comments (including photos) to the internet, or from engaging in other forms of communication that could be viewed as illegal, offensive, harassing, bullying, belittling or politically motivated.

    Private Vehicles

    You may be permitted to have private motor vehicles or motorcycles on base. Approval must be granted by your chain of command at 1RTU after your arrival at 1RTU and prior to bringing your vehicle to RAAF Base Wagga and 1RTU. This is generally only permitted the week prior to graduation.

    Home Comforts

    You may bring personal portable music players, laptops, tablets and/or e-readers with you to 1RTU; however, the opportunity to use these items will be limited. Do not bring large items (such as guitars and desktop computers) as they will not fit in your locker and appropriate storage is not available for them.

    Illicit Drugs, Smoking and Alcohol

    Whilst not prohibited, there are limited opportunities to smoke or consume alcohol. Recruits are not to bring alcohol on base. Recruits are not to provide alcohol or cigarettes to recruits under the age of 18. The Air Force has zero tolerance regarding the use of non-prescribed or prohibited drugs by serving members. Use will result in disciplinary and/or administrative action, up to termination of service. The inappropriate use of alcohol and/or alcohol-related incidents will not be tolerated. You will be subject to drug and alcohol testing throughout the course. You are not to bring alcohol into the accommodation blocks or store alcohol in your bags or vehicle.

    Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications

    If you are currently taking prescription medication, you should continue taking that medication unless advised by a medical professional; however, you will be required to declare all medications in your possession on arrival at 1RTU. This includes medications that have been prescribed by a medical practitioner, over the counter /nonprescription medication such as headache/pain relief tablets, herbal medicines, antiinflammatory or cold/flu treatments and dietary supplements such as protein powders. Air Force medical personnel will review any medications you may be taking and provide ongoing management for future prescription requirements. 1RTU staff, in consultation with medical personnel will also provide advice as to whether non-prescription medication can be held in your personal locker, and whether you can continue to take that medication in accordance with ADF policy.

    U18 Management

    If you are under the age of 18 years you are considered a minor, and therefore you will not purchase or consume any alcohol or any tobacco products, either on or off base. Those of you over 18 years will not purchase or supply alcohol or tobacco products to under 18 recruits. In addition minors are not to: • enter licensed premises when on approved local leave • purchase adult products • obtain tattoos and body piercings.

    Religious Observance

    At 1RTU, all faiths are respected and arrangements for worship are be made where appropriate and practical. Recruits will have access to a Christian chapel service, this service is not compulsory and is open to all denominations and faiths. Recruits also have access to a designated “prayer room” space. It is your responsibility to advise your instructors of your religious observance requirements.

    Stand down

    In the initial stages of training, recruits will have limited opportunity to leave the 1RTU precinct. It is therefore recommended recruits have enough personal supplies (toiletries, laundry supplies, etc.) to last approximately five weeks.

    Generally, recruits will not be given leave to return to their home locality during training. Local (Wagga) leave may be granted, dependent on training progress, from week three.

    Recruits under the age of 18 require written approval from a parent or guardian before they can take leave. When proceeding on stand down, you will need a set of neat, clean civilian attire and enclosed shoes. Cold weather (wet and less than 10 degrees) can be expected at Wagga from April to October. Recruits joining during this period are advised to bring warm clothing.

    Local transport

    RAAF Base Wagga is serviced by bus from Forest Hill. Bus route details can be obtained from Busabout Wagga Wagga. Taxis service RAAF Base Wagga and can cost in excess of $30 for each leg of the journey. Uber has a limited service in the Wagga area at the time of writing.

    Local Retail Facilities

    In addition to a small shop operated out of the Middleton VC Club, the base offers a hairdresser and two banks (Defence Bank and Australian Military Bank) including an ATM. Following week three of training, recruits may be able to access the Forest Hill shopping centre as training permits.

    Progress and Assessments

    As a Registered Training Organisation, Air Force offers Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for full or partial completion of courses. However, due to the holistic nature of recruit training, it may be difficult to provide adequate evidence for the granting of RPL. Those wishing to apply for RPL should contact 1RTU Operations to request an RPL package. It should be noted that the RPL process can take up to eight weeks to complete, therefore this should be completed as a matter of urgency.

    The National Unit of Competency (UOC) for First Aid - HLTAID003 is awarded as part of the recruit course. Those persons wishing to apply for RPL for this UOC must provide their Statement of Attainment to course staff upon arrival at 1RTU.

    Whilst undertaking training, recruits will be continually assessed on the values, behaviours, skills, knowledge and attitude required for service in the Air Force and Defence. To successfully graduate from 1RTU, recruits must satisfactorily pass all summative assessments. Once a recruit commences training, there are four potential outcomes for each member. These are:

    • Graduation. The majority of recruits will graduate on the course they commence. Graduation day is usually on the Wednesday of Week 9. Family and friends should not make any travel arrangements unless 1RTU Headquarters confirms guest attendance with you.
    • Suspension / removal. Some recruits may be unable to complete their training in the minimum allocated time due to unsatisfactory training progress, medical restrictions or disciplinary issues. There is opportunity for medical rehabilitation, extensive retraining and re-assessment to ensure recruits are given appropriate opportunity to complete their training. These recruits, once fit to continue training, will be placed on the next available recruit course. This will delay the recruit’s graduation date, and may affect any subsequent Initial Employment Training (IET). If a recruit is unable to successfully fulfil all of the requirements of the recruit course, they may be discharged from the ADF.
    • Separate at Own Request (SOR) (Resignation). Recruits may be given the option to separate if they consider they are unsuited to military life. To assist the recruit to make an informed decision about their future, Defence policy dictates how a member can SOR, and automatic approval of a separation request may not be granted.


    Graduation Recruits who pass all their assessments will participate in a Graduation Parade that is generally held on Wednesday of week 9. The parade is followed by an awards ceremony. Course photos will be available for purchase, and credit card facilities are available. The Graduation Parade and ceremony is between 1030–1400 h.

    In some circumstances, recruits may be able to take advantage of certain conditions of service that will allow members’ immediate family to travel to 1RTU at a subsidised rate. Information about this will be provided during training at 1RTU.

    The Graduation Parade is held outdoors and guests are recommended to wear warm clothing as the winter months in particular can be quite cold and weather at other times can be unpredictable. While this may make for an uncomfortable environment for spectators, it may also affect the ability for aircraft to land or depart the local airport. When making travel arrangements, consider the impact of aircraft delays on your journey.

    Family are also strongly advised to refrain from making travel arrangements too early and it is recommended they take out appropriate travel insurance. Recruits may not always graduate as planned and 1RTU, Air Force and the ADF will not accept financial liability for travel that is cancelled due to training or operational requirements.

    Family and friends that are unable to attend the Graduation day have the ability to view the parade via our online live stream at the following link, which will only be active prior to the programmed start time:

    Remuster - Changing of jobs within Air Force

    Recruits are reminded that policy exists that may prevent remustering (including commissioning as an Officer) within designated time periods following enlistment. 1RTU generally DOES NOT process remuster applications during training, unless exceptional circumstances exist.

    Family Support

    The Air Force recognises the mobile lifestyle of ADF personnel and their families can present challenges. The following provides an outline of some of the services available to assist members and their families during training and into their future careers.

    Defence Member and Family Support

    A range of social work, family liaison, educational and military support services and related programs are provided through Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) to enhance the wellbeing of Air Force personnel, their families and communities. Professional, qualified and experienced staff provide these services. Additional information regarding DMFS can be obtained at:

    Serving members (including recruits), partners and other dependants may contact DMFS directly. The DMFS office in Wagga Wagga is open during normal working days and has personnel on call after hours for emergencies. Office details for Wagga DMFS are:

    DMFS Wagga Wagga
    76 Morgan Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2651
    Phone: 1800 624 608
    Emergency after hours number: 1800 624 608 

    All hours support line

    The All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ASL is designed as a triage line, which simply means that it is there to help you access ADF or civilian mental health services more easily. Services that you can access include psychology, medical, social work, and chaplain services. The ASL is provided by a very experienced outside agency that has been contracted by the ADF to provide this service. The company employs health professionals (nurses, psychologists, and social workers mainly) as their operators and provides this type of service to a number of other government agencies and private companies in Australia and overseas. The company's personnel have been trained on the issues that ADF members and their families face, and what services are most appropriate to assist them. When calling the ASL, you can expect a qualified, mental health professional, who has a good understanding of what is available to you. The ASL can be contacted on 1800 628 036.

    Defence Special Needs Support Group

    The Defence Special Needs Support Group is a non-profit benevolent volunteer organisation established to assist Navy, Army and Air Force families with a family member with special needs. The Defence Special Needs Support Group Inc. has now grown into a well respected national organisation with many local support groups and well over two thousand families located both around Australia and overseas. The group provides support, information, assistance and advocacy for all ADF families who have a dependant (child, spouse or other dependant) with special needs. Information about your local Defence Special Needs Support Group can be obtained by contacting the National Office.

    Mail: North Ipswich LPO, P.O Box 2403  North Ipswich, QLD, 4305
    Phone: 1800 037 674


    Due to the nature of recruit training, there are times when recruits will not be contactable.
    In the event of an emergency or when the recruit may require additional support, (e.g.
    the death of a family member) 1RTU duty personnel can be contacted on:
    0428 737 116


    There is no post office on base. Recruits are able to both send and receive mail via the 1RTU Operations Centre; however, no other postal services are available. Recruits who wish to send mail are required to supply their own stamps and packaging. To receive mail, it should be addressed as follows:

    Rank, Initials, Surname, Employee Number
    1RTU Course No XX/XX
    RAAF Base Wagga

    ACR MJ Smith 8888888
    1RTU Course No 01/23
    RAAF Base Wagga

    Recruits can receive SMALL welfare packages from their family/friends whilst undergoing IMT; however, recruits are to advise their family/friends to only send SMALL packages no larger than an Australia Post medium parcel box (240x190x120mm). Packages larger than this may be withheld until the completion of IMT.

    Parcel Box

    Try to avoid sending breakable or fragile items through the mail. Liquids, glass etc. have the potential to destroy important personal documentation. Care must be taken when posting items. You should advise your family/friends to only send letters or very small care packages. Online ordering and larger packages are not permitted. Recruits may send and receive mail. Recruits are not to engage in online shopping. If recruits require additional items other than toiletries and uniform maintenance items, they are to discuss the need with course staff prior to acquiring the item. Mail exclusions. Recruits are not to receive food items, medicinal products, liquids including alcohol, adult material and other prohibited material/items. Recruits should also refrain from receiving electronic devices.


    Conclusion 1RTU is the point of entry training unit for all enlisted Air Force personnel; our job is to transform civilians into highly effective Air Force members. The knowledge, skills and attitude gained throughout recruit training will prepare newly enlisted members for future success in their next phase of training and into their Air Force careers. Your success at 1RTU will be determined by your aptitude, commitment, preparation and attitude. Should you choose to prepare yourself administratively, mentally and physically and commit yourself to your training, you should find the transition to Air Force life a challenging, enriching, and ultimately rewarding experience. We look forward to welcoming you to 1RTU and guiding you through your transition from civilian to Aviator.

    Annexe A

    Physical Fitness at 1RTU

    Military Physical Expectations

    Physical fitness is a major component of recruit training. An under conditioned recruit is at a significantly higher risk of injury and is primarily the reason why recruits are held back from training continuation. You will need to arrive at 1RTU with a high level of fitness if you are to be successful through your recruit course. It is in your best interest to ensure your physical, medical and mental fitness does not degrade between your testing days at DFR and your arrival at 1RTU. To avoid this, we suggest undertaking the provided 4 week pre recruit program. This program exposes you to the type of exercises and intensity seen during physical training lessons at 1RTU. It also enables the individual to appropriately enhance their strength and conditioning ability prior to commencing course.

    Physical Training at 1RTU T

    hroughout 1RTU, a recruit will complete a minimum of 3 physical training lessons a week, each spanning for approximately 90 minutes, not to mention the additional marching, drill and military movement’s loads. In addition to programmed physical activities, all recruits are required to march / walk in excess of 20,000 steps per day depending on their stage of course reinforcing the need to have a great base level of fitness. Many individuals who arrive under conditioned struggle to adapt to the physical demands of recruit training and overload injuries become imminent. This not only affects the mental health of a recruit but also causes them to remain at recruit training for a far longer period.

    Fitness Test

    Individuals are expected to possess a high level of fitness prior to arrival at 1RTU. It is this pre-course fitness that will assist recruits to overcome some of the obstacles during the initial conduct of the course. Recruits who are physically and mentally fit will find they have a higher level of concentration, resilience, perform better during theory and practical lessons and return better results during assessments, not to mention the significant reduction in chance of injury. Recruits will conduct a minimum of 3 fitness tests whilst at 1RTU

    Initial Fitness Screen

    To ensure you possess sufficient physical fitness to safely commence training, you will be required to pass an Initial Fitness Screen (IFS) on arrival at 1RTU. Testing will occur within the first week of course commencement. Recruits will be tested on pushups, situps and 2.4km run. A satisfactory result on the 2.4km is required in order to start their recruit course. Failure to achieve a satisfactory may result in termination of employment.

    Table 1

    Formative and Summative Initial Fitness Testing

    Recruits will be required to pass a Summative Initial Fitness Test (SIFT) in week 8 of recruit training. The SIFT represents the fitness standard required to be a member of the service, and is designed to be a submaximal test of aerobic fitness based on the principles and philosophies of the PFT. All recruits are expected to complete the 2.4km run for the cardiovascular component. The 5km Walk is not an applicable testing option for the SIFT. Failure to pass a SIFT will prevent a recruit from training continuation. The Formative Initial Fitness Test (FIFT) is conducted in week 4 of training and provides an evaluation of a recruit’s fitness level whilst under training and is assessed against the Air Force operational fitness requirements for service. It gives 1RTU an opportunity to provide performance management to recruits that are failing to meet the required fitness level and safely progress them on course.

    Table 2

    *Note you have a choice to perform either push-ups or flexed arm hang for your upper body
    component. Similarly you have the choice of feet held or feet un-held sit-ups for the abdominal

    Access the Pre-Recruit Program

    • 1. Follow the link

      Select the button to take you to

    • 2. Check out the Flow Chart

      Utilise the flow chart on the following page to pick the most appropriate program for you.

    Flowchart RAAF
    • 3. Download the Teambuildr App

      If you have a smart device, you can download the Teambuildr App to access your program otherwise utilise a web browser on a computer.

    • 4. Log into Teambuildr App

      Use the following details to log into the 1RTU Pre-Recruit accounts to access a daily exercise program.

      As these accounts are utilised by multiple individuals simultaneously, it is imperative that you do not alter any passwords, personal details etc







    Annex B

    Personal Documentation

    All recruits are to read the following document list. Your DFRC will have already asked to see some of the documentation; however, you must still bring them to 1RTU as the Air Force and the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency have specific requirements for the documents which are separate to those of the DFRC.

    Annex C

    Equipment Packing List

    Download and print the details the type and standard of equipment you are required to bring to 1RTU. Read this list in conjunction with the checklist, which provides the quantities you require.