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. mm

    Although the actual pay for our US military appears low, there is no mention of the cost of benefits both while active and inactive.
    No mention if Australia offers any benefits at all.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z_2k

      Yes, one would have to consider the entire 'package' including taxes , allotments for housing if married, etc. etc. The pay difference is not the entire story.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • surforia

      Australia (unlike the U.S.) has universal healthcare, and it is some of the best in the world.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Ruth

      Are you kidding me? Australian people have more rights and benefits than the US, as a matter of fact many countries out do you in healthcare, education, crime rate, etc,..

      May 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ltcoljpm

      @Dr Ruth – really Australian people have more rights? They don't even have the right to keep and bear arms. The population has become defenseless – only criminals have guns in Australia.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. halfpint

    Where do we sign up? Sounds good to me!

    May 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Keith

    If you are going to fight might as well make a living too.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    And how is the cost of living compare to the U.S.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      pretty comparable

      May 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    and you get to wear a sharp hat.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Boo

    At least if they go to Australia they don't have to worry about fighting another new war every couple of years like this stupid country does.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • unixpeep

      Not true. Many of the Australian Home Defense have server multiple tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán M

      Australia was/is right alongside the US in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Plus a few "adventures" of their own in East Timor and various Pacific island nations.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chilly g


    May 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dr. Ruth

    I may sign up.. I am looking for my thong, australian beaches are great....

    May 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Early

    Im a actuve duty hospitol corpsman where can i sign up

    May 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Celeste

    Uhh, factually this is inaccurate... They're only accounting for base pay on the Staff Sergeant figure, not BAH and BAS which brings your pay up considerably even without dependents. My husband clears about $51,000/year as an Army Sergeant with those factored in, which is the same rank as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, (E5). With all those factors in my area the pay should be $47,179.68/year with no dependents including BAH & BAS. Bad fact checking CNN, just saying... But it does seem like it could be a neat way to experience another country!

    May 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NoAussieFan

    Sounds like Australia needs some smart people in their country–or why would they be recruiting from outside? I personally don't like Australians–beware that they refer to Americans as "septics". They would refer to an expat as a septic behind his back, while smiling to his face. When China hogs all their resources and starts bullying them, then where will they be?

    May 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Neeve

    Celeste, good point about the money, except your last statement, "...could be a neat way to experience another country." This involves revoking US citizenship, and you get to "experience" Australia for good.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Celeste

      I was just giving a warm fuzzy to the negatives I pointed out :p I don't really think it's a good idea at all.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbmart1312

      you can have dual citizenship and I don't think the US is going to dis-own you for joining the Austrailian military. But one would want to understand exactly what they are getting into before making a decision.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      No it doesn't you have to join with the intent to relinquish citizenship per the U.S. supreme court, unless it's a hostile government.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Susan

    As a former military wife, I can tell those of you discussing the "other" benefits, they are a pittance. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I loved what we were doing and I loved the commitment to our country. The pay, however, does not become "worth it" until you have about 8 to 10 years in.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán M

      It sounds like the Aussies are looking for mid-level NCOs, not privates. So we're talking about E6 and up, over 8. Who are making decent pay in the US when BAS and BAH are included.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheThinker

    There's got to be a "Darwin Award" joke in here, but I can't quite compose it... Australia: where a Darwin Award is a GOOD thing. Oh, I got one: Why did the Siamese Twins go to Australia??.... So that the OTHER one could drive! Wait, here it comes: Australians must be geneticists because they're paying for American seamen.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jimbo84

    I was stationed in Australia with my family (4 kids) – in Sydney for 3 years during the late 90's as part of our militarys' personal exchange program. It was a great experience for all of us – and, I hate to say it; the nicest place we've ever lived. Great people, great work ethic (a lot of emphasis on family time, you're expected to take leave, etc), lots to do and see – and incredible beaches...I really enjoyed my time in the Aussie Navy – and wish I weren't 57 – I'd jump on this.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
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