About the Job

As a Communication Systems Operator, you will join the Army through the ICT Specialist pathway. ICT Specialists are streamed into a specific role as they progress through training. Allocation is based on preference, existing qualifications, performance and availability of positions.

Join the Army’s advanced information and communication systems team—the Signallers. This is a dedicated team of experts that always looks to the future. As a Communication Systems Operator, you will be responsible for operating cutting-edge technology, such as satellite terminals, radios and advanced security equipment, to provide vital military communications anywhere in the world.

In this role you will ensure that your commander can communicate over a range of different networks. Your training will give you the skills you need to become proficient in tactical voice and data communications, advanced field antenna construction, network security and a variety of specialised software applications. You'll be responsible for keeping the Army connected across diverse work environments.

Your office can change regularly – you could be working from the back of an armoured vehicle, or in an office environment at a communication centre. This role can take you on foot patrols in support of other teams, airfields or even on large Navy vessels.

In this role, you will be trained to:

  • Plan, design and manage a variety of communications support networks
  • Configure and deploy tactical radio and satellite systems such as antenna and communications security systems, computer networks and terminals
  • Convey messages and provide guidance on communications systems to your fellow soldiers
  • Conduct maintenance, identify and rectify faults of equipment systems

If you’re a proactive thinker, are able to work efficiently and support your colleagues, even in high-pressure situations, you’ll thrive in this role.

As a Communication Systems Operator, you’ll always be learning. From day one, you’ll develop practical skills and receive continuous mentoring. As you progress, you’ll gain highly sought-after experience with opportunities to strengthen your skill set.

This is a career that doesn’t stand still. If you want to be at the forefront of your industry in a role where no two days are alike, this could be the job for you.

In-Service Information
This role is known as Battlespace Communications Specialist within the Army.
Employment Category Number (ECN): 662
Employment Category: Combat Support

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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.

National Qualifications

Army is currently undertaking a review of civil accreditation gained through Army training.

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.


Communication Systems Operators are employed in all RA Sigs tactical units and in a number of strategic units that operate throughout Australia. The majority of positions are located in Melbourne, Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney. 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

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four 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.

If you have only received partial recognition of your qualifications, you will be advised of the Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) after the Recognition of Prior Learning/Recognition of Current Competencies process is complete.

Additional Requirements

It is highly desirable that all applicants for Communication Systems Operator hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Drivers Licence for a manual vehicle, in their state or territory.

Civilian Licence:

If an applicant has a civilian licence that is under suspension or has been cancelled, that applicant is not eligible to enlist as an Armoured Cavalry (ECN 060) until such time that the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.


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 a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) 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 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

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

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.


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

As a Communication Systems Operator you will conduct your communications training at the Defence Force School of Signals (DFSS) at Macleod, VIC. You won't find technical and communication schools with a better teacher/student ratio or better equipment and facilities. DFSS is dedicated to giving you the best technical and communications training possible.

Unlike any other school of its kind, you will be paid while you learn and are guaranteed a job when you graduate. In addition to your trade training courses, you will continue to develop your military skills which will allow you to be a soldier as well as a Communication Systems Operator. This will allow to you attain the technical skills you need as well as develop your ability to work in diverse teams, understand tactical considerations of deploying communications networks in a variety of field environments and give you the opportunity to fulfill a range of leadership positions.

Common Signals Training
Duration: 54 Days.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks Macleod, Victoria.

This course provides foundation knowledge of Corps history along with the basic skills to operate common in-service Communications and Information Systems. This course also serves to qualify graduates as basic combat communicators, operate basic in-service power generation equipment and progress to subsequent courses.

Battlespace Communications Specialist 

Duration: approximately 80 days.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks, Macleod, Victoria.

Trainees will be instructed in a number of difference subjects including the operation and maintenance of military High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) radios, portable Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite terminals, using contemporary waveforms and cryptographic equipment. Battlespace Communications Specialists will also be trained to deploy specialised battle management networks and operate computer based communications applications. This training will be conducted in a range of simulated environments based upon vehicle and Command Post operations.

It should be noted that there might be periods of time between courses conducted at DFSS. Should this occur, you will be provided with both meaningful employment and refresher training.