The Cadet School

Located within the Military College, the Cadet School is the training institution with responsibility for the training and education of officer cadets for the Defence Forces (DF). The Cadet School has a long and proud tradition having been founded in 1928 and since that date has seen over 2,700 graduates gain commissioned rank in the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF).

Cadet School Mission

To inculcate discipline and esprit de corps, to develop the qualities of leadership and to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to lay the foundations for a professional military career.

Strategic Vision

The core objective of the Standard Cadet Course is to develop leaders of character and competence. In more specific terms the intent is to:

  • Prepare students morally, mentally and physically for their role as leaders in the Defence Forces.
  • Imbue students with the Defence Forces Values of respect, loyalty, selflessness, physical courage, moral courage and integrity.
  • Foster a deep interest and care for individual soldiers, sailors and airmen.
  • Provide an intellectual foundation which will act as a basis for further education and which will generate an awareness and appreciation of the economic, political, historical, social and cultural aspects of the society in which the DF function.
  • Cultivate a capacity for critical thinking as a decision-maker and problem-solver.
  • Endow students with the primary knowledge and skills essential for Light Infantry Platoon Commanders in the DF.
  • Promote esprit de corps in the DF, its traditions and associations.

School Ethos and Educational Philosophy

The underlying ethos of training on the Standard Cadet Course is based on the Defence Forces’ Values of respect, loyalty, selflessness, physical courage, moral courage and integrity.  The military officer must be prepared to apply and control lethal force and/or operate in a high-risk environment.  This potential responsibility requires that the officer be not only tactically and technically proficient, but he/she must also be informed and guided by a moral and ethical code, which demands the transcending of personal self-interest.

Leadership and Personal Development

The objective of the Course, the development of leaders of character and competence, is reflected in the concept of developing the whole person. This concept requires the provision of the opportunity for increasing self-confidence, inculcating pride in achievement, developing physical and mental endurance and providing a foundation for intellectual growth. An essential basic step in the training process is the identification of the leadership and personal qualities that are required and against which individual progress and development can be measured and assessed.

Core Activities

The Standard Cadet Course is of approx 15 months duration, divided into 3 Stages. Graduates are commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant on the successful completion of the Course.  All other students are commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant on the successful completion of the Course.

The Course is divided into stages as follows:

  • Stage 1: Induction (Three Months)
  • Stage 2: Foundation (Six Months)
  • Stage 3: Core (Six Months)

Naval Service Cadets normally undergo Stage 1 in the Military College and complete their studies in the Naval College. Air Corps Cadets normally undergo Stages 1 and 2 in the Military College and complete their studies in the Air Corps College.

Following commissioning as Second Lieutenant or Lieutenant, officers are normally posted to Units within the Defence Forces in order to gain some practical experience. Shortly afterwards, newly commissioned officers undergo the Peace Support Platoon Commanders Course (PSPCC) in the Infantry School, Military College. This 12 week course provides further skills and training required in order to prepare young officers to serve as Platoon Commanders on overseas missions.

Read more about Defence Forces Careers