The Army is confident that a change in its recruitment process for Special Air Service members will not result in sub-standard soldiers.
The New Zealand military will now allow new recruits to apply for the Special Air Service (SAS) instead of making entry exclusive to experienced members.
Director of Recruiting for the Army, Major Helen Horn, told TV ONE's Breakfast that the Army trialled the new recruitment process and there were number of successful applicants.
"What this does is potentially give people broader options when they are considering joining the Army," she said.
The change will mean that anyone who would like to be part of the SAS can apply, but Horn says the applicant will have to go through the same rigourous process that the experienced soldiers do.
"The selection standards are absolutely the same, there is no intent to change that, there is a good reason why they exist."
Horn says there is no shortage of recruits in general for the Army, especially for positions where the entry standards are lower.
"But, we have to work really hard to bring in talent for our technical and highly skilled trades," she said.
She expects that the change will lead to an increase in applications and does not believe that recent publicity around SAS soldiers in Afghanistan will deter people from applying.
Pictures of soldiers in combat were carried by some New Zealand media last month, a move slammed by the Defence Force and Prime Minister John Key who said that it put their lives at risk.
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