Army25: Our Strategic Five-Year Plan

Chief of Army Foreword

CA, John Boswell

In late 2018 as the incoming Chief of Army, I outlined my vision and the direction I will take our Army over the next three years – leading us to become a modern, agile, highly adaptive, light combat force.

Army has developed that strategic guidance into Army’s strategic plan – ARMY25. The plan outlines the focus we must take, and the lines of effort we must concentrate on to ensure New Zealand Army remains trained, equipped and ready to respond to Government direction for future operations – both within our communities, our region, and around the world.


Our Culture - Our Competitive Advantage

ARMY25 positions the New Zealand Army to serve our nation loyally and honourably in the future operating environment, and it calls on the Courage – Tū Kaha, Commitment – Tū Tika, Comradeship – Tū Tira, and Integrity – Tū Māia of all of New Zealand Army to both support the plan’s change agenda, and optimise the outcomes being sought.

Army25 is strongly aligned to the culture of Ngāti Tūmatauenga. Culture is the ideas, customs and social behaviour required of the New Zealand Army to maintain the highest personal standards, both in war and peace.

The New Zealand Army’s culture also blends the traditions of the Māori warrior and the British soldier - our history, heritage and experience of war - and the characteristics of our wider society. It is the lifeblood of the New Zealand Army, it conveys Army's sense of identity, and it shapes attitudes and behaviours.

Army25 embraces the characteristics of the New Zealand soldier captured in ‘The Way of the New Zealand Warrior’. We are an Army where every opportunity is afforded our soldiers to be the best that they can be - to be world-class. It is competency and character, above all else, that matters.

New Zealand Army understands that our people must live the New Zealand Defence Force core values. A culture of inclusiveness must exist, with diversity being celebrated. Valuing and seeking diversity ensures Army does not restrict who we recruit; rather, it allows every opportunity to attract, retain and maximise the best talent available.

All soldiers are responsible for bringing these values to life every day and ensuring the Army has positive, safe and inclusive workplaces; workplaces where there is no place for those who disrespect, bully or harm others.

People are at the heart of our NZ Army culture. It is this culture of Ngāti Tūmatauenga that has, and always will, give New Zealand Army its competitive advantage.

Our Vision

To be a world-class Army with Mana

The New Zealand Army is founded in our ethos and values, and it is what all soldiers (men and women) aspire to be at all times. To be world-class, New Zealand Army must be amongst the best in the world at everything it does.

Mana incorporates prestige, respect, pride and high status. It is earned and given, and never assumed, taken or afforded by right.

Our Mission

To provide world-class combat ready land forces that are trained, led and equipped to win as part of an Integrated Defence Force

New Zealand Chief of Defence Force's (CDF's) intent is to deliver an ‘Integrated Defence Force’ by 2025. For Army to achieve our part in CDF's plan, and remain operationally relevant, it must be a modern, agile, highly adaptive, light combat force.

It is essential that New Zealand Army remain combat ready and continue to provide conventional and special operations forces able to operate in all environments and across the spectrum of conflict.

World-class is as much a mind-set as it is a standard. To be world-class in the eyes of New Zealanders, allies and partners, and even adversaries, New Zealand Army must strive for excellence in everything it does.

Chief of Army's intent


New Zealand Army must remain future focused, while continuously improving and evolving its combat capabilities in order to meet the challenges of technological change, well concealed highly capable adversaries and an increasingly complex and urbanised operating environment.



  • Think smart, fight smart
  • Enhanced decision-making ability


  • Mission command
  • Across the spectrum of operations

New Zealand soldiers must be agile – of both thought and action. Soldiers must, at all levels and at all times, think smart and fight smart. They must be prepared to cope with the speed and vast quantities of information that will be prevalent in the future operating environment. All Commanders, regardless of rank or appointment, must be able to lead effectively in rapidly evolving environments – mission command will only become more important.


  • Flexible, scalable, expeditionary
  • Mission-specific Task Force approach

One of Army's strengths must become its ‘plug and play’ mentality using the capability bricks and mission specific task force approach to operations. New Zealand Army must be flexible, rapidly scalable, and able to adapt to a situation in order to both understand it and generate the desired effects. While Army retains its current structure based around 1 (NZ) Brigade , New Zealand Army must be able to rapidly task-organise itself, as often as needed, to achieve mission success.


  • Light infantry, armour and artillery, along with Special Operations Forces (SOF) provide Army’s core combat capability
  • Supported by Agile and responsive support and sustainment forces – well prepared, technologically advanced, capable of operating in an austere environment
  • A manoeuverist approach to war-fighting

The Multi-Role Battalion Group, in concert with the Special Operations Task Group, are Army’s benchmark for generating operational forces. Together they provide government with light combat forces that can effectively respond to required demands.

Our Strategic vision

Army25 can also be shown in the form of a Strategic ‘whare’ (a communal house) which is one way of explaining Army’s plan.

What is important with this ‘whare’ is Army’s foundation, it is what we dowho we are and the services we provide is our Ethos and Values - Our Culture” ‒ Major General John Boswell, Chief of Army.

It is what sets Army apart from others, it’s the core and foundation of everything Army does and who we are as an Army and as New Zealanders. It is ‘Our Competitive Edge’.

The pillars of this whare are our targeted investment areas (PEOPLE, INFORMATION, RELATIONSHIPS, CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENT) that come together to bring us the strategic outcome of a Modern, Agile, Highly Adaptive, Light Combat Force in order to achieve our mission and vision.


BY 2025:



This page was last amended on 13 May 2020