Skip to main content

What is an Air Corps Cadet (Pilot)

What is an Air Corps Cadet (Pilot)

An Air Corps Cadet (Pilot) enlists for a Cadetship to become an Officer in the Defence Forces. After successfully completing the Cadet Training Course in the Military College and the Flight Training School in the Air Corps College, an Air Corps Cadet is commissioned into the Officer Ranks of the Air Corps as a Second Lieutenant or Lieutenant.  

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.


To find out if you have the Minimum Qualifications required to apply for a Cadetship in the Army.

Download the 2021 Cadetship Terms and Conditions

Take Note: Additional education qualifications may be required during a Cadet Competition and these will be listed in the Terms and Conditions for that competition.

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.


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.

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.