Air Corps Flight Officer Training (Cadetship)

Who we want

Officers are the managers, decision makers and leaders of the Defence Forces. An Air Corps Flight Officer is also a military aviator who is qualified to fly the numerous types of aircraft operated by the Defence Forces. The role comes with very real physical and mental challenges, with Officers being expected to lead from the front in all situations. Officer Cadets or trainee Officers must engage in 9 months training in the Military College covering many fields of study before beginning their Officer Cadet Flight training in the Baldonnel Aerodrome, Dublin.

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.
  • The technical and physical ability required to pilot military aircraft in challenging situations.
  • Clear, concise and effective communication skills.
  • The ability to motivate others and work with a team.
  • Can do all of this while working in a physically demanding and high pressure environment.



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 possess an Honours Bachelor Degree (Level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications) or equivalent and have attained 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 Air Corps.

Age Limitations

Be 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition.


The Air Corps Officer Cadet Competition is held when there is a requirement to induct new Pilot Trainee’s and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become an Air Corps  Flight Officer.

Candidates will undergo fitness testing, a preliminary competency based interview, a psychological interview, psychometric and psychomotor testing, 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 become an Air Corps Flight Officer.


The purpose of Officer Cadet training is to develop character and leadership skills and instil a sense of duty and responsibility in the Officer Cadets, in addition to qualifying them as Military Aviators. To benefit from that training, which is conducted in an environment of strict discipline, the Officer Cadet needs mental acuity and physical agility. Air Corps Cadets spend 7 months training with an Army Cadet Class where they learn basic military skills and develop their leadership ability before they move on to flight training with the Air Corps. Could you meet the physical and mental challenges of Air Corps Cadet Training?

Career Progression

After commissioning Air Corps officers must choose between specialising in fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft. Their new flight duties can include Air Ambulance, troop transport, and flying the Government Jet.  Meet some Air Corps officers as they reflect on Life as an Air Corps Flight Officer.


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