1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of Army careers in the Irish Defence Forces (IDF).

The Irish Army is the land component of the IDF, and is also the largest component with approximately 7,500 personnel of the 9,500 personnel within the IDF.

2.0 Hierarchy of the Army

An overview of the IDF can be found here.

3.0 Methods of Entry

There are currently three methods of entry for joining the Army depending on the career path of the candidate:

4.0 Cadet

Officers are the leaders, decision makers and managers of the Army.

Training for officer cadets is undertaken at the Military College, Curragh Camp, over a 15 month period. This involves basic soldiering skills and military training, after which candidates will commence an operational role as a commissioned officer.

The attributes of a good Officer include:

  • The ability to make good decisions and communicate them in stressful situations;
  • An interest in physical fitness; and
  • A sound understanding of military tactics.

Information on the selection and recruitment process for candidates wishing to become officers in the Army can be found here.

5.0 Recruit

Enlisted or other ranks account for the majority of personnel in the Army, and candidates enter via the recruit pathway.

Training for recruits is undertaken over a 17 week period. This involves foot and arms drill, marksmanship, field-craft, and military tactics.

The purpose of this training is to transform the civilian candidate into a professional soldier of the Army.

Information on the selection and recruitment process for candidates wishing to become soldiers in the Army can be found here.

6.0 Apprentice

Apprentices are Army officers who undergo the same course of training as Cadets but go on to receive a further 12-15 months specialist training.

There are currently two apprentice pathways: