When you leave the permanent forces you automatically transfer to Reserves for a minimum of five years. When you transfer to Reserves, you’ll join a new Service Category (SERCAT) and Service Option (SERVOP). All Reserve SERCATS are required to comply with a call-out order. More information on your services requirements, click on the relevant tab below
The Naval Reserve consists of SERCAT 5, SERCAT 3, SERCAT 2 and SERVOP C. Reserve service is voluntary and subject to the member’s availability. Acceptance of a Naval Reserve member for Reserve service is subject to Navy needs. Reserve members are limited to a maximum of 200 Reserve Service Days (RSD) per financial year.
SERCAT 5 Naval Reserve members may serve up to 200 RSD per year across multiple financial years.
SERCAT 3 Naval Reserve members may serve up to 200 RSD in one financial year.
SERCAT 3 and 5 Naval Reserve members may volunteer for SERVOP C (continuous full time service) to fill vacant Permanent Navy positions.
SERCAT 3 or 5 Naval Reserve members may be transferred to SERCAT 2 if they don't volunteer for service during two consecutive financial years. SERCAT 2 Naval Reserve members aren't required to do any RSD.
SERCAT 3 or 5 Naval Reserve members may volunteer to be posted to:
Funded Reserve Commitment (FRC) positions which are part of Navy's Total Integrated Workforce. They work alongside Permanent Navy and civilian positions to deliver the capability outcomes of the unit or department
Vacant Permanent Navy positions to fill a long term (CFTS) or short-term (RSD) vacancy
Short Term Reserve Positions (STRP) intended to undertake project based or short-term tasking. The tasks are beyond the normal scope of the unit or department. These positions are for a single financial year but may be extended.
SERCAT 3 or 5 Naval Reserve members must have a Comprehensive Periodic Health Examination (PHE) at a Defence Health facility every five years. To be accepted for SERVOP C Naval Reserve members require a Periodic Health Examination within the 12 months prior to commencing their engagement and then in line with Permanent Navy requirements. Call your local health centre to make an appointment. An Annual Health Declaration is completed for SERCAT 3 and 5 and SERVOP C Naval Reserve members to update their medical status, and is a pre-condition for Health Support Allowance.
When you transfer to the Naval Reserve you must keep and maintain your uniform at your own expense for three years. After this you should enquire about replacement options.
You must keep Navy informed of changes to your contact details. This includes residential address, postal address, telephone numbers, and personal email address. If Navy loses contact with you it will likely result in your ADF service ending. You can update your details through ForceNet or by contacting your local Regional Reserve Office.
The Army Reserve consists of SERCAT 5, SERCAT 3, SERCAT 2 and SERVOP C.
SERCAT 5 Army Reserve members are posted to a unit to fill an established position. Positions are available across Australia, with the pattern of service pattern dependant on the unit. SERCAT 5 members can expect to have a degree of stability in their pattern of service through the number of Reserve Service Days (RSD) allocated by the unit. SERCAT 5 members will receive an assurance of service based on the training or force generation requirements of their posted position or unit.
Members in SERCAT 5 can access active career management and are required to meet individual readiness requirements. If there are no suitable SERCAT 5 positions, personnel may be transferred to SERCAT 3.
SERCAT 3 Army Reserve members are not automatically assigned RSD but can volunteer for opportunities advertised on ForceNet or for vacancies within Army units. The service provided is determined between the member and the tasking unit.
SERCAT 3 or 5 Army Reserve members may volunteer for SERVOP C at the discretion of Army.
SERVOP C is required for deployed Reservists. SERCAT 2 Army Reserve members aren't required to do any RSD. The only obligation is to annually confirm or update their contact details.
SERCAT 5 Army Reserve members must have a Comprehensive Preventative Health Examination at a Defence Health facility every five years. On transfer to the Reserves you should forward your Unit Medical Record to your transitioning location. Call your local health centre to make an appointment. SERCAT 3 Army Reserve members are required to have an in-date medical prior to undertaking military service. It is in the member's interest to maintain an in-date medical every five years if considering to undertake military service.
Being medically compliant is one of the requirements for the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, Health Support Allowance, Service awards and other benefits.
The Air Force Reserve (AFR) consists of SERCAT 5, SERCAT 4, SERCAT 3 and SERCAT 2. Reserve members may render continuous full time service (CFTS) in SERVOP C.
The allocation of Reserve Service Days (RSD) depends on the position, capability requirements and funding.
SERCAT 5 Air Force Reserve members agree to a specified pattern of service to deliver capability outcomes for a minimum of 20 RSD a year. Some SERCAT 5 positions have an Individual Readiness obligation.
SERCAT 4 Air Force Reserve members commit to provide service at short notice when required by Chief of Air Force. They have higher Individual Readiness requirements than other Reserve SERCATs and may perform this duty on SERVOP C.
SERCAT 4 members may access additional financial conditions of service not available to other SERCATs because of the higher readiness and availability obligation SERCAT 3 Air Force Reserve members are posted to a pool position and can volunteer to serve for RSD if they meet capability requirements and secure funding.
SERCAT 3, 4 and 5 Air Force Reserve members may volunteer for CFTS (SERVOP C) to fill a vacant
SERCAT 7 position or when deployed into an Area of Operation. For applications for periods of
SERVOP C greater than 12 months, Air Force may transfer members back to SERCAT 7 for a specified period of service instead. They’ll normally return to their previous Reserve position at the end of this service.
SERCAT 2 Air Force Reserve members aren’t able to provide reserve service. All SERCATs all liable for call out.
Air Force members have access to a Career Manager during their service. You should maintain contact with your Career Manager when you transfer to Reserves. Contact details for Career Managers are on the Directorate for Personal – Air Force Intranet home page under the DP-AF Organisation and Contacts tab. If you are a Group Captain or above, email the Directorate of Senior Office Management at DSOM.AF@defence.gov.au
Air Force Reservists are required to complete regular health assessments. Refer to the Health Manual for guidance on specific requirements. On transfer to the Reserves you should forward your Unit Medical Record to your transitioning location. AFR members are encouraged to complete an Annual Health Declaration to confirm they remain fit to serve. Subject to meeting eligibility requirements applicable to your SERCAT, you may be entitled to the Health Support Allowance.
Air Force Reserve members undertaking RSDs need to complete the full suite of annual mandatory training before serving and should complete these requirements as soon as they commence their RSD period.
When you transfer to the Air Force Reserve you are expected to ensure your uniform is complete and in good order. If you are transferring from SERCAT 6 or 7 to SERCATs 3, 4 or 5 you may be able to exchange personal uniform items. See the Air Force Clothing Policy and Entitlements Manual. SERVOP C is required for deployed Reservists. SERCAT 2 Army Reserve members aren’t required to do any RSD. The only obligation is to annually confirm or update their contact details.
ForceNet is a secure online portal where ADF members and Reservists stay connected with their service and each other. By accessing ForceNet, you can also discover many different employment opportunities available to ADF members and Reservists. It also allows you to stay up to date with the latest activity happening in your connected Unit, Squadron or Ship.
The Total Workforce Model enables the ADF to draw on the skills and experience of its entire workforce in a more agile and integrated way, so the Services can access the right people at the right time to get the job done.