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ATC Graduates Rise Up to Join the New Zealand Defence Force

A remarkable group of 15 young graduates from NZSE’s School of ATC – Military Prep farewell family and friends this week as they journey to their new home – Waiouru Military Camp – to start the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF’s) rigorous basic training programme.
These committed, focused young New Zealanders gained certifications through NZSE’s ATC programme at NZSE’s Hamilton campus, as well as New Lynn and Manukau campuses in Auckland. With their completion of courses ranging Study Career Preparation – Uniformed Services (Level 3) to NZ Certificate in Security (Level 3), these 15 students displayed exceptional commitment and determination; rising above any barriers to seize the opportunity for a rewarding career path.
The decision to embark on this journey with the NZDF varies for these graduates. Some are driven by a deep-seated desire to serve their country, while others aim to proudly represent their Pacific and Maori heritage. For many, such as 18 year-old NZSE graduate Jackson Nichol, supporting their families and seeking personal growth are also significant factors:

“What does joining the NZDF mean to me? Serving my country and giving back to my family and the people that raised me,” says Jackson, who in 2023 completed NZSE’s NZ Certificate in Security (Level 3) along with Study Career Preparation – Uniformed Services (Level 3).

When asked about how they’re feeling about the journey ahead, many expressed their excitement as well as feeling nervous.
“I’m probably most excited for being on the field with some of the guys – just bonding together,” says Jackson,
Set against the rugged backdrop of Mount Ruapehu, during the intensive 16-week programme at The Army Depot, graduates will face a series of challenges designed to assess their aptitude and physical capabilities. Leveraging their strengths, they will be assigned roles ranging from engineers to front runners or gunners, aligning with their skill sets and preferences.

NZSE’s ATC graduates are taking an inspiring step forward in service of their country, reflecting the values of courage, dedication, and selflessness that define the NZDF.

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