This article provides an overview of the training process for Irish Naval Service officer cadets wishing to join the Irish Defence Forces (IDF).
2.0 Purpose of Officer Cadet Training
The purpose of officer cadet training (aka boot camp, basic training, or Phase 1 initial training) is to provide young officers with the military and professional skills required by their future role.
3.0 Outline of Basic Training
Officer Cadet training is divided into two distinct stages of training:
- Stage 1: First Year Military Training lasting 51 weeks.
- Stage 2: National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) Training lasting 40 weeks.
3.1 Stage 1: First Year Military Training
The purpose of Stage 1 is to master the basic skills required of a member of the IDF. In addition it will develop the leadership skills of the cadet and master fundamental Naval Military Skills. During this stage the Cadet will be located in the Naval Base, the Defence Forces Training Centre, and on board Naval Service Vessels. At the end of Stage 1, officer cadets will:
- Understand the Defence Forces Values.
- Understand the principles of leadership.
- Accept personal responsibility.
- Have developed their discipline, esprit de corps and physical fitness.
- Be proficient in personal weapons, map reading, foot drill, arms drill, field-craft and other relevant competencies.
- Have successfully completed Semester 1 of their academic studies.
- Be qualified in basic seamanship skills.
3.2 Stage 2: NMCI
The purpose of Stage 2 is to study for the award of a:
- Degree in Nautical Science in the case of Operations Branch Officer Cadets or;
- Degree in Marine Engineering for Engineer Branch Officer Cadets.
NMCI is a partnership between the Cork Institute of Technology and the IDF Naval Service.
4.0 Assignment to First Unit
Officer Cadets who are deemed to have successfully completed the training programme will receive their Unit assignment in the last week of their Cadetship.
During this period officer cadets are told which vessel they have been assigned to.
5.0 Commissioning Ceremony
The Officer Cadet training programme concludes with a commissioning ceremony where Officer Cadets receive their new ranks:
- Ensign in the case of school leavers; and
- Sub-Lieutenant in the case of graduates.
The ceremony takes place within the Naval Base College and families are invited to view the newly commissioned officers retaking their oath of enlistment and receiving their Presidential Commissions from the Minister of Defence.
6.0 Recruitment Statistics
In 2016, the Naval Service recruited (or inducted) 15 cadets from a total applicant pool of “4,807” (DOD, 2016, p.39).
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].