How to Join the Reserve Defence Forces?

Joining the RDF is a simple process, however there are a number of important steps to be taken, which may take some time.

  • Application
  • Fitness Test
  • Interview
  • Security Clearance
  • Medical Examination
  • Attestation
  • The Oath


Applications are only accepted through In the application form, you will be offered the choice of 26 locations in the case of the Army Reserve, and 4 locations in the case of the Naval Service Reserve. You may only choose 1 location.

View the various Army and Naval Service Locations


There are no formal education qualifications to join the Reserve Defence Forces as a Recruit. With the exception of age limits, the criteria for enlistment to the RDF are the same as the PDF with regard to fitness assessment, medical examination and security clearance

Age Limitations

In order to join the RDF you must be 18 years of age or above and under the age of 35 on the closing date for receipt of applications. 

Fitness Assessment

All applicants for the RDF will be called to complete a fitness assessment. It is the same fitness assessment undertaken by applicants for the PDF. Applicants will have to bring with them a certificate from a GP stating that they are fit to attempt the fitness assessment.

View further information and an on-line guide explaining how the test is conducted 


Successful applicants at the fitness test phase will be called to conduct an interview

Security Clearance

All applicants for enlistment in the RDF are required to complete and sign a Consent Form that, pursuant to Section 8 of the Data Protection Act, 1988, will authorise An Garda SÁochana to furnish the Defence Forces either, a statement that there are no convictions recorded against an applicant, or a statement of convictions, as the case may be.

Medical Examination

Applicants must be in good mental and bodily health, and free from any physical defect, abnormality, physiological condition or past history of serious illness likely to interfere with the efficient performance of their duties.


Once all the required Security and Medical checks have been completed satisfactorily, applicants can be attested into the RDF. This process involves swearing, or declaring an oath, and then signing a copy of the oath. At this stage the applicant is a member of the Reserve Defence Forces, and is issued with an army number and uniform over the next few weeks.

The Oath

MionnaÁmse (nó dearbhaÁmse), <ainm>, go solamanta go mbead dÁlis d’Eirinn agus tairiseach don Bhunreacht agus, faid a bhead im chomhalta de na hOglaigh Cúltaca, go gcomhlÁonfad gach ordú dleathach a bhé arfas m’oifigigh uachtaracha dhom agus nach gceanglód le haon chumann rúnda ar bith ná nach mbead im chomhalta den chéanna ná nach dtaobhód leis an gcéanna.

I, <name>, do solemnly swear (or declare) that I will be faithful to Ireland and loyal to the Constitution and that while I am a member of the Reserve Defence Force I will obey all lawful orders issued to me by my superior officers and will not join or be a member of or subscribe to any secret society whatsoever.


Find out more about the Reserve Defence Forces