READ: How To Become A Helicopter Pilot In 12 months, Via The AUS Navy

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Words by: Sam Heavley

Not all gap years are created equally. The same goes when it comes to the Australian Defence Force’s 12-month program. While there might be 26 roles to choose from across the Air Force, Army and Navy, it’s fair to say some roles are much more enjoyable than others. Aspiring pilots and military finatics take note: While each year the ADF experiments with new training opportunities and experiences, there’s one particular role that might just be the coolest thing you could pull off in a year. Starting in 2020, the Australian Navy has introduced a 12-month Helicopter Pilot Officer role which will have you touring Australian Navy bases, on a short sea deployment and, most importantly, seeing the skies from the cockpit of a helicopter.

While for some, the idea of following a strict regime for 12 months is the last thing they’d want from a gap year, for those willing this might just be one of the best experiences available. Asides from paid training, a more than sufficient salary and new skills to be learned, one of the real perks here is combining two roles which bring career opportunities both inside and outside of the Defence Force: Officer training and pilot training.

So while this year’s gap-year recruits find themselves sleep deprived out field on the verge of finishing employment training, those of us interested in flying the skies in 2020 now is the time to apply. Applications are limited to 18-24 year old applicants and close mid-July.

Find out more information here, or see more Gap Year Roles here.