While about 5-12% of Australian military personnel who have experienced active service have PTSD at any one time, this is about the same (10%) as rates for police, ambulance personnel, firefighters and other rescue workers. And while these rates are significant, they are not vastly different to rates in the general Australian population (8% of women and 5% of men).
PTSD is actually most common in populations with a high exposure to forms of complex trauma. This involves multiple, chronic and deliberately inflicted interpersonal traumas (physical and sexual abuse and assaults, emotional abuse, neglect, persecution and torture).
Sex workers, women fleeing domestic violence, survivors of childhood abuse and Indigenous Australians are far more likely to have experienced this complex trauma. In these groups, between 40% and 55% are affected by PTSD.