1.0 Introduction

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

The Irish Naval Service is the maritime component of the IDF, and is also the middle component (numbers-wise) with approximately 1,000-1,100 personnel of the 9,500 personnel within the IDF.

2.0 Hierarchy of the Naval Service

An overview of the IDF can be found here.

3.0 Methods of Entry

There are currently two methods of entry for joining the Naval Service depending on the career path of the candidate:

  • Cadet for officers.
  • Recruit for other ranks.

4.0 Cadet

Officers are the leaders, decision makers and managers of the Naval Service.

A Naval Service Officer specialises in one of two branches:

  • Operations Branch:
    • Officers of the Operations Branch of the Naval Service are responsible for the efficient running of the ship.
    • It is only from within this Branch that an Officer may become the Commanding Officer or Captain of a ship.
  • Engineering Branch:
    • The Engineering Branch Cadet will be trained to a level whereby they can fill an appointment as a ship’s Marine Engineering Officer or Electrical Engineer.
    • The Engineering Officer is responsible for everything that keeps a ship afloat, moving and habitable.
    • Electrical Officers are responsible for all the electrical components ashore and at sea.

The attributes of a good Officer include:

  • The ability to make good decisions and communicate them in stressful situations;
  • An interest in physical fitness;
  • Good communication skills; and
  • The ability to motivate, and work well, with others.

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

5.0 Recruit

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

Training for recruits is undertaken over a 20 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 sailor of the Naval Service.

Information on the selection and recruitment process for candidates wishing to become sailors in the Naval Service can be found here.

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