About the Job

Set up, aim and fire powerful weaponry to engage targets up to 30km away. This is a hands-on, physically active combat role where you’ll harness your agility and ability to work quickly on your feet.

What you’ll do

As an Artillery Operator, you’re the end of the Artillery chain. You’ll provide vital artillery fire support in combat operations, playing a pivotal role in their success.

Working as part of a close-knit team, your task will be to operate the M777 155mm Howitzer in tough and challenging environments. You’ll participate in regular field training and exercises. And when you’re not out in the field, you’ll be in the barracks maintaining and readying the gun for the next operation.

In this role, every day is different, and you’ll learn to:

  • Set up, apply firing data to aim, load, and fire the incredibly powerful M777 155mm Howitzer
  • Safely handle, prepare and store artillery ammunition - including high air and ground burst, illumination, smoke and precision-guided rounds
  • Maintain, service and prepare artillery equipment for deployment
  • Drive, service and maintain cross-country vehicles (if selected for additional driver training)
  • Conduct general soldiering duties such as manning defensive positions, patrolling, traffic control, camouflaging vehicles and field equipment, and navigation

This is a physically challenging role which involves lifting heavy equipment and firing on command. The upside is you’ll gain a different type of fitness beyond what you can train for in a gym.

Training and Progression

You don’t need any prior experience to join. You’ll receive world-class military training to prepare you for every aspect of the job.

Your Initial Employment Training (IET) will transform you into a highly capable Artillery Operator. Upon completion, your first posting is likely to be one of the Artillery Regiments.

Throughout your career, you’ll receive ongoing training and become an expert at handling and operating the M777 Howitzer. Advancement opportunities are plenty, with opportunities to upskill, learning all positions on the gun and even becoming a qualified heavy vehicle driver. Plus, you’ll continue to develop your teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

Additional Information

This is a job that requires you to respond quickly to demanding situations. Every day is different, and you’ll play an important role in active combat. Due to the physically challenging nature of the role, keeping your mind and body in top shape will help you succeed as an Artillery Operator. If you enjoy variety, can easily adapt to changing situations and are looking for a supportive team environment, apply today.

In-Service Information
This role is known as Artillery Gunner within the Army.
Employment Category Number (ECN): 162
Employment Category: Combat

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Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Salary & Allowances

In the Army you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.


Upon completion of your Initial Employment Training (IET), your first posting will likely be to one of the Artillery Regiments located in:

  • Townsville, QLD
  • Brisbane, QLD
  • Darwin, NT
  • Puckapunyal, VIC

Subsequent postings are based upon the service need, career development needs and individual preferences.

You may also have the opportunity to deploy overseas on operations during your career.



Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.

If you have not achieved the appropriate passes for this role, an education assessment can be conducted to determine your eligibility. Employment history and other qualifications will be considered. Speak to your ADF Careers Centre representative to discuss options.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

Females will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of 2 years.

Males will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of 4 years.

Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.


Military Training

As a General Entry recruit, you’ll be required to complete the Recruit Course.

Army Recruit Course
Duration: Approximately 12 weeks.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

During training, you will take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. You'll be challenged both mentally and physically.

Although it can be demanding, most recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved. The priority of our instructors is to help you succeed.

For more information, visit Soldier Training at Kapooka.

Employment Training

After graduating from recruit training, you'll start learning the skills of your trade or profession under the guidance of world-class Army instructors.

Basic Combat Communications Course
Duration: Approximately 1 week.
Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal, VIC.

You will learn to set up, operate and maintain communications equipment and radios including basic high frequency combat communication equipment.

Royal Australian Artillery Common Induction Training
Duration: Approximately 3 weeks.
Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal, VIC.

You will learn Artillery procedures and how to use small arms weapons systems and other combative equipment.

Gun Grade 1 Course
Duration: Approximately 6 weeks.
Location: School of Artillery, Puckapunyal, VIC.

You will learn each position required to operate the M777 155mm Howitzer weapon platform and sub systems.

Once you’ve finished your Initial Employment Training, you’ll be assigned to an Army unit and your career as a soldier will begin.

Throughout your career, you will also have the opportunity to develop your skills with further specialist training.