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Non Commissioned Officer – Direct Entry

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Direct Entry NCOS 

We offer a number of direct entry pathways. A direct entrant is one who goes directly into a rank in the Naval Service, without going through the recruit training programme. We recruit people who have skills necessary to the Naval Service.  

You may have a transferrable skill that the Naval Service needs. Have you a qualification as an electrician, carpenter, chef, electronic engineer, or mechanical engineer? To find out if you are eligible for a Direct Entry scheme, please contact

We offer the following competitions.   

  • DE Hull Artificer 
  • DE Engine Room Artificer 
  • DE Radio Radar Technician 
  • DE Electrical Artificer 


Personal Development 

The Defence Forces presents endless opportunities for you to develop, as a person and as a leader. 

Learn how to be part of a team, how to be a leader, and how to manage people. Work and experience life in a unique environment with the strength of a diverse team around you. 

Enhance your soft skills like leadership, critical thinking, teamwork and combine these skills with your excellent technical knowledge, they will be reinforced through the experience gained from life at sea at the forefront of military maritime operations. Through this learning pathway you will enable your success in the future, as these are universal skills which translate into all work environments.  

The Defence Forces ethos of volunteer service and our values of Respect, Loyalty, Selflessness, Physical Courage, Moral Courage, and Integrity form the bedrock of our organisation and are central to our effectiveness. You will carry these values with you for life. 


Non-Commissioned Officer Educational Pathway 

You will have the opportunity to undertake a Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Course, which if successfully completed will enable you to obtain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Leadership, Management, and Naval Studies from Munster Technological University. 

 This degree is recognised at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications. A pathway to further education in the above subject is being explored, and it may be available to you as you progress in your career as part of future Senior Enlisted Leader training. 

Overseas Service 

 You will have the opportunity to apply for service overseas on UN, EU peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions with the Defence Forces: typically these missions will see you deployed in a land based role. Navy overseas maritime deployments are also possible. 

Military and Non-Military Courses 

You will be able to compete for places on a wide variety of courses as you pursue your Continued Personal Development. Courses such as Naval Service Divers, Maritime Interdiction Instructors, and Sea Survival Instructors enable you to grow personally and professionally. You will become a highly valuable asset to the Navy. 

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 We will enhance and develop your ability and capability:  

  • To lead and be part of dynamic teams. 
  • To effectively communicate to personnel under your control. 
  • To plan, supervise, and perform all tasks associated with emergency response activities. 
  • To work accurately and calmly under pressure. 
  • To fault find and problem solve. 
  • To multi-task and adapt in challenging environments. 

These new skills will help you adapt to any situation and will be carried with you for life.


Engine Room Artificer 

A Mechanical Engineer or Engine Room Artificer (ERA) works with the engineering team on board to maintain and operate the main engines, auxiliary machinery and supporting systems, electrical generation equipment, hydraulic deck machinery and hotel systems ( showers, sanitary, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, heating). A Mechanical Engineer will also assist with the training and supervision of apprentices and mechanical technicians. They are emergency response team supervisors and team leaders of the maritime interdiction teams. 

Hull artificer  

The role of a Carpenter or Hull Artificer (HA) is crucial in supporting a ship to go to sea safely. A Hull artificer assists with the maintenance of the accommodation blocks, watertight openings, RHIBSs or small on board boats. A Hull Artificer is a central member of the emergency response team and must maintain water and smoke boundaries of the ship during fire or hull breech scenarios and is a key in the training of damage control and firefighting on board. A Hull Artificer must assist with the training of mechanical technicians and apprentices, is a team leader for fisheries inspections and maritime interdiction operations.  


A Chef in the Naval Service is an essential part of the Logistics Team, providing nourishment to a ship’s company. A chef is involved in purchasing, preparing and serving food, which is key to assisting with morale onboard, especially in challenging sea conditions. A chef will assist with the training and supervision of trainee chefs and is a member of the emergency response team on board. 

Electrical Artificer  

An Electrician or Electrical Artificer (EA) is responsible for the maintenance and operation of all electrical machinery and equipment as well as electronic control systems and electrical supply and operation of e.g. lighting, catering and navigation equipment. An Electrical Artificer will supervise and train apprentice electricians on board, is a key member of the emergency response team, and carries out all electrical isolations for operational requirements. 

Radio and Radar Technician 

As an Electronic Technician, or Radio and Radar Technician (RRT) you will be responsible for the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of all satellite communication systems, including, internal communication systems, broadband and television systems, and navigation equipment on board a ship. Radio and Radar Technicians will supervise apprentices and will be a team leader for fisheries and maritime interdiction operations. 


Please refer to our current Terms & Conditions for further information.