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Alumni Spotlight: Alexei Bibikov's Career Journey with the Australian Defence Force

The Career Services Department recently received an update from Alexei Bibikov, a Class of 2023 graduate, detailing the exciting beginnings of his career with the Australian Defence Force (ADFA).

After graduating from Our Lady of Mercy College in December 2023, he is now studying a Bachelor of Business at the ADF Academy in Canberra.

In his correspondence, Alexei shares his experiences navigating the transition from civilian to military life, shedding light on the training and unique challenges he faces.

Alexei aspires to ultimately become a Helicopter Pilot with the Australian Army.

He also acknowledges the positive impact of the career guidance received from the college's Career Services Team, led by Mr Briers.


Alexei attended an ADF Careers presentation at the College in 2022.


Dear Mr Briers,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to reach out and express my gratitude for the invaluable assistance that you provided throughout the past several years. The guidance and support you provided was instrumental in helping me navigate the rigorous pilot selection process.

I recall promising occasional updates and photographs, so please continue to read below.

As you may already know, I was successful in my application for an Army Pilot position and am now studying for a Bachelor of Business at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. 


Last month, I completed Year One Familiarisation Training (YOFT), which entailed four weeks of basic military training, including introduction to military life, physical training, leadership development, weapons training, and much more. Overall, YOFT provided me with a well-rounded foundation into military life. It is designed to lay the groundwork for future success as officers in the ADF and assisted with transition between civilian into military life.


At the conclusion of YOFT (24 Feb), Year One Trainee Officers were formally introduced into the academy in the form of the Chief of Defence Force parade. If you are interested, the parade is available for viewing online via

The CDF parade marked the conclusion of 'initial military training' whilst also commencing the academic year. I have since been studying for a Bachelor of Business. Trainee Officers (TOs) are also required to undergo Joint Military Education & Training (JMET). JMET provides TOs comprehensive knowledge regarding military history, ethics & leadership.


I also wanted to give an insight into the future and what training will look like for me over the next several years. Upon graduation from ADFA, I will be posted to RMC (Royal Military College, Canberra) for eight months, which is the primary officer training institution for the Australian Army. It provides comprehensive training and education to prepare officer cadets for leadership roles within the Army.

Upon graduation from RMC, I will be posted to RAAF Base East Sale to undergo initial flight training on the PC-21 aircraft. Number One Flight Training School (1FTS) will introduce trainee pilots to the fundamentals of flying. Ground training will cover Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems, Airmanship, Air Power, Air Traffic Control, Aviation Medicine, Cockpit Systems, Meteorology, Morse Code, and Navigation. The flying disciplines at 1FTS include General Flying (GF), Instrument Flying (IF), Night Flying (NF) and an introduction to medium-level visual Navigation (NAV). GF includes manoeuvres such as flying circuits, aerobatics, stalling and emergency handling.

Upon graduation from 1FTS, I will post to HMAS Albatross for the Rotary Pilot Course. During this course, I will receive approximately 87 live flying hours and 77 simulator hours in the EC135 helicopter and full mission flight simulator. The course builds on the experience gained in the basic pilot course with the aim of providing the skills, knowledge, attitude, and other attributes necessary for trainee Army pilots to commence operational-type training. Pilots will receive day and night NVD flight operations, including low-level terrain flight, ship-deck landings, hoisting, load lifting, confined area operations, maritime Hi-line transfers, IF, formation flight and extensive emergency and malfunction training.

Graduation from the Rotary Pilot course will informally conclude the 'training component' of rotary pilot training. Following graduation, I will post to an operational aviation regiment to conduct conversion training on a particular airframe. Dependent on my performance throughout pilot training and overall suitability, I will be allocated to one of the following: CH-47F Chinook, UH-60M Blackhawks or AH-64 Apache's.


Thank you once again for your unwavering support and guidance. Your impact on my life and career is immeasurable, and I am forever grateful for the role you've played in helping me fulfil my aspirations. Please know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.


Lastly, please feel free to reach out if students are ever interested in a career in defence. I am willing to give advice and provide resources to anyone, anytime.

Kind regards,

Alexei Bibikov


For further information regarding careers with the Australian Defence Force, please contact the Career Services Department at the College.


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