About Reservists

There are around 45,000 Australian Reservists ‒ both in service and on stand-by ‒ making up 45% of the total Defence Force.

Who are they?

Australia's Reservists are all kinds of people from all walks of life.

They're nurses and doctors, fire fighters and ambulance officers, IT professionals and public servants, plumbers and electricians and more ...

Reservist case studies

They volunteer for part-time service in the Navy, Army and Air Force. They can join as new recruits or move from full-time Defence service to Reservist service.

They're highly motivated people who take on training and service with enthusiasm and commitment.

Most importantly, Reservists are a fundamental part of Australia's Defence Force and help safeguard the security of our country.

Why they are so important

Reservists contribute in a number of ways locally, nationally and internationally.

Here are some examples…

Overseas missions

  • Reservists are currently serving in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and East Timor. They also serve in Malaysia as part of Australia's commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangement.
  • Reservists offered humanitarian relief to communities in Pakistan, Thailand, Rwanda and Somalia.
  • Reservists served alongside their full-time counterparts to increase security and stability in Bougainville.

Help in local disasters

Reservists offer their help in natural disasters, such as floods, droughts and fires and in emergency rescue operations.

In early 2009, more than 1300 Reservists helped in Operation Victoria Fires Assist.

And in 2011, they helped people in Queensland and Victoria recover from the floods.

Employer support meant Reservists could help during these disasters.

Event security in Australia

Reservists played an important role at:

  • the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011
  • the APEC Australia 2007 forum
  • the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
  • the Sydney Olympic and Paralympics Games

Reservist case studies

Picture gallery


Seeking employer & family support

Australia's Defence Force continually seeks the skills and expertise of Reservists to help maintain its capability.

Because of this, it's important employers, families and the community offer Reservists their support.

Having the support of employers means Reservists are available to undertake their duties when called for service.

How you benefit ‒ the knowledge and skills employees learn as Reservists can be applied in their civilian jobs.

(The Reservist also brings their civilian knowledge and skills to their Reservist role ‒ it's a win / win.) 

Become a Supportive Employer

Employers who support Reservists

Last update: Thursday, 12 November 2015