The Naval Service Reserve

The Naval Service Reserve (NSR) trains men and women to supplement and aid the Naval Service. Naval reservists carry out paid annual training on board Naval Service ships, which are on operational patrols in Irish territorial water or are tasked with foreign visits. Naval Reservists have travelled on Naval Service Ships from New York to St. Petersburg and several ports in between. Naval reservists are trained in many aspects of nautical and military training. Training includes motorboat handling, sail training, navigation, marine communications, weapons training, fire fighting and sea survival.

The NSR also carry out land based security duties at the Naval Base on Haulbowline Island, Cork. These duties are carried out at weekends and the reservists who carry them out are paid the standard Permanent Defence Force allowances for these duties. Other functions of the NSR, just to name 2, include ceremonial duties and carrying out liaison duties with visiting foreign naval ships.

Membership of the NSR is on a voluntary basis. Training takes place on local parade nights, weekends or during paid annual training (usually 2 weeks during the summer). The NSR is open to all men and women who are not less than 18 years of age and not older than 35 years on the closing date for applications. Applicants must be not less than 5' 2" in height. For further information on the joining procedure, click on the 'Join the Reserve' link from this page. 

After enlistment you will join a recruit class and be placed under the charge of a recruit instructor who will be a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). Your initial training will consist of military training at your local barracks and nautical training at your local NSR sea establishment. All recruits will then undergo a 2-week training course at the Naval Base in Haulbowline. Here recruits will be trained in fire fighting, sea survival and foot-drill. Extensive training on the Steyr assault rifle will also be carried out.

After firing and successfully qualifying on the Steyr rifle, you will then be promoted to Ordinary Seaman (O/S). Thereafter you will be eligible to go to sea on a Naval Service patrol vessel. Patrols are typically 2 or 3 weeks in duration. You will be paid for this training and also receive a sea going allowance. Further nautical training continues at local level so that you can become the coxswain (skipper) of BP 18 sailing boats, Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS), Motor Training Launches (MTL) and Sail Training Yachts (STY).   You can currently avail of up to 6 weeks paid training per year.


Find out more about the Naval Service