Corps of the Army

The Infantry Corps

The Infantry “foot soldiers”, are the backbone of all armies. The Infantry Corps soldiers are the operational troops who must be prepared for deployment in any location at short notice. In wartime, as the principal combat arm, they will be among the front line troops in the defence of the State. In peacetime, however, they can be seen performing duties in support of An Garda Síochána on Cash and Prisoner Escorts, and in major security operations where they may deploy with MOWAG Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).

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The Cavalry Corps

The Cavalry Corps is one of the ‘teeth’ Corps of the Irish Defence Forces. The Cavalry Corps has a long, proud tradition of service to the State and the current incumbents of the Corps are reflective of the best values and qualities the Corps has maintained. Originally, the Cavalry Corps was called the Armoured Car Corps, with a fleet of light armoured vehicles. Over the decades, the fleet evolved with the introduction of light Landsverk tanks and later in the 1950s the introduction of Main Battle Tanks in the Comet and Churchill. During the 1960s the Panhard AML was first introduced to the Cavalry Corps. This fleet was the backbone of the Corps and it gave considerable service, especially in overseas deployments, such as UNIFIL in the Lebanon and with UNMIL in Liberia. In the 1980s the Corps received the CVR(T) or Scorpion. The latest AFV investment into the Corps is that of MOWAG Piranha III, with two variants the Close Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) and Medium Reconnaissance Vehicle (MRV) entering service in 2008.

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The Artillery Corps

The Artillery Corps provides fire support for infantry or armoured elements. The Corps was founded in 1924 and today consists of two main branches;

  • Field Artillery
  • Air Defence

The artillery in the brigade consists of a Field Artillery Regiment (FAR) with three field batteries. Each of the field batteries is based on six light field artillery weapons, 105mm guns, and is staffed to command, co-ordinate and fire the weapons.

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The Communication and Information Services Corps

The Communications and Information Services Corps is responsible for the development and operation of Information Technology systems in support of Defence Forces (DF) tasks. It is also responsible for co-coordinating all communications (radio and line) and information systems, communications research and update of communications in line with modern developments and operational requirements. The CIS Corps harnesses networking and information technologies in order to dramatically increase Defence Force Operational effectiveness through the provision of timely and accurate information to the commander along with the real time efficient sharing of information with Army, Air Corps and Naval Service as well as with multinational partners involved in international peacekeeping and other actors as required.

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The Corps of Engineers

The Corps of Engineers was established on the 1st October 1924 to provide engineer support to the Irish Defence Forces both in Ireland and on overseas operations. Corps of Engineer personnel have been deployed overseas to Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, Angola,  Somalia, Rwanda, Honduras, Bosnia, Ethiopia⁄Eritrea, Kosovo, Liberia, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and Chad. The Corps has been increasingly used in expeditionary roles, pre deploying to Kosovo, Liberia and Chad to construct Camps in advance for contingents of more than 400 troops.

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The Ordnance Corps

The Ordnance Corps has both an operational and a logistical role within the Defence Forces. The logistical role of the Ordnance Corps is to provide technical support to the Defence Forces for the Procurement, Storage, Distribution, Inspection, Maintenance, Repair and Disposal of all items of Ordnance related equipment. The operational role of the Ordnance Corps is to train personnel for and provide the State’s EOD/IEDD capability.The Ordnance Corps provide the only Explosive Ordnance Disposal service within the state, in support of An Garda Síochána in an ATCP role. The Ordnance Corps also provides the Defence Forces EOD capability across its full spectrum of operations.

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The Medical Corps

The Medical Corps has the responsibility of maintaining health and preventing disease in the Defence Forces and providing treatment of its sick and wounded. While these functions are of prime importance in time of war they also continue in peacetime.

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The Transport Corps

The Transport Corps is responsible for the procurement, management and maintenance of all soft skinned vehicles, and the maintenance of all armoured vehicles within the Defence Forces.

The Corps is also responsible for driver training, testing, certification, and maintenance of the transport fleet.

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The Military Police Corps

The Military Police are responsible for the prevention and investigation of offences, the enforcement of discipline and the general policing of the Defence Forces. In wartime, additional tasks include the provision of a traffic control organisation to allow rapid movement of military formations to their mission areas. Other wartime roles include control of prisoners of war and refugees.

Read more about the Military Police Corps