About Us

The Defence Employer Support Council (DESC) is appointed by the Minister of Defence and is independent of the New Zealand Defence Force.


Our mission statement is:

To increase awareness and engagement between the New Zealand Defence Force, Civilian Employers and the wider Business Community.


The focus of the DESC is for members to use their knowledge, networks and experience to:

  1. Engage with the employers of Reserve Force members and New Zealand Cadet Force officers
  2. Open doors to civilian employment opportunities for members of the:
    1. Limited Service Volunteer programme,
    2. New Zealand Cadet Forces; and
    3. Regular Force members who are transitioning from the NZDF; and to
  3. Foster relationships with employers to identify potential NZDF opportunities where members with unique skills are needed by the NZDF



  • Promote to New Zealand businesses and organisations the many benefits that Defence People can bring
  • Promote awareness of the DESC to the Reserve Forces
  • Provide advice to the Minister of Defence
  • Support good relations between reservists, cadet force officers and their civilian employers.
  • Support strategic partnerships between NZDF, government agencies and civilian employers


The NZDF personnel that we support include:

  • Reserve Forces
  • Cadet force officers
  • Graduates of NZDF Youth Programmes and;
  • Service leavers (ex-military)