Australia looking for a few good U.S. troops
Australian Navy and Army troops perform during an a 2011 airshow in Geelong, Australia.
May 8th, 2012
07:40 AM ET

Australia looking for a few good U.S. troops

Prospective U.S. military recruits have long been told "Uncle Sam wants you!"

Well, Stars and Stripes reports Tuesday that Australia wants you even more and is willing to pay for it.

"The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) welcomes enquiries from both officers and sailors who are interested in a new career and new life in Australia," the Australian Navy's website says.

The U.S. ally down under is seeking everything from submariners to doctors at ranks from enlisted to officers in all branches of its services and salaries can be substantially higher, according to the Stars and Stripes report.

A staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force with six years of service makes $31,946 while a corporal in the Royal Australian Air Force makes  $57,277 in U.S. dollars, Stripes reports. The difference is pay for an officer is less, but Australia still comes out on top, with a U.S. Air Force captain earning $63,263 and the Australian equivalent, a flight lieutentant, making $66,417 in U.S. dollars.

Stripes points out that Australia's economy, boosted by Chinese demand for its mineral exports, is in better shape than many other areas of the world.

Australia is seeking experienced applicants only and has a program in place to grant permanent residency to foreign passport holders.

Australia has signed on about 500 foreigners from the U.S., Canada, Britain and New Zealand in the past five years, according to the report.

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Filed under: Australia • Military
soundoff (337 Responses)
  1. fedupwithla

    This is one way to emigrate to Australia. Why the h*ll stay in the U.S.? If this is one way to get out of here, I would take it.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Lebowski

      See ya.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rj

      I would say this is a good deal but Australia is very racist for one and a nicer place to visit than to actually live.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Vinny

    Australia has overtaken US in terms of obesity. Now they want to beat us in military power.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    The article is a bit misleading in the salary category. Its only talking base salary. Being a military officer, I can tell you my base is around 63K, however, with housing allowance, food allowance, and other allowances – I actually get about 83K...and the allowances are not taxable under law. For a true comparison, they need to list the allowances after base salary Aussie's receive...and if they are taxable.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Archibald

      Very good point. It would be interesting to see a more complete comparison.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. HenryMiller

    FWIW, the few times I've been there, I thought Australia was a lovely place. In particular, I like Melbourne.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Don't you have to be an Australian citizen how do they get around that law, odd? What happens if you do not want to make a career out of joining or after your stay can you still live there? I was in Australia and was told I could only stay there for a specific time and would have to leave for a short time and then re-enter in staying agin for a short time.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • richp

      You must not have had a desirable career. They used to import teachers from the US and included a house as part of the package, engineers and scientists too. That was a couple of decades ago. While I was in the Navy my sub went there several times and I liked it but never managed to get back there. The part I always found funny about it was comparing the poisonous critters between the US and there. Out of 500 450 are poisonous there vs maybe 25 here in the US. I would find it a nuisance to have to check my jeeps engine compartment for brown snakes every time I wanted to check the oil.
      The enlistments in the Aussie military are different too, I seem to remember 10 years was the minimum while talking with other bubble heads, however they did have a rum ration :-)))

      May 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen sivonda

      Perhaps you didn't read to the bottom of the article. They'll grant perm. residency to those that wish. As a tourist , as you say , you can only stay a certain amout of time, and have to be out a certain amount. N.Z. has 6 months stay out of a year max. Hope that helped.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • BogusBasin

      You don't even have to be a citizen to serve in the US military. I know. I supervised Airmen that weren't citizens. Even some that didn't command very good English. It was a pain because there were certain tasks they weren't allowed to do, so I had to do it for them. Like transporting Classified equipment.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      The article stated that people enlisting in a branch of the Aussie Military are granted permanent residency. I suspect that if you choose not to remain there upon leaving their military you can still return to the USA because you do not give up your US Citizenship when you go there to join their military.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Paul Willson

    Please of the 4 nations who have had people hired by Australia 3 are fellow Commenwealth nations . Americans would like Australia but isn't joing a forgien military forbidden by US law ? Even if thae hiring state is an ally ?

    May 8, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Not that I'm aware of. Quite a lot of US airmen joined the RAF during the Battle of Britain before the U.S. entered WWII. The law may have changed since then, though.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      No its not illegal, just think Rahm Emmanuel joined and fought with the IDF. There are many examples of US citizens joining foreign militaries.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen sivonda

      I was in the submarine service during the early 60's, and we hd a Canadian, and a Chilean serving aboard my boat. I really don't believe Australia would be a problem. Although I understand there is something about voting in a foreign countries elections that I seem to recall from civics in grade school, which is a no-no.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Buzz Mann

      Plenty of Americans in the French Foreign Legion.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sydney was great...

    Lived and worked in Sydney for a while. I've always regretted coming back (family necessity). Awesome place to live, but (as with anywhere else in the world) there are challenges.

    Like bacon. You can't find American style bacon there. Sigh.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen sivonda

      Hell mate, just throw a fw more shrim on the barbie...

      May 8, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Earnán M

      You've just identified a business opportunity. This could be your chance to go back and make a fortune. "They call him the 'bacon king'..."

      May 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. maximusvad

    Australia values their people more than their money... The U.S. could learn something.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • NoAussieFan

      Not true–look how long it took for them to own up to how wrong they were when they took aboriginal children away from their families and sent them to missions to learn to be slaves to the affluent. They only apologized for it 4 or 5 years ago.

      May 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cando

    Went there for 2 weeks on vacation. Cost of living is considerably higher and will wipe out any additional salary. Its a beautiful country but, dont be fooled by the higher salaries.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • maximusvad

      Higher pay, more vacation time per year, medical care paid for.... It's better than in the U.S.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen sivonda

      yes, the cost of living may be higher...like petrol for one thing. But , if you want adventure, I would go for it. Also, the country does have a lot of poisonous snakes and spiders. I have a high regard for their PM. She's tough on immigration.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. Greek American

    I'm pretty sure since we are stable allies with Australia, that it is possible to get a dual citizenship perhaps? I know that it can now be done with many EU countries, where long ago this wasn't possible.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. STEELWOLVES

    Sounds like an idea. I would consider it myself. Australia may well be a new promised land.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. DM

    Better pay and a different challenge in a pretty cool location. What's not to like?

    May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Quest Shun

    From a spoof ad:

    "Hurry up and join us! Don't worry if we're a bit mongy! There's only two of us left! Hurry!"

    May 8, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. denroy

    Australia is a great place to visit but as for living there – no thanks!

    May 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jason Kendle

    They are looking for Sailors. This article says they are looking for US troops, which implies that a soldier could apply.
    I went to the website, and all they are looking for is sailors, which is great if you are a sailor.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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