Your skills by rank

During your military career, you'll have acquired a range of experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications.

A civilian employer will most likely not know what skills each rank level has. It's important to explain what your rank means and how it can benefit their organisation. The following shows what the average ex-service member will have done in the role. This general overview is broken down by rank, and you'll need to customise it to your experience.

Skills and abilities of enlisted personnel

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Private, Ordinary Rating and Aircraftman

Personnel at this rank level:

  • apply individual skills in a team environment
  • understand the importance of following orders and trusting superiors
  • have strong time management skills
  • are fit and healthy through regular training.
Lance Corporal, Able Rating and Leading Aircraftman

Personnel at this rank level:

  • apply skills in team leadership
  • deliver logical and precise instructions to small teams
  • have strong leadership skills
  • conduct training and deliver lessons to small groups
  • mentor and train individuals
  • are fit and healthy through regular training.
Corporal and Leading Hand

Personnel at this rank level:

  • conduct effective training sessions on a theoretical subject or an individual skill
  • give logical and precise instructions to subordinates to achieve team objectives
  • are proven leaders and supervisors of a team of approximately 10 people
  • manage, prioritise, and delegate a complex range of tasks to team members
  • mentor and train junior team leaders
  • simplify strategic intent and communicates this to juniors
  • have mental strength and resilience developed over years of experience.
Sergeant, Petty Officer, Staff Sergeant, Chief Petty Officer and Flight Sergeant

Personnel at this rank level:

  • are able to conduct effective training in theoretical skills or in group practical skills
  • mentor subordinate staff
  • give concise instructions to subordinates to achieve team objectives
  • manage administrative requirements for a group of up to 30 people
  • apply and administer codes of conduct and behaviour in the workplace
  • act as a member of a junior management team
  • lead and supervise maintenance of equipment.
Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Class 1, Warrant Officer Class 2

Personnel at this rank level:

  • apply and administer high standards of conduct and behaviour in the workplace
  • develop and implement administrative instructions and procedures
  • display high levels of leadership to a large group
  • maintain and enforce high standards of quality control in all activities
  • conduct effective training in skills and theory
  • plan and conduct activities requiring coordination of resources
  • act independently and displays resourcefulness and initiative
  • supervise staff and intermediate supervisors, providing effective counselling as required
  • plan short-term training programmes
  • advise superiors in a logical and effective manner
  • act as a member of a middle management team.

Skills and abilities of officers

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Lieutenant, Sub Lieutenant and Flying Officer

Personnel at this rank level:

  • lead a group of approximately 30 subordinates involved in physically demanding and dangerous team-related tasks for an extended period of time, using several intermediate supervisors
  • accept full responsibility for the actions and performance of their team
  • plan and conducts detailed training programmes
  • apply advanced skills in the coordination of activities, training, and group discipline
  • maintain occupational health and safety in the workplace
  • maintain the security of buildings, vehicles, stores and information
  • conduct research to assess a situation and structure a response accordingly
  • conduct investigations and prepare reports
  • issue instructions to subordinates in a complete and logical manner
  • display effective personal leadership, including assessing performance and counselling subordinate staff
  • identifies and train staff for career development.
Captain, Lieutenant (RNZN) and Flight Lieutenant

Personnel at this rank level:

  • plan and implement full administrative requirements for a large group of people
  • prepare and deliver detailed written papers, reports, presentations and investigations
  • organise and control administrative staff directly and through subordinates
  • plan, implement and be responsible for occupational health and safety
  • manage the maintenance and security of stores, including multi-million dollar equipment
  • review and plan effective administrative systems and procedures
  • conduct formal staff reporting and review systems including use of effective staff communication counselling
  • work as a member of a management team and accept responsibility for an authorised level of decision making
  • establish and maintains a training programme for task groups
  • have strong public speaking skills using a range of presentation techniques.
Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader

Personnel at this rank level:

  • plans and issue instructions for coordinated activities for large groups of people, working through several intermediate line managers and with several supporting staff managers
  • plan total administrative requirements for a group of operational entities
  • have a high level of problem-solving, decision making, negotiation and communication skills
  • plan progressive and continuing programmes for large groups of people
  • lead individuals and groups at a senior management level
  • plan and conduct junior management training programmes
  • delegate effectively to junior managers, supervising and managing their activities
  • manage resources at authorised levels, including multi-million dollar equipment and money
  • work as a member of a management team
  • prepare and deliver written papers, reports and presentations on management topics.
Lieutenant Colonel, Commander and Wing Commander

Personnel at this rank level:

  • plan and issue instructions to coordinate activities for large groups, working through several intermediate line managers and with several supporting staff managers
  • prepare and issue written instructions to middle management for training and personal development
  • plan logically and conveys broad directives and parameters to middle management for action
  • accept full responsibility for the activities and administration of several diverse operational entities involving large groups of people and multi-million dollar equipment
  • leads individuals and groups at a senior management level
  • plan the total administrative requirements for a diverse group of operational entities
  • work as a member of a senior multidisciplinary management team
  • review and critically analyse complex problems and procedures.
Colonel, Captain (RNZN) and Group Captain

Personnel at this rank level:

  • plan and issue instructions to coordinate complex activities for very large groups, working through many senior line managers and a team of supporting staff managers
  • drive strategic discussions and planning of future goals
  • develop and manage a large strategic network, using relationships when required to great effect
  • accept full responsibility for the activities and administration of several complex operational entities involving very large groups of people and multi-million dollar equipment.
  • manage calculated risks and accepts accountability for actions team members take
  • work as a member of strategic managerial teams
  • front criticism and complaints about change and take personal responsibility addressing any issues
  • have long-term strategic focus.