If the Australian Defence Force wants to retain personnel then returning to the fold after a stint in the mining industry must be made easier, says army boss General David Hurley.
Fairfax Media reports Hurley said the ADF needed to change its attitudes to compete with the lure of high paying mining jobs.
''The attitude of the military used to be that 'oh, you've left the family, we will slam the door on you','' he said.
''Now, we say to people 'look, we recognise at this stage of your life there are other demands, so if you want to go and fly-in and fly-out of Mount Newman or whatever for the next three years, please go and do it, build a nest egg, get the family future sorted out. When you have enough of that life, then the door is always open'.''
News Limited reports statistics show up to 15 per cent of personnel leaving the ADF intend to find work in mining.
According to News Limited Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said tradespeople in the ADF were attractive to the mining industry because they had good discipline and were prepared to travel and live in isolated regions.
Earlier this year veterans from the US military were also targeted for Australian mining jobs at the Skills Australia Needs expo in Houston.