Careers in the Irish Defence Forces

The Irish Defence Forces is the military of Ireland. We encompass the Army, the Naval Service, the Air Corps and the Reserve Defence Forces.

The Army is a standing force and provides the primary capabilities for joint military operations at home and combined military Peace Support Operations abroad.

The Naval Service is the State’s principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. 

The role of the Air Corps under the Defence Act is to contribute to the security of the State by providing for the Military Air Defence of its airspace. 

Defence Forces personnel lead a “Life less Ordinary”. No two days are the same in the lives of our personnel. All aspects of military life are varied and for each member of the Force each day may bring a new challenge.

WHO WE LOOK FOR?

General Service Recruitment

The Irish Defence Forces are looking for motivated, physically fit, team orientated individuals to enlist as General Service Recruits. As a recruit, you will train to become an infantry soldier. On completion of the initial training program, successful recruits are promoted to the rank of Private 2*. Following a second period of basic training, applicants are promoted to the rank of Private 3*. Applicants should have:

• The ability to work in disciplined military environment.

• The ability to work with others in a team.

• The ability to work well in a high pressure and physically demanding environment.

• Be willing to serve aboard for extended periods of time.

• Be a minimum of 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

On qualification recruits take up a position as a three star private in one of the following Service Corps — Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Supply & Transport or Communications Information Systems. 

After basic training, opportunities exist to undertake further training as anything from a heavy vehicle driver, to a chef, vehicle mechanic, armourer, IT technician, combat engineer, emergency medical technician and many other roles.

Officer Cadetships

The Defence Forces are also looking to enlist Officer Cadets. A Cadet is a Military Officer in training. Officers are the leaders, decision makers and managers of the Defence Forces. They are the platoon commanders in our Army, the pilots in our Air Corps, and the navigators and engineers in our Naval Service. 

An Officer leads, directs and motivates our frontline troops. The role comes with very real mental and physical challenges, with Officers being expected to lead from the front in all situations. Officer Cadets engage in 15 months training in the Military College, Curragh Camp, Kildare, covering many basic and practical soldier skills and military fields of study before taking up an operational appointment in the Permanent Defence Forces. The Defence Forces is looking for people who have the potential to:

• Plan, prioritize and organise.

• Analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions.

• Be clear, concise and with effective communication skills.

• The ability to motivate others and work with a team.

Can you do all of this while working in a very high pressure, mentally and physically demanding environment?

After completing Officer training, cadets are commissioned into a Service Corp — Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Supply & Transport or Communications Information Systems. As a young Officer many more opportunities for development, growth, variety and responsibility will come your way.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition.

Trainee Military Aircraft Technician

We also look to enlist Trainee Military Aircraft Technicians. The successful applicants will serve a 4 year apprenticeship program and will become Aircraft Technicians in our Air Corps.

Technicians provide the maintenance and servicing of Air Corps aircraft, their engines, systems, equipment and weapons. The Air Corps is looking for young, enthusiastic and technically minded individuals who are looking for the opportunity not just to learn a new trade but also to practice it in challenging situations. Trainee Technicians undergo their academic training at the Technical Training School, located in Casement Aerodrome, the home of the Air Corps.

All Candidates must be 18 years of age and less than 23 years of age on the closing date for receipt of applications.

WHEN DO WE RECRUIT?

We normally recruit General Service Recruits in March and September.

We advertise the Cadet Competition in January/February for induction in September.

We also advertise for Air Corps Trainee Military Aircraft Technicians in January/February for induction in September

WHEN AND HOW TO APPLY?

All applications are made by completing the online application on our website. The online application is only available when we are running a recruitment competition. We do NOT accept applications outside these times.

WHAT IS THE TRAINING LIKE?

General Service Recruit

The training for General Service Recruits is initially for 15 weeks. The Recruit Training Syllabus is designed to produce a physically fit, disciplined and motivated Two Star Infantry Soldier with basic military skills. Recruit training is foundation military training. It is followed by 3 Star training and at a later stage by Trained Soldier Specialist Training courses.

Recruits may be required to complete their training in any Defence Forces location and following their training, may be posted to any Defence Forces location subject to Defence Forces requirements. Once training is successfully completed the fully trained soldier will be sent to their allocated unit.

Cadetships

Cadets train for a total of 15 months. The training is conducted in the Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre, Co. Kildare. The purpose of cadet training is to develop character and leadership skills and instil a sense of duty and responsibility in the cadet. 

To benefit from that training, which is conducted in an environment of strict discipline, the cadet needs mental acuity and physical agility. During training an Army Cadet masters basic military skills, such as rifle marksmanship, as well as developing the leadership skills required of an Army Officer. 

Air Corps and Naval Service Cadets also undertake leadership and foundation military training before specialising as pilots, navigators or engineers. On commissioning the new Officer takes up a leadership position in one of the Army Corps.

Third Level Education

Personnel of the Army, who were inducted as an Officer Cadet and successfully completed their Officer Cadet training and who have not previously attained an Honours Bachelor Degree (Level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications) or equivalent may be assigned to a course of study leading to a degree at National University of Ireland, Galway or a course of study leading to a degree at some other third level college of education. 

On completion of the first year of training, Naval Service cadets spend the second year of the cadetship studying for a degree at the National Maritime College of Ireland.

Trainee Military Aircraft Technicians

Trainee Military Aircraft Technicians initially complete basic military training of seven months duration before commencing their technical training. In total their training takes approximately 4 and a half years and is completed at the Air Corps Technical Training School, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

The Air Corps Technical Training School is EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) approved and approved by DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) to deliver the Bachelor of Engineering Technology Degree in Military Aviation Technology. Through these programmes the trainee technicians will be instructed in all disciplines of aircraft maintenance including fixed and rotary wing aircraft, power plant and avionics.

The EASA modules (Theory and Workshop Practical’s) and their associated examinations are completed entirely, prior to the trainees’ advancement through advanced access onto the Bachelor Engineering Technology Degree in Military Aviation Technology.

For more information on careers in the Irish Defence Forces visit www.military.ie/en/careers/army-careers/how-to-join/