Naval Service Officer training (Cadetships)

Who we want

Officers are the managers, decision makers and leaders of the Defence Forces. A Naval Service Officer specialises in Operations Branch or Engineering Branch. The role comes with very real physical and mental challenges, with Officers being expected to lead from the front in all situations. A Naval Service Cadet engages in a course of training of approximately two years duration divided into different stages. The first year is spent in military training at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork. The second year of the cadetship is in accordance with the National Maritime College of Ireland course prescribed for the cadets. At the end of the second year and on completion of exams, and a Sea Term, the cadets will be qualified for the award of a commission in the Permanent Defence Force and will be competent to carry out those duties required of an Ensign in the Naval Service.

The Defence Forces is looking for people who have:-

  • The ability to plan, prioritize and organise.
  • The ability to carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions.
  • Clear, concise and effective communication skills.
  • The ability to motivate others and work with a team.
  • Can you do all of this while working in a physically demanding and high pressure environment.

Operations Branch Cadet

Officers of the Operations Branch of the Naval Service are responsible for the efficient running of the ship. It is only from within this Branch that an officer may become Captain of a ship. The Operations Branch Officer’s responsibilities include Bridge Watchkeeping, where they are responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the safety of the ships company along with the weapons and communications systems onboard. Operations Branch Officers also lead boarding teams in fishery protection and anti-drug running boarding operations and are therefore prime leaders and motivators of the ships company.

Engineering Branch Cadet

The Engineering Branch Cadet will be trained to a level whereby he/she can fill an appointment as a ships’ Marine Engineering Officer. The Engineering Officer is responsible for everything that keeps a ship afloat, moving and habitable. This includes the hull and general structures of the ship, its main engines and all auxiliary machinery, the main electrical generators, the electrical distribution system, the air conditioning, ventilation, heating systems and cold rooms as well as all fuel and water systems. It also includes the computer systems for communications, navigation and weapons control systems.

Qualifications

School Leavers 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.

Graduates must have obtained a recognised degree i.e. a Third Level Degree awarded up to the end of 2004. With effect from 2005 have successfully completed a Bachelor Degree programme at level 8 or higher of the National Framework of Qualifications and must possess as a minimum Grade D3 in specific Ordinary/Higher level Leaving Certificate Examination subjects.

Find out if you have the Qualifications required to apply for a Cadetship in the Naval Service.

Age Limitations

Be 18 years of age or over and under 28 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition.

Induction

The Officer Cadet Competition is held annually and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become a Naval Service Officer. Candidates undergo psychometric and fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam.

Candidates who are invited to interview will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Application Form that, pursuant to Section 8 of the Data Protection Act, 1988, will authorise the Garda SÁochána to furnish to the Defence Forces either, a statement that there are no convictions recorded against a candidate, or a statement of convictions, as the case may be. 

The Induction Process will determine if you have the potential to lead troops as a Naval Service Officer.

Training

The purpose of cadet training is to develop character and leadership skills and instil a sense of duty and responsibility in the cadet. To benefit from that training, which is conducted in an environment of strict discipline, the cadet needs mental acuity and physical agility. During 2 years of training a Naval Service Cadet masters basic military skills, such as rifle marksmanship, as well as developing the leadership skills required of a Naval Service Officer. The second year of the cadetship is in accordance with the National Maritime College of Ireland course prescribed for the cadets. On commissioning the new Officer takes up a leadership role on a Naval Service vessel.

Do you have what it takes to complete Naval Service Cadet Training?

Third Level Education

On successful completion of the first year of training, Naval Service cadets spend the second year of the cadetship studying for a degree at the National Maritime College of Ireland.

Career Progression

The daily challenges that a Naval Service Officer must face are numerous and diverse in nature. Meet some Naval Service Officers as they reflect on Life as a Naval Service Officer.

Pay

Phone, car, mortgage… Everyone has bills to pay. Have a look at the Pay Scales  for Army Cadets and Young Officers.