1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the recruitment and selection process for Irish Army recruits wishing to join the Irish Defence Forces (IDF).

2.0 Eligibility Criteria

  • Be 18 years of age or over and under 25 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition.
  • Although there are no formal educational qualifications are required to join, candidates must satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that they possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the IDF.

3.0 Recruit Competition

The recruitment and selection process for Irish Army recruits, known as Recruit Competitions, is held as required in each brigade of the Army (candidates can also apply for the Naval Service at the same time).

The process includes:

  • Online Application.
  • Psychometric Testing:
    • All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria are invited to undergo an online psychometric test.
  • Assessment Centre:
    • This composed of two elements:
      • Fitness Testing; and
      • Interview.
  • Fitness Testing:
    • Candidates are required to complete the Defence Forces Induction Fitness Test (DFIFT) which is composed of:
      • Body composition (assessment of % body fat using body mass index (BMI) and skinfold caliper test (70mm for men and 80mm for women, compulsory for under 20s).
      • Local muscular endurance (press-ups and sit-ups to a time limit).
      • Aerobic capacity tested by running 2.4 km (1.5 miles) in under 11 minutes 40 seconds for men and 13 minutes and 10 seconds for women.
    • This a pass/fail event.
    • Dual candidates for the Army and Naval Service are only required to pass one DFIFT.
  • Interview:
    • Candidates who are successful in the fitness testing element will be asked to attend an interview which is held on the same day.
    • The interview is competency-based and is composed of:
      • Ability to work under pressure;
      • Teamwork;
      • Motivation; and
      • Career orientation.
    • Passing the interview is not a guarantee of selection, with only the top scoring candidates moving to the next stage.
  • Medical Exam.
    • Successful candidates will attend a medical examination undertaken at St Bricin’s Military Hospital, Dublin.
  • Security Clearance:
    • In conjunction with the medical exam candidates will undergo security vetting by An Garda Siochana.
    • Candidates must provide two referees as part of the process.

Candidates are placed in a competition’s order of merit, with only the top scoring candidates being offered a place in the Recruit Platoon they applied for and moving on to recruit training.

4.0 Recruitment Statistics

In 2016, the Army recruited (or inducted) “501” recruits from a total applicant pool of “4,807”, “477” men and “24” women (DOD, 2016, p.39).

5.0 References

DOD (Department of Defence). (2016) Department of Defence and Defence Forces Annual Report 2016. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.military.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/images/Info_Centre/documents/Annual_Reports/Annual_Report_2016__English_.pdf. [Accessed: 08 January, 2019].