31 Oct 2013 - Largest Graduation Ever of Defence Forces Personnel from a Third Level Institution.

The Institute of Technology, Carlow (IT Carlow) held a Conferring Ceremony today at 1.30 pm to confer awards on Defence Forces enlisted personnel who have successfully completed elements of the Leadership, Management and Defence Studies (LMDS) Programme.

Over 180 Military Personnel of differing ranks graduated today in what was the largest Military Graduation from a third level institute in the history of the State. The Higher Education Training and Awards Council (HETAC) approved the validation of Defence Forces enlisted personnel career courses for awards under the National Framework of Qualifications in September 2012 and today was the first conferral under that scheme.

The aim of the award is to validate the lifelong and taught learning that soldiers, sailors and airmen and women of the Defence Forces complete throughout their military careers. It captures the training from completion of a soldier’s initial training to completion of the most advanced training programmes that they can complete. It also takes into account the experiential learning personnel glean from their operational deployments and work both at home and overseas. In many cases people join the Defence Forces at a relatively young age and may not have had the opportunity to achieve formal educational qualifications prior to their induction and subsequent career advancement training.

Many of the Military Graduates were accompanied by friends, family and loved ones and all wore uniform in addition to formal academic dress. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter T.D. was a guest at today's conferral and he was accompanied by the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Conor O' Boyle. Speaking after the ceremony, General O' Boyle said

"The greatest asset we have in the Defence Forces is our people, I am very happy to see here today the graduation of over one hundred and eighty of our enlisted personnel with third level qualifications. In a very tangible way it validates our principle of life long learning and I am particularly grateful to IT Carlow for their significant contribution to our ongoing partnership and the huge benefits it brings to the Defence Forces and the State.

I commend the commitment of all the graduates to further education and congratulate them all on the successful completion of their studies".

In today's conferral the following numbers of Defence Forces Personnel graduated.

137 soldiers were awarded the Higher Certificate in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies (LMDS).

19 soldiers who completed the All-Arms and Corps specific Standard NCO’s course, received the Certificate in LMDS.

28 soldiers who completed the Senior NCO’s Course, received the BA in LMDS

Press Release Date: Thursday 31 Oct 2013

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