Defence force visit piques student interest  

Students walk the plank.

On the 4th of April representatives from the defence force visited Nayland to educate students about leadership skill and team building, as well as the big variety of career opportunities within the military.

Different activities were carried out to give the students a taste of what they can expect in the military. They created plank pathways over imaginary rivers and did an advanced form of memory, both tasks teaching them how to work as a team and when to be a leader. “We’re not just about running around throwing guns,” Senior Sergeant Paul Kelly explained.

Chief Petty Officer Nick Geary was amongst the visitors. He has been in the military for 26 years and still enjoys his job as a steward where he looks after the offices and other areas of a marine ship. “The opportunities open up the more time you spend in the military and yeah, it’s gold,” Chief Petty Officer Nick Geary said.

There are some minimum requirements for joining the military. You have to be 17 years of age and a New Zealand citizen. Certain positions demand higher achievements in school. For example, to become a pilot you might need to have completed NCEA level 3, whereas other positions such as a chef, infantry or a steward, NCEA level 1 might be all that is required.

However, most of the skills needed in the military are learnt through experience and practice. “Leadership is not easy and it is something that is learnt. The more you do it, the better you become,” Nick Geary said.

The participating students of Nayland College were thrilled to join the training. They all said they had learned a lot about leadership roles, teamwork, and had got an impression of daily military life. Some are thinking of joining up. “I`ve always had leadership roles everywhere I go so I thought that it would make me a better leader and show me what my options are (…),” year 12 student Michelle said.

The defence force representatives emphasised the great opportunities and benefits of joining the military such as travelling, making friends and learning something new every day. The officers said that they knew they were looking for something other than a desk job. All of them chose to be in the military because in some way they wanted to “(…)get out of the boundaries of what everyone expects of you,” as Airforce Officer Kelly West explained.

If you are interested in joining the defence force or have any further questions you can contact Chief Petty Officer Nick Geary on:

T 0)3 5481079, M: +64 0)21593811



Or go to their website:

By student reporters Anna Sodahl and Leonie Schuessler