1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the recruitment and selection process for Irish Naval Service officer cadets wishing to join the Irish Defence Forces (IDF).

2.0 Eligibility Criteria

  • Be 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition.

3.0 Cadet Competition

The recruitment and selection process for Irish Naval Service officer cadets is an annual event known as the Cadet Competition. Dates for competitions are advertised in national newspapers and the IDF website.

The process includes:

  • Online Application.
  • Psychometric Testing:
    • All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria are invited to undergo an online psychometric test.
    • This consists of verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and job simulation exercise.
  • Assessment Centre (Day 1):
    • Candidates who are successful at the psychometric testing are invited to attend an Assessment Centre.
    • Medical Exam.
    • Defence Forces Induction Fitness Test (DFIFT):
      • 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 is a pass/fail test, candidates who do not pass will not be allowed to continue in the competition.
    • Realistic Job Preview: Candidates will receive briefs from serving Officer Cadets and Junior Officers to give them an insight to military life.
    • Group Exercise: Candidates will have to participate in a group exercise where they will be assessed for leadership, teamwork and communication skills.
  • Assessment Centre (Day 2):
    • Interview:
      • Candidates who are invited to interview will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Application Form regarding convictions.
      • It is competency-based and includes:
        • Leadership;
        • Problem Solving;
        • Initiative and drive;
        • Information handling;
        • Resilience;
        • Team working;
        • Planning and organising;
        • Listening and articulation; and
        • Willingness to learn.
      • Passing the interview is not a guarantee of selection, with only the top scoring candidates moving to the next stage.
  • Security Clearance:
    • Top scoring candidates will undergo security vetting by An Garda Siochana.

Candidates are placed in a competition’s order of merit, with only the top scoring candidates being offered a Naval Service officer cadetship.

4.0 Recruitment Statistics

In 2016, the Naval Service recruited (or inducted) 15 cadets from a total applicant pool of “4,807” (DOD, 2016, p.39).

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].