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Recruitment for army and naval

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 13, 2017

Recruitment for army and naval general personnel has already begun. Army applicants must be aged between 18 and 25, while naval applicants should be between 18 and 27 on the closing date for applications, Wednesday April 5. Interested applicants should log on to and complete an application form. Applications may only be submitted online.

While no formal qualifications are required, candidates must undergo a fitness test, interviews, psychometric testing and a medical exam.

The recruitment competitions for cadetships and apprenticeships have not yet begun, but anyone interested should keep a close eye on for news of these.


Although the Defence Forces are not currently advertising cadetships, many school leavers and graduates will be looking forward to the beginning of that recruitment drive. The cadetship is the programme through which the Defence Forces recruit and train future officers for the army, navy and air corps.

Applicants for this programme should present with Leaving Cert results similar to the matriculation requirements for the National University of Ireland (NUI). These include a ‘passing’ grade in Irish, maths, English and a modern European language, as well as at least two ‘honours’ grades in higher level subjects and a ‘pass’ in another four subjects.

This is the only way for potential candidates to become an army officer. As part of the recruitment process, candidates will participate in psychometric testing, a fitness test, an interview and a medical exam.

While it is possible for school leavers to be successful, it is likely they will be competing with a large number of graduates. Therefore, if candidates find they are not recruited first time around, it may be helpful to complete a degree and reapply. An applicant who is recruited to this programme and who does not hold a third level qualification may be assigned to a third level course. Therefore, applicants should be open to third level study if applying for a cadetship. Apprenticeship

Under the Defence Forces apprenticeship scheme, successful applicants will be trained in a technical area, as well as defence training, over a four year period. Technical training takes place in third level colleges.

The Defence Forces are expected to launch a recruitment drive for aircraft technicians at some point in 2017. Aircraft technicians provide maintenance and servicing for weapons, equipment and aircraft.

It is likely that candidates will be required to be between the age of 18 and 21 and hold minimum Leaving Cert qualifications, which may include five ‘passes’ including English or Irish and maths and in any one of the following: physics, chemistry, engineering or construction. Students interested in any of the above opportunities should keep a close eye on the website,, for announcements. With 860 posts to be filled there are sure to be many interesting opportunities coming soon.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin


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