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Military CareersApprentice Military Aircraft Technician

The Air Corps is now accepting applications for the Apprentice Military Aircraft Technician scheme. We are looking for motivated people who enjoy working as part of a Team.

Successful candidates will become an integral part of the Air Corps maintenance team providing technical support to the Air Corps fleet.

Successful candidates will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Military Aviation Technology Level 7 (Tech), accredited by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Read the Terms & Conditions (PDF 627Kb)

The closing date for this competition 23.59Hrs on August 10th, 2017.

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Defence Forces FAQ

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Can I do work experience with the Defence Forces?

From time to time, selected students may undergo periods of work experience within the Defence Forces.

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How can I find archived information about a relative who once served in the Defence Forces?

All requests of this nature are handled by Military Archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, Dublin 6. Please ensure you examine any Next Of Kin (NOK) requirements as these are necessary and will save you time with your request. Also please see the FAQ section on the Military Archives page of the website.

NAVAL SERVICE FAQ

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What is the Naval Service?

The NS is a component of the Irish defence Forces of which the President of Ireland is the Commander and Chief. The NS is commanded by FOCNS who is based in Naval HQ at the Naval Base, Haulbowline in Cork Harbour. The Naval Service has over 1,100 personnel of all ranks. We currently operate eight modern ships, L.E. Eithne, L.E. Niamh, L.E. Róisín, L.E. Aisling L.E. Aoife, L.E. Emer, L.E. Ciara and L.E. Orla. The prefix L.E. stands for Long Eireannach. The NS is the principal sea going agency of the state and is charged with Maritme Defence, Fishery protection, Contraband Interdiction Duties, SAR and enforcing Irish and EU laws/ legislation with the Irish Economic Zone. This zones currently extends to 132,000 square miles. This area is approximately 5 times the size of Ireland, and amounts to approximately 16% of all EU waters.

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Is a Naval Career Exciting?

Yes.  Life in the Naval Service can never be described as dull.  You will be performing a valuable job in an organisation that will maximise your development and potential.  We will train you in every aspect of Military and Naval life to prepare you to carry out the duties required of you, with the best equipment available in the market place.  There is plenty of variety and opportunities available in the Naval Service.  Foreign Deployments on Naval Ships and foreign Service with United Nations Missions may form part of your Naval Career.  No two days will ever be the same.

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Will I need to be very fit to join the Naval Service?

No.  You are not expected to be very fit when you join.  A fitness assessment will be carried out as part of the selection process along with an Interview and Medical Examination.  People with low fitness levels will be given every opportunity to reach higher levels of fitness with the assistance of qualified Physical Fitness Instructors (PTI’s).  Applicants are expected however to be able to complete a run of 1.5 miles (13 minutes in the case of Female Applicants), and (11.5 minutes in the case of Male Applicants).  You will also be given 1 minute to complete 20 ‘push-ups’ and 1 minute to complete 20 ‘sit-ups’.

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Will I need to be able to Swim in order to join the Naval Service?

No.  You are not required to be able to swim in order to join the Naval Service.  We will put you through a Basic Swimming Course, and a Sea Survival Course in order to improve your confidence in the water and in using the various survival equipment in use in the Naval Service.

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How can I join the Naval Service?

There are a number of was of joining the Naval Service.  The first method is through General Enlistment as a Recruit.  The second method is through enlisting as an Officer Cadet.  The third method is through various Direct Entry Schemes which run from time to time.

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What is General Enlistment?

General Service Enlistment is joining the Naval Service, initially as a Recruit, for a period of 5 years.  After this initial period, your engagement may be extended subject to certain criteria, e.g. Conduct, Fitness, completion of certain Courses, etc.

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What qualifications do I need to apply?

The qualifications required can change from time to time, but you will be advised on application what the current requirements are.

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How do I apply for General Enlistment?

You can phone 1890-262828 or email navyjobs@defenceforces.ie and get an application posted out to you.  General Enlistment is ongoing throughout the year and a Leaving Certificate is not a requirement.  It is however strongly advised, for your own personal benefit, that you complete your education before you consider enlisting.  This is particularly so as it may impinge on your eligibility for further specialised training within the Naval Service.  For further information on careers in the Defence Forces log on to www.military.ie.

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What does Recruit Training involve?

The Naval Service Recruit undergoes 19 weeks intensive full-time training, during which time he/she is in receipt of a weekly wage, free accommodation and meals.  It is from this springboard that each Naval Rating launches their career.  The steep learning curve involved for the “raw” recruit allows them to show their strengths and qualities, which form the basis for selection for the various Branches of the Service. You will train as part of a Naval Class of Recruits at the Naval College.  Recruit training involves an initial period of 19 weeks of full time training which will prepare you for life in the Naval Service.  You will receive training in Arms Drill, Foot Drill, Marksmanship, Fire Fighting, Damage Control, Weapons Training and Tactical Training.  There will be an emphasis on improving your levels of physical fitness in a measured fashion.  Recruit training is designed to encourage a spirit  of ‘Esprit de Corps’, Comradeship and professionalism that will stand to you throughout your Naval Career but will also be of enormous benefit to you in general.  On successful completion of this period of training you will ‘Pass Out’ as a Naval rating at a Ceremony in Haulbowline and commence more specialised training in the Branch of the Naval Service operational or technical, for which you have been selected.  In time you may be selected for promotion, dependent upon your Performance Appraisal Reports and Service.  Further specialised training within your Branch or Trainee Technician Schemes, which are run in conjunction with FAS to qualify Naval Personnel with recognised Trades, are available to you.

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What is Branch Training?

On successful completion of Recruit training you will be selected, according to your abilities and your preference for one of the four Branches, i.e. Operations or Technical.  There you will receive more specialised training, of varying lengths, before commencing service onboard ship.  You need not overly worry at this stage about which Branch you have chosen as opportunities for inter Branch transfers will arise.


THE FOLLOWING ARE THE RANCHES OF THE NAVAL SERVICE


Operations/Seaman’s Sub Branch

The Seaman Rating specialises either as a Seaman/Gunner or Seaman/Radar Plotter before being posted to a ship.  At sea, the Seaman works on deck with the Bosun and will drive the ships Rigid Inflatable Boats and Boarding Operations.  He/she will become expert in operating all deck machinery involved in launching and recovering ships boats, machinery used for bringing the ship alongside a berth and going to and from anchor.  On the Bridge of the ship, the Seaman will steer the ship according to courses given by the Officer of the Watch, and Seamen/Radar Plotters will assist the Officer of the Watch in calculating tides, correcting Navigation Charts, operating the Radar and other associated tasks.  The Seaman Gunner will from time to time work with the Ships Leading Gunner and will be expected to become expert in all of the ships weapons.  The Seaman whether Gunner or Radar Plotter is highly trained for all tasks expected of them.  When they go to sea for the first time they will probably find their environment completely different to what they are used to.  This is to be expected, as the seagoing lifestyle is both unique and rewarding.  There is a great spirit of camaraderie aboard Naval Service Ships and the more junior members of a ships company can expect every assistance from their colleagues.

Technical Branch (Mechanicians Sub Branch)

A Rating of this Sub Branch is called a Mechanician.  Their era of expertise lies in the engineering spaces of the ship and also in the areas of Firefighting and Damage Control.  As a Mech you have undergone basic Branch Training in the Technical Training Bay of the Naval College.  When you are posted to a ship for the first time you will be working with the Petty Officer Mech, and will be responsible for ensuring that all the equipment in the engine Room is running efficiently, taking regular readings on vital equipment such as Main Engines, Generators, pumps and purifiers.  If working with machinery is your thing, then this might be the career option for you.  The Mech is also responsible for fuelling the ship, taking on water in port, the updating and maintenance of the computerised accountancy system used aboard ship and ensuring that sufficient spare parts are sourced and embarked prior to proceeding on patrol.

Operations Logistics Sub Branch

The Logistics Branch Rating is known as a Supply (“Dusty”).  As such you will work closely with the Supplies NCO aboard and be employed mainly in the catering dept a board.  The catering dept of a ship is especially important to the morale of the Ship’s Company and to maintaining the image of the Naval Service as a professional, hardworking and very capable organisation of young men and women.  If catering is your forte, then this career choice will definitely suit you.

As a Supply Rating aboard a ship, you will enjoy a great deal of variety in your daily work.  You will assist the Supplies NCO (Senior Petty Officer) in updating and maintaining the various computerised accounts pertaining to your department.

Cooks is a Sub-Branch of Logistics and personnel from all Branches of the Naval Service can apply but is particularly suited to personnel who have experience as a Supply Rating.  Training involves two years of training to FETAC standards, some of which is on Block Release.  Naval Cooks enjoy a very high standard of training and are tasked with providing up to three choices of main course for each meal.  As a Naval Chef you will work alongside the other ships’ chefs in the Galley and have a close working relationship with other members of the Catering Department.  Naval Chefs are recognised as being some of the most competent and creative within the Defence Forces, and have completed nationally and internationally at Chef competitions.

Operations Communications Sub Branch

Communications Rating is known as Commops (Communications Operator).  Branch training is conducted in the Communication School, Naval College and in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy, the Commop is trained to operate the full range of communications equipment at the disposal of the Naval Service.  The Naval Service possesses some of the most sophisticated equipment available to any Navy in the world, ranging from the handheld radios used on Boarding Operations to state of the art Satellite Comms equipment.  Commops are also trained in the basic principles of radio wave propagation and the areas of Morse Code and Visual Signalling using flag hoists, etc.  As sea as a Commop you will have a very responsible and challenging role from the outset.  Communications Ratings like most other members of the Ships Company (as the crew are called) operate a watch system of 4 hours on, and eight hours off (on call) around the clock while at sea.





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Are there opportunities to gain other skills – e.g. A Trade?

Serving personnel may apply for and be selected to undergo a wide variety of specialised training.  Examples of this include training as a Naval Diver, Motor Transport Driver, Chef, Clerical/Computer Skills, Emergency Medical Technician, Dental Surgery Assistant, Plant Operator, Rigger, amongst others.  Such training is to a recognised level.  In addition, the NS regularly run competitions from within serving members to select personnel for full-time training in a variety of skills and trades.  At the moment this includes schemes for training IT Support Technicians, Mechanical Technicians, Electrical/Electronic Technicians, Radio/Radar Technicians and Hull Artificers (shipwright/carpenters).  This training is run in conjunction with FAS and various third-level institutions.  All such trainees are in receipt of full pay and allowances while undergoing their course.

IT Support Technician

In the High Tech environment of the Naval Service, the IT Support Technician is a busy person.  The Naval Computer Centre has pioneered innovative designs of software in the past and is at present utilising the most modern software on the market, ranging from PC based applications to the Lirguard Vessel Monitoring System which has revolutionised the way in which Fisheries Protection is carried out.  NS Technicians are trained at an Institute of Technology and Defence Forces Training establishments.  Candidates must meet certain educational standards for selection.

Naval Diver

The Naval Diver is part of a very select team of highly trained, fit and well equipped people.  Whether at sea or ashore the Naval Diver is carrying out vital work searching ships’ hulls, carrying out controlled explosions on suspect objects found at sea or carrying out Search & Rescue operations.  The Naval Diving Section is respected throughout the country for the valuable and often dangerous work which they carry out to the highest professional standards and its members enjoy the highest standard of training which is comparable to Special Forces training in other armed services.  Within the Defence Forces the Naval Diving Section is credited with having about the toughest selection courses of any unit.  The Naval Service selects personnel from within its ranks to become Naval Divers.  There is a stringent twelve week selection course for those who pass the initial fitness and medical examination.  As with other Naval Service training courses students are not expected to have a great knowledge about diving before they commence the course.

Sick Berth Attendant

The SBA (medic) is the backbone of the Naval Service medical service.  The SBA is prepared for and ready to respond to any medical emergency that may arise at sea or ashore.  At sea with responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the entire crew the SBA must rely on his/her training and instinct to keep the Ships company healthy in what is a hostile and challenging environment.  Usually personnel can transfer other branches of the Service when vacancies arise.  Previous medical or paramedic/first aid experience is not a requirement to become an SBA.  Branch Training is carried out in the Defence Forces Training Centre on successful completion of which the SBA will be posted to a Ship for further experience.  Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) qualification can be reached after training is carried out with other emergency services where much experience is gained.  The SBA is a key figure aboard any Naval Ship and other duties include assisting in administrative tasks carried out in the ships regulating office.

Electrical Artificer (EA)

The electricians of the Naval Service are known as EA’s and are trained in conjunction with the FÁS.  The EA is a qualified electrician and electronic technician who maintains all shipboard electrical systems and power supplies.  At sea the EA will follow a planned maintenance routine to ensure that all vital equipment is kept functioning.

Engine Room Artificer (ERA)

The Engine Room Artificer (ERA) is a qualified Diesel Fitter/Turner, trained in conjunction with FÁS and has an in depth knowledge of all the ships engineering equipment.  This includes main engines and auxiliary engineering equipment.  The ERA is one of three ERA Watchkeepers working the Watch System of 4 hours on and 8 hours off (on call) while at sea.  You will be working closely with the Chief Petty Officer ERA and the Marine Engineer Officer.  You will be working with some of the most sophisticated engineering equipment available on the market including PLC computerised monitoring equipment.

Hull Artificer (Shipwright)

Training as a Shipwright is carried out in various Institutes of Technology over a period of three years, on successful completion a recognised carpentry qualification is received.  Summer breaks are spent at the Naval Base and aboard Naval Ships where much practical experience is gained.  At sea the Shipwright is responsible to the Marine Engineer Officer for repair of on board furniture fittings and the implementation of Damage Control precautions when required.

Radio & Radar Technician (RRT)

The RRT is a technician in the Communications Branch, the RRT is responsible for the maintenance of the ships communications equipment and navigation equipment, including RADAR, Satellite Communications Systems, Global Positioning System and Electronic Chart Displays.  Certain educational standards are required for selection and training is up to Ordinary Degree (Level 7 NFQ) in an Institute of Technology.



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Is there opportunity for promotion as a Naval Rating?

Yes.  Promotion within your Branch can be expected, in light of your experience and performance.  You can normally expected promotion to Non Commissioned Officer Rank when you have completed a number of years at sea and proven yourself to be a competent and resourceful Service Rating, subject to recommendation from your Commanding Officer and on completion of the relevant Career courses.  As a Naval Rating you may apply for a Cadetship on the same terms as any other individual, should you wish.  If you have sufficient experience you would be eligible for a bonus mark in the final cadet interview.

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What is a Naval Cadetship?

Cadets are personnel selected for training to become Officer.  A Cadetship involves a 2 year period of full-time training, on successful completion of which you will be Commissioned as a Naval Officer to be trained as either an Operations Branch Officers (Ship Drivers) or Engineering Branch Officers (Ship Maintainers).  After an initial period of 3 months at the Cadet School, Military College, Curragh, where you will learn the basics of Military life alongside your Army and Air Corps colleagues, you will then return to the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork, to continue your training between the Naval College, National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) and Naval Ships.  Naval Training is broken down into short Sea Terms in conjunction with Academic Terms ashore.  In the second year of your cadetship you will commence either a Marine Engineer Degree or a Nautical Science Degree in the NMCI.  Naval Officers and Cadets attending the NMCI will of course receive full pay and entitlements.

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What is the National Maritime College of Ireland?

The NMCI is a new world-class marine training centre.  It is a joint venture between Cork Institute of Technology and the Naval Service.  The college contains some of the most up to date marine training facilities such as bridge simulators, engine room simulators, firefighting facilities, sea survival pools etc.  Naval Service Officers will complete a degree in either marine engineering or nautical science.  For more information on the NMCI visit www.nmci.ie.

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What qualifications do I need to apply for a Cadetship?

The educational qualifications required can change from tie to time, so you are advised to check the current requirements, contained in the booklet entitled “Cadetships in the Defence Forces, Information and Rules”.  This booklet is published in early spring, prior to the commencement of the cadet application process.  All up to date information and conditions can be viewed online at www.military.ie.

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Must these results be at a single sitting of the Leaving Cert?

You must have obtained a minimum of 3 Higher Grade Cs, and 3 Ordinary Level Ds in a single sitting of the Leaving Cert.  However, the specific subjects listed need not be in a single sitting.  For example, if you obtained 3 Higher Cs and 3 Ordinary Ds in one year, but they did not include (for example) Irish, and you sat and obtained a Ordinary D in that subject in another year, that is acceptable.

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What if I have sat exams such as O or A levels instead of the Leaving Cert?

Supply the details of your results or the exam you are sitting, and if they are considered to be equivalent to the Leaving Cert standard set out above, they will be acceptable.


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I am a graduate, can I apply for a Cadetship?

Yes, holders of level 8 degrees from a recognised College/University or level 7 degree in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering meet the educational qualifications required.

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Are the conditions of service the same for Graduates?

Graduates who apply for a Cadetship are awarded additional marks in the competition.  When enlisted they are entitled to a higher pay rate and are commissioned in the rank of Sub Lieutenant rather than Ensign.

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How do I apply for a Naval Cadetship?

Cadetships are advertised every year in January or February through the National Media.  Shortly after applying you will be called for a preliminary screening (March or April).  Preliminary screening involves successful completion of a medical, fitness test and psychometric evaluation before being called for final interview in July.  Successful Cadets commence training in September of each year.  If is strongly advised that you retain a copy of your application form, and any supporting documentation, as this may very well be referred to at your interview.

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Which Cadetship (Operations Branch or Engineering Branch) should I apply for?

You can enter either as an Operations Branch or Engineering Branch Cadet.  The Operations Branch deals with Navigation, Weapons, Logistics and Communications.  Only in this Branch might you eventually become Captain of a State Ship.  The Engineering Branch deals with all the systems which keep the Ship functioning including Main engines, Alternators, Fuel Management, Water Generating Systems, etc. in other words everything that keeps the ship moving, operationally effective and habitable the Marine Engineering Officer is directly responsible to the Captain for Damage Control and Firefighting onboard and the readiness and training of all ships personnel in these areas.   Applicants can apply for both type of Naval Cadetships if they wish.

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Is there opportunity for Promotion as a Naval Officer?

Yes.  On successful completion of first year at NMCI, the Cadet is commissioned on a three year Short Service Commission in the rank of Ensign/Sub Lieutenant (see booklet entitled “Cadetships in the Defence Forces, Information and Rules” for exact details).  Promotion above Lt is subject to vacancies occurring, and competition amongst qualified and recommended Officers.

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How much time will I spend at sea when I complete my Training?

When you complete your training and are posted to one of the Naval Service’s ships, you can expect to spend approximately 180 days at sea in any one year.  A routine patrol is no longer than 4 weeks ( Two 14 day cycles) , after which the ship returns to the Naval Base.  Ships, generally, remain alongside at Naval Base for 2 weeks before commencing the next patrol.  Foreign deployments can range anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months.  The Naval Service Personnel structure is designed around the aspiration for all personnel to serve 2 years in an appointment at sea followed by 2 years in a shore based appointment.  Shore based appointments are designed to support the ships at sea in Training, Administrative or Maintenance roles.

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Will I receive extra pay for Seagoing duties?

Yes.  You can expect to be paid a Patrol Duty Allowance for ever day you spend at sea on patrol. Additional allowances are also paid for personnel performing certain duties, and to those holding certain technical qualifications.

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What skills will I receive in the Naval Service?

The skills you receive in the Naval Service will depend on which Branch you join.  As a matter of course, however, you will receive training in First Aid, Health & Safety issues, Firefighting and Damage Control.  More specialised training, such as Information Technology, Emergency Medical Treatment, Communications, Boat Handling and Heavy Weapons Skills are taught I specialised Branch Training.

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How do I become a Naval Diver?

The Naval Diving Section is recognised throughout all the Emergency Services of the State as a highly efficient and professional component of the Naval Service.  It is similarly recognised as having one of the most rigorous training courses in the Defence Forces and the Country as a whole.  Their work brings them into contact with Emergency Services and the local populace throughout the Country where they are called upon for Search & Rescue Operations or to make safe and dispose of suspicious devices around the Coastline.  This career path is not for the faint hearted and is open to all selected personnel who meet the rigorous medical, physical and military requirements for entry to the Diving Course and once they have completed basic and professional Branch Training, a daily allowance when diving and additional pay are paid to qualified indate Naval Divers.  

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What Financial Package can the Naval Service offer?

Naval Service Personnel are expected to perform to high professional standards in the hostile environment that can exist in the seas off our coastline.  They are expected to maintain and operate modern complex ships in this environment at all times.  They are entrusted with high levels of responsibility at an early age.  In order to compensate for these attributes, Naval Service personnel are paid a wide variety of allowances and their overall remuneration packages are amongst the highest in the Defence Forces.  The attached leaflet will give an indication of typical earning potential for the various grades.

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What if I suffer from Seasickness, can I still join?

Suffering from seasickness is quite normal for the initial couple of days at sea.  It occurs as your body adjusts to the ships motion.  It is quite common for ‘first-trippers’ to suffer from seasickness for the first day or two of their initial patrol.  It very rarely lasts, however, there are cases of people who suffer from chronic seasickness, but it must be stressed that this is rare.  Nevertheless, if you feel that you may suffer from this illness, then you should inform the Medical Officer during your medical examination.

Careers FAQ

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What vision must I have?

Army:

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.  
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Admin):

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.  
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Any Branch other than Admin):

  1. Unaided vision must be not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Night vision must be normal.
  3. Normal colour vision.
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Where can I find an application form to apply to join the Defence Forces?

Application forms to enlist in the Defence Forces are only found on this web site and are ONLY available when the various recruitment competitions are open. The Defence Forces does not accept applications when competitions are no longer active.

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Who can apply for enlistment into the Defence Forces?

  • Irish Citizens
  • A Refugee under the Refugee Act 1996
  • Nationals of EEA States, i.e. The European Economic Area consists of the member states of the European Union along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • Nationals of any other state who are lawfully present in Ireland and have had five (5) years lawful and unbroken residency in the State.
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What circumstances would make a person ineligible for enlistment?

There are a number of situations that would make a person ineligible for enlistment in the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces. Some  examples of these are: - 

 

  • A person discharged from the Defence Forces (Permanent or Reserve) or the Military, Naval Police or Air Service of any other country or state because of misconduct or as a result of being found medically unfit.
  • Persons belonging to An Garda Síochána.
  • A person convicted by a civil court of a serious offence.
  • A person in receipt of a disability pension.
  • A person undergoing an apprenticeship.
  • An asylum seeker.

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I have tattoos can I join the Defence Forces?

Tattoos which appear above the collar of shirt will prohibit entry to the Defence Forces.

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What age do I have to be in order to be enlisted into the Permanent Defence Force?

Applicants for General Service with the Army and Air Corps must be not less than 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for General Service with the Naval Service must be not less than 18 years of age and under 27 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for Air Corps Apprenticeship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 21 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications. In the case of serving Defence Forces personnel applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 23 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for Cadetship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 28 years of age on the date deemed by the terms and conditions.

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What is the difference between enlisting as an Officer Cadet, an Apprentice or General Service?

Cadet – on qualification these individuals become Officers of the Defence Forces.

Apprentice – on qualification these individuals are fully FAS accredited tradespersons who are deployed in the various technical Corps of the Defence Forces.

General Service – on qualification these individuals serve as Soldiers, Sailors or Airmen.

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Do I need my Leaving Certificate to apply for General Service?

No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. However, you must satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.

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What are the Educational qualifications for an Officer Cadetship?

School Leavers/Non-Graduates Army & Air Corps:

Candidates for Army and Air Corps must possess a minimum of Grade C3 in 3 Higher Level papers and Grade D3 in 3 Ordinary/Higher level papers, in a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination. Leaving Certificate Applied does not qualify for this competition.

Each candidate for Army (Line) & Air Corps must possess a minimum of Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics.
  2. Irish (NUI Matriculation exemptions apply).
  3. English. (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with the NUI Matriculations Regulations)
  4. Third language (accepted for NUI Matriculation Registration purposes NUI matriculation exemptions apply).
  5. Any two Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduates Army & Air Corps:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subject

  1. Mathematics.
  2. Irish (NUI Matriculation exemptions apply).
  3. English (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with the NUI Matriculations Regulations).
  4. Any three Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduate candidates must also have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed an Honours Bachelor Degree programme at pass or honours level (level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications).

School Leavers/Non-Graduates Naval Service Operations/Marine

Engineering: -

Candidates must posses a minimum of Grade C3 in 3 Higher Level papers and Grade D3 in 3 Ordinary/Higher level papers, in a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination. Leaving Certificate Applied does not qualify for this competition.

Each candidate for Naval Service Cadetships must posses a minimum of Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics (In the case of Candidates applying for a Marine Engineering Cadetship this must be a minimum of grade C3 in a Higher Level paper).
  2. Irish. (NUI matriculation exemptions apply)
  3. English. (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with NUI Matriculations Regulations)
  4. Any three Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduates Naval Service Operations/Marine Engineering:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics. (In the case of Candidates applying for a Marine Engineering Cadetship, and who hold a Degree in a discipline other than Engineering, this must be a minimum of grade C3 in a Higher Level paper).
  2. Irish or English.
  3. Any four Matriculation subjects not already selected. 

AND

Must have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed a Bachelor Degree programme at level 8 or higher of the National Framework of Qualifications.

OR

hold a Diploma with merit or distinction (from a recognised institution) in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering for Operations Branch and Engineering Branch Cadetships respectively as awarded to the end of 2004, or with effect from 2005, have successfully completed an ordinary degree course (level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications) (from a recognised institution) in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering for Operations Branch and Engineering Branch Cadetships respectively.

Naval Service Electrical Engineering:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Irish or English.
  3. Any four Matriculation subjects not already selected.

AND

Must have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed a Bachelor Degree (Honours) programme at level 8 or higher of the National Framework of Qualifications in either Electrical or Electronic Engineering.

The Degree at Level 8 must be accredited with Engineers Ireland (EI).

*PLEASE NOTE. Applications for all categories of Cadetships are invited from persons who have applied to sit for examinations in the competition year as will enable them to satisfy the minimum educational qualifications criteria as specified above. 

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I have a criminal record. Can I join the Defence Forces?

The Defence Forces has a high dependence on trust and looks for individuals who are trustworthy and reliable. For this reason, all applicants undergo security vetting by An Garda Síochána, and any convictions are assessed on the severity of the offence.

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What will my everyday life in the Defence Forces be like?

One of the key things about life in the Army is that your job will vary and you’ll be doing many different things. While you are on a base, your job is pretty much like any other 9 to 5 job. But you’ll also spend time away from the base, training either elsewhere in Ireland or deployed overseas.

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Will I be able to stay in touch with family and friends while completing my initial training course?

While you’re undertaking your training, you will be given plenty of time to remain in contact with family and friends.

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How long can I stay in the Defence Forces?

For those enlisted for General Service, you can initially serve for a period of five (5) years. For those enlisted under the Cadetship and Apprentice schemes, you can serve for twelve years (12). These periods of service are dependent on you passing your initial training course, maintain your medical grading and service efficiency.

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I play sport at a competitive level. Can I keep playing while in the Army?

If you’re playing top-level sports of any kind, the Defence Forces will ensure, where possible, you get the opportunity to compete. The Defence Forces has sportsmen and women who compete at national and international, as well as fulfilling their regular duties.

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What are the height requirements?

The height requirement for all candidates wishing to enlist in the Defence Forces is that they must be a minimum of 157.48cm. 

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Is there a medical examination and physical test?

An offer of appointment in the Defence Forces is conditional on the passing of both a medical examination and a physical fitness test prior to enlistment.

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I have heard that the Defence Forces uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) as one means of determining medical eligibility. Can you explain this?

The BMI is calculated by the formula: weight (kilograms) divided by height (metres) squared, i.e. kg/m2, and is a guideline of an appropriate range of body weight with respect to minimising certain health risks.

Under 17: you will be assessed by the examining medical officer in order to determine whether you could cope with the demands of training.

17 to 29: You fall within the acceptable range for entry.

30 and above: Is not acceptable for entry into the Defence Forces and youwill be classified as medically unfit.

*Please note that the BMI result is indicative only, other factors affect the result. An initial failure of the BMI in the case, for example, of well muscled but short rugby player will result in a Body Fat Composition Test being used in lieu of the BMI test.

Read more about Defence Forces Fitness testing.

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What is the Physical Fitness Induction Test

This test is designed to test the candidate’s current level of physical fitness, the candidate displays to the Board his/her capacity to undergo the rigours of military training.

It is composed of two aspects:

  • Local Muscular Endurance.
  • Aerobic Endurance.

Local Muscular Endurance

  • Males - 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups.
  • Females - 20 push-ups (Modified) and 20 sit-ups.

Max time allowed 1 minute. This is a Pass or Fail test.

Aerobic Endurance

Candidates will be required to run one and a half (1 & 1/2) miles within the Defence Forces time limit below.These are the max times allowed. This is a Pass or Fail test.

  • Males - 11 Mins 40 secs
  • Females - 13 Mins 10 Secs.
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What are my leave entitlements?

General Service personnel and Apprentices:
Personnel are entitled to 28 days annual leave.

Officers and Officer Cadets:
Annual leave to the extent of 31 days may be granted to cadets and junior officers. Senior officers (Commandant and higher ranks) may be granted 43 days leave.

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Will I have to live in barracks?

General Service personnel & Apprentices:
Personnel will be required to live in barracks throughout the period of initial training. Upon completion of this training personnel can apply to live outside of the barracks

Officers and Officer Cadets:
Personnel will be required to live in barracks throughout the course of initial training. Upon commissioning, Officers can apply to live outside of the barracks.

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Will I have to go overseas?

 

Overseas Service is deemed mandatory for all personnel in the Defence Forces.

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How do I join the Army Ranger Wing?

Personnel may apply, after successful completion of initial training, to undergo the Army Ranger Wing Selection Course.  If the applicant is deemed successful on this course, he/she will then become a member of the Army Ranger Wing.

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Can I apply for the Army Ranger Wing if I’m in the RDF?

No, only members of the Permanent Defence Forces are eligible to apply for the Army Ranger Wing

 

 

GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR FAQ

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What vision must I have?

Army:

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.  
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Admin):

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.  
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Any Branch other than Admin):

  1. Unaided vision must be not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Night vision must be normal.
  3. Normal colour vision.
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Where can I find an application form to apply to join the Defence Forces?

Application forms to enlist in the Defence Forces are only found on this web site and are ONLY available when the various recruitment competitions are open. The Defence Forces does not accept applications when competitions are no longer active.

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Who can apply for enlistment into the Defence Forces?

  • Irish Citizens
  • A Refugee under the Refugee Act 1996
  • Nationals of EEA States, i.e. The European Economic Area consists of the member states of the European Union along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • Nationals of any other state who are lawfully present in Ireland and have had five (5) years lawful and unbroken residency in the State.
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What circumstances would make a person ineligible for enlistment?

There are a number of situations that would make a person ineligible for enlistment in the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces. Some  examples of these are: - 

 

  • A person discharged from the Defence Forces (Permanent or Reserve) or the Military, Naval Police or Air Service of any other country or state because of misconduct or as a result of being found medically unfit.
  • Persons belonging to An Garda Síochána.
  • A person convicted by a civil court of a serious offence.
  • A person in receipt of a disability pension.
  • A person undergoing an apprenticeship.
  • An asylum seeker.

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I have tattoos can I join the Defence Forces?

Tattoos which appear above the collar of shirt will prohibit entry to the Defence Forces.

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What age do I have to be in order to be enlisted into the Permanent Defence Force?

Applicants for General Service with the Army and Air Corps must be not less than 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for General Service with the Naval Service must be not less than 18 years of age and under 27 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for Air Corps Apprenticeship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 21 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications. In the case of serving Defence Forces personnel applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 23 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for Cadetship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 28 years of age on the date deemed by the terms and conditions.

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What is the difference between enlisting as an Officer Cadet, an Apprentice or General Service?

Cadet – on qualification these individuals become Officers of the Defence Forces.

Apprentice – on qualification these individuals are fully FAS accredited tradespersons who are deployed in the various technical Corps of the Defence Forces.

General Service – on qualification these individuals serve as Soldiers, Sailors or Airmen.

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Do I need my Leaving Certificate to apply for General Service?

No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. However, you must satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.

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What are the Educational qualifications for an Officer Cadetship?

School Leavers/Non-Graduates Army & Air Corps:

Candidates for Army and Air Corps must possess a minimum of Grade C3 in 3 Higher Level papers and Grade D3 in 3 Ordinary/Higher level papers, in a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination. Leaving Certificate Applied does not qualify for this competition.

Each candidate for Army (Line) & Air Corps must possess a minimum of Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics.
  2. Irish (NUI Matriculation exemptions apply).
  3. English. (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with the NUI Matriculations Regulations)
  4. Third language (accepted for NUI Matriculation Registration purposes NUI matriculation exemptions apply).
  5. Any two Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduates Army & Air Corps:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subject

  1. Mathematics.
  2. Irish (NUI Matriculation exemptions apply).
  3. English (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with the NUI Matriculations Regulations).
  4. Any three Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduate candidates must also have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed an Honours Bachelor Degree programme at pass or honours level (level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications).

School Leavers/Non-Graduates Naval Service Operations/Marine

Engineering: -

Candidates must posses a minimum of Grade C3 in 3 Higher Level papers and Grade D3 in 3 Ordinary/Higher level papers, in a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination. Leaving Certificate Applied does not qualify for this competition.

Each candidate for Naval Service Cadetships must posses a minimum of Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics (In the case of Candidates applying for a Marine Engineering Cadetship this must be a minimum of grade C3 in a Higher Level paper).
  2. Irish. (NUI matriculation exemptions apply)
  3. English. (Candidates whose first language is not English must satisfy the English language requirements in accordance with NUI Matriculations Regulations)
  4. Any three Matriculation subjects not already selected.

Graduates Naval Service Operations/Marine Engineering:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics. (In the case of Candidates applying for a Marine Engineering Cadetship, and who hold a Degree in a discipline other than Engineering, this must be a minimum of grade C3 in a Higher Level paper).
  2. Irish or English.
  3. Any four Matriculation subjects not already selected. 

AND

Must have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed a Bachelor Degree programme at level 8 or higher of the National Framework of Qualifications.

OR

hold a Diploma with merit or distinction (from a recognised institution) in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering for Operations Branch and Engineering Branch Cadetships respectively as awarded to the end of 2004, or with effect from 2005, have successfully completed an ordinary degree course (level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications) (from a recognised institution) in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering for Operations Branch and Engineering Branch Cadetships respectively.

Naval Service Electrical Engineering:

Candidates must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in the following Ordinary/Higher level subjects:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Irish or English.
  3. Any four Matriculation subjects not already selected.

AND

Must have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005, candidates will have successfully completed a Bachelor Degree (Honours) programme at level 8 or higher of the National Framework of Qualifications in either Electrical or Electronic Engineering.

The Degree at Level 8 must be accredited with Engineers Ireland (EI).

*PLEASE NOTE. Applications for all categories of Cadetships are invited from persons who have applied to sit for examinations in the competition year as will enable them to satisfy the minimum educational qualifications criteria as specified above. 

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I have a criminal record. Can I join the Defence Forces?

The Defence Forces has a high dependence on trust and looks for individuals who are trustworthy and reliable. For this reason, all applicants undergo security vetting by An Garda Síochána, and any convictions are assessed on the severity of the offence.

fold faq

What will my everyday life in the Defence Forces be like?

One of the key things about life in the Army is that your job will vary and you’ll be doing many different things. While you are on a base, your job is pretty much like any other 9 to 5 job. But you’ll also spend time away from the base, training either elsewhere in Ireland or deployed overseas.

fold faq

Will I be able to stay in touch with family and friends while completing my initial training course?

While you’re undertaking your training, you will be given plenty of time to remain in contact with family and friends.

fold faq

How long can I stay in the Defence Forces?

For those enlisted for General Service, you can initially serve for a period of five (5) years. For those enlisted under the Cadetship and Apprentice schemes, you can serve for twelve years (12). These periods of service are dependent on you passing your initial training course, maintain your medical grading and service efficiency.

fold faq

I play sport at a competitive level. Can I keep playing while in the Army?

If you’re playing top-level sports of any kind, the Defence Forces will ensure, where possible, you get the opportunity to compete. The Defence Forces has sportsmen and women who compete at national and international, as well as fulfilling their regular duties.

fold faq

What are the height requirements?

The height requirement for all candidates wishing to enlist in the Defence Forces is that they must be a minimum of 157.48cm. 

fold faq

Is there a medical examination and physical test?

An offer of appointment in the Defence Forces is conditional on the passing of both a medical examination and a physical fitness test prior to enlistment.

fold faq

I have heard that the Defence Forces uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) as one means of determining medical eligibility. Can you explain this?

The BMI is calculated by the formula: weight (kilograms) divided by height (metres) squared, i.e. kg/m2, and is a guideline of an appropriate range of body weight with respect to minimising certain health risks.

Under 17: you will be assessed by the examining medical officer in order to determine whether you could cope with the demands of training.

17 to 29: You fall within the acceptable range for entry.

30 and above: Is not acceptable for entry into the Defence Forces and youwill be classified as medically unfit.

*Please note that the BMI result is indicative only, other factors affect the result. An initial failure of the BMI in the case, for example, of well muscled but short rugby player will result in a Body Fat Composition Test being used in lieu of the BMI test.

Read more about Defence Forces Fitness testing.

fold faq

What is the Physical Fitness Induction Test

This test is designed to test the candidate’s current level of physical fitness, the candidate displays to the Board his/her capacity to undergo the rigours of military training.

It is composed of two aspects:

  • Local Muscular Endurance.
  • Aerobic Endurance.

Local Muscular Endurance

  • Males - 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups.
  • Females - 20 push-ups (Modified) and 20 sit-ups.

Max time allowed 1 minute. This is a Pass or Fail test.

Aerobic Endurance

Candidates will be required to run one and a half (1 & 1/2) miles within the Defence Forces time limit below.These are the max times allowed. This is a Pass or Fail test.

  • Males - 11 Mins 40 secs
  • Females - 13 Mins 10 Secs.
fold faq

What are my leave entitlements?

General Service personnel and Apprentices:
Personnel are entitled to 28 days annual leave.

Officers and Officer Cadets:
Annual leave to the extent of 31 days may be granted to cadets and junior officers. Senior officers (Commandant and higher ranks) may be granted 43 days leave.

fold faq

Will I have to live in barracks?

General Service personnel & Apprentices:
Personnel will be required to live in barracks throughout the period of initial training. Upon completion of this training personnel can apply to live outside of the barracks

Officers and Officer Cadets:
Personnel will be required to live in barracks throughout the course of initial training. Upon commissioning, Officers can apply to live outside of the barracks.

fold faq

Will I have to go overseas?

 

Overseas Service is deemed mandatory for all personnel in the Defence Forces.

fold faq

How do I join the Army Ranger Wing?

Personnel may apply, after successful completion of initial training, to undergo the Army Ranger Wing Selection Course.  If the applicant is deemed successful on this course, he/she will then become a member of the Army Ranger Wing.

fold faq

Can I apply for the Army Ranger Wing if I’m in the RDF?

No, only members of the Permanent Defence Forces are eligible to apply for the Army Ranger Wing

 

 

MILITARY ARCHIVES FAQ

Show all / Hide all

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How do I book an appointment, and what facilities are available in the reading room?

The reading room at Military Archives has eight seats and is located downstairs in the archives building. Prior appointment (by telephone to 00 353 (0)1 804 6457 is necessary to secure a place, due to space limitations. At present, the reading room is open from 1000hrs to 1600hrs, Tuesday to Thursday (inclusive).

Many collections have paper finding aids, but most research will require an orientation with the duty archivist to ascertain which records are most relevant. This can be done on arrival. Power sockets are available for laptop use. Use of cameras may be permitted by prior permission only, provided images are taken for one-time, personal study use only and a legal agreement form is signed.

To facilitate the administration of your appointment in Military Archives you can prepare some of the reading room forms in advance of your visit.

Rules for the Reading Room are available at the front desk or for download at this link, Reading Room Rules.

Those with special needs should indicate this to the duty archivist when making their appointment to ensure the provision of the best possible service.

Before making an application download the following documents:

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How do I gain access to the Bureau of Military History collection?

The Bureau of Military History (BMH) collection is available for research here at the archives (see our introduction to the collection on the BMH page). The collection includes witness statements, contemporary documents (such as pamphlets, photographs, letters, dispatches, etc.), a small separate photograph collection and twelve voice recordings. Duplicate copies of the witness statements are held at the National Archives on Bishop Street, Dublin 2 and in some cases, available through your local archives or library. Staff at Archives are currently working on making the BMH witness statements available on these web pages.

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I have material that may be of interest to Military Archives. How do I make a donation?

Military Archives has over 1,000 named private collections relating to the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence. Depending on the nature and extent of your material, we very much appreciate any donation once it is in line with our collecting policy. If we are not in a position to take your material, we are happy to advise you on other institutions best placed to receive a collection. Given our status and mission as a public service archives, all private material taken as a donation must be available for public research after a specified time period. The Military Archives does not have a purchasing policy.

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How do I get to Military Archives?

Military Archives is located within Cathal Brugha Barracks, just off Military Road in Rathmines, Dublin 6. Cathal Brugha Barracks is a working barracks (compared with Collins Barracks, Dublin) and upon entering the barracks the gate policeman may wish to check your identification and check the visitors list. Please note routine security checks may be carried out. There are several options for getting to the archives:

By public transport: The no.15 buses operated by Dublin Bus from the railings at Trinity College on Pearse Street pass along Rathmines Road, which intersects with Military Road. The stop nearest St. Mary’s School is the one closest to Cathal Brugha Barracks.

The LUAS green line stop at Charlemont Bridge is about a ten minute walk away from the barracks. Simply get off at this stop, follow the canal to Portobello Bridge and turn left onto Rathmines Road. Then take a right turn onto Military Road by St. Mary’s School until you reach the main gates of the barracks. The stop nearest St. Mary’s School is closest to Cathal Brugha Barracks.

On foot/bicycle: Via the main barracks gate off Military Road (near St. Mary’s School).

By car: Parking is provided within barracks for researchers. Please give advance notice of your vehicle’s registration details.

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Can I access information from the archives by writing in?

Because of the volume of queries we receive, we do not normally have the staffing levels available to conduct individual research for members of the public. Like most Archive and library services, we make the material available to members of the public in our reading room so that they can carry out the research for themselves. If you wish to conduct detailed research, you should contact the duty archivist in advance for an appointment at 00 353 (0)1 804 6457.

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I have lost my grandfather’s 1916/War of Independence medal. How do I get another one issued?

Relatives of those who were awarded a 1916 Medal and/or a War of Independence Medal can now apply for a certificate of service. Unfortunately, it is not possible at this time to reissue original medals. The certificate will be issued to the nearest direct next-of-kin. Please write to the following address for this service:

Veterans Administration Section,
Department of Defence,
Renmore,
Galway.

Please provide Veterans Administration Section with as many of the personal details as possible to include full name (and any variations in spelling), date of birth, the address/s resided at during the period in which they may have made the application (1924 to 1949 most likely) and the name of any next of kin at that time.

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An bhfuil seirbíis tré Ghaeilge ar fáil sa Chartlann Mhíleata?

Tá seirbhís Ghaeilge ar fáil más míon leat. Ní mór duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Captaen Mac Eoin, leas-ceannasaí an Chartlann Mhíleata. An seoladh atá again ná:

OIC, An Chartlann Mhíleata,
Dún Chathail Bhrugha,
Ráth Maonais.
Baile Átha Cliath 6,
Éire

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How do I contact Military Archives?

Please see the ‘Contact Us’ page. In order to provide an efficient service, researchers are urged to include the following in all postal correspondence, where possible:

  1. A contact address, telephone number and email address.
  2. If your query relates to the service of a family member or ancestor. Please include details of where and when the person served (including whether Army, Naval Service or Air Corps) and unit, if known, as well as date of birth, service number and contemporary home address.
  3. If your query relates to previously published sources from the Military Archives or those which cite the Military Archives. Please include the exact file reference (if known), date of publication, author and title
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How do I trace my ancestor’s service in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Munster Fusiliers, the Irish Guards or other named Irish regiments/formations in the British Army in the First/Second World War?

Many researchers confuse the Military Archives as a place of deposit for the records of all Irish people who have served in other armed forces.  In fact, the Military Archives holds only the personnel records of those who served in the military of the Irish Free State from 1922, as well as material pertaining to the Irish Volunteers and the Independence movement, 1913-1921.

 Information about British Army records, including those for the Irish regiments, can be obtained at The National Archives of England, at Kew in London.

For more useful information read our document on the Irish Regiments of the British Army [PDF 247KB]

You could also consult other archive services in Ireland (e.g. The National Library which holds a number of lists of Irish Personnel in the British Army from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or Dublin City Library and Archive on Pearse Street, which is the point of contact for the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association) or log on to the National Archives of England website

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How do I gain access to personal records of an ancestor or relative who served in the Defence Forces or National Army?

Personnel records are currently available to direct next of kin only. In exceptional circumstances, direct next of kin may give permission to a third party researcher to proceed with an enquiry on their behalf. Military Archives requires a signed letter of application for personnel records along with copies of birth cert(s) to establish an applicant’s relationship to personnel of interest. The OIC Military Archives may request a death certificate for the subject and/or a sworn affidavit stating the next of kin relationship. All of this is done simply to ensure privacy for the data subject concerned and in consideration of the Data Protection Act.


If you are direct next of kin, you should apply to see your ancestors’ records as follows:

  1. If the subject left the Defence Forces less than thirty years ago:
    • For officers (i.e. Lieutenants, Captains, Commandants etc.) write to:
      OIC Commissioned Officers’ Management Office
      D COS (Sp),
      DFHQ,
      St. Mobhi Road,
      Coláiste Caoimhíon,
      Glasnevin,
      Dublin 9
    • For enlisted personnel (i.e. Privates, Corporals, Sergeants etc.) write to:
      OIC Enlisted Personnel Management Office,
      D COS (Sp),
      DFHQ,
      St. Mobhi Road,
      Coláiste Caoimhíon,
      Glasnevin,
      Dublin 9
  2. If the subject left the Defence Forces more than thirty years ago:
    • For officers (i.e. Lieutenants, Captains, Commandants etc.) and for enlisted personnel (i.e. privates, corporals, sergeants etc.) – write directly to OIC Military Archives, as per the contact address.
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How do I access pension records from the Army Pensions Board ?

Your ancestors who served during the 1916 Rising or during the War of Independence may have made application for a medal or pension in respect of their service during that time. Pensions were awarded under the 1924 and subsequent Pension Acts. Due to data protection requirements, these pension records are currently available to direct next of kin only. Direct next of kin should write to the following address for information in respect of their relatives’ service during 1916 and the War of Independence:

Veterans Administration Section,
Department of Defence,
Renmore,
Galway.

Please provide Veterans Administration Section with as many personal details as possible to include full name (and any variations in spelling), date of birth, the address/s resided at during the period in which they may have made the application (1924 to 1949 most likely) and the name of any next of kin at that time. Please note that there may be a waiting period for receipt of such records given the increase in interest in this area in recent years.

Ceremonial Guard

The National Mounument

> Find out more

The Badge Design

The Badge design (common to all Corps and Services and all orders of dress) is derived from the badge of the Irish Volunteers and was designed by Professor Eoin MacNeill, Chairman of the National Executive of the Irish Volunteers. This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914. [Read more]