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Emilia Gilroy


An Garda Síochána

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Emilia Gilroy
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Recruitment Opens for Irish Navy

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Recruitment Opens for Irish Navy

Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Recruitment Opens for Irish Navy

The Defence Forces are launching a new General Service Recruits competition for both the Army and Naval Service on Thursday 23rd February 2017.

Applications for this are made online through our website The application phase of the competition will remain open for 6 weeks.

The closing date for this competition is 23:59hrs on the Wednesday 5th April 2017.

Below are some requirements for applicant’s wishing to apply:

Who we want

Naval Service Recruits go on to form the backbone of the Irish Naval Service. Recruit training is 18 weeks in duration and is designed to develop a physically fit, disciplined and motivated person using basic military and naval skills in order to prepare them for further training in the Service.

Recruits are instilled with the Naval Service ethos and the values of Courage, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty. On successful completion of the Recruit training, the Recruit is advanced to the training rank of Ordinary Rating (equivalent of 2 Star Private in the Army).

The Defence Forces require men and women from all backgrounds that possess a strong sense of duty, enjoy working as part of a team, and are looking for a rewarding yet challenging career.

The Naval Service has four Branches consisting of Seaman's, Communications, Mechanicians and Supplies.

The Ordinary Rate commences their chosen Branch training giving them the specialised skills required to fulfil their role at sea and ashore. After this initial specialisation training (up to 12 weeks), the Ordinary Rate will proceed to sea and take up an appointment onboard one of our ships for a two year rotation. Life at sea is at all times varied. The Ordinary Rate, regardless of Branch, is a much valued member of the ship’s crew.

As well as Branch duties, he/she will be called on to complete other duties such as general maintenance, boat work, Damage Control/Firefighting. He/she may also be a member of a Naval Boarding team during Drug Interdiction Operations.

If you are interested in a life at sea, as part of a dynamic, professional and highly motivated team, then the Naval Service is for you.


  • No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit.
  • You need to satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.

Age Limitations

  • Applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 27 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.


Recruit Competitions are held in the Naval Service as required. This is the only way to join the Naval Service to become an Ordinary Seaman.

Candidates undergo psychometric testing, fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam. In conjunction with this, all candidates will be security vetted by An Garda Síochana. Candidates will be required to pass both the medical examination and security vetting to be considered for induction. The Induction Process will determine if you have the potential to become an Ordinary Seaman in the Naval Service.

The Induction Process


Potential Candidates are required to complete an online application form through The dates for the Recruit Competition are advertised on the Irish Defence Forces Recruitment Facebook Page, in the National Newspapers and on this website, with applications only being accepted on these dates. All correspondence with applicants will be through email for the duration of the competition.

Note: Applicants for the Naval Service may also apply for the Army.

Psychometric Testing

All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be invited to do an online psychometric test. Full details of these tests will be emailed to all applicants after the application phase is complete.

Fitness Testing

All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will then be invited to attend a Fitness Testing Centre, where they will be required to complete the Defence Forces induction fitness test. This is a pass or fail test. Once candidates commence the test, they will not be permitted to re-attempt it as part of this competition. Dual candidates for the Army and Naval Service will only be required to pass one test.

Read more about Defence Forces Fitness Testing


Candidates who are successful at the Fitness Assessment Centre will be invited to undergo an Interview. The interview typically takes place the same day as the fitness test. The interview is competency based where Candidates will be assessed under the following competencies:-

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Career Orientation

Medical and Security Clearance

The top scoring candidates at the Interview will then be called to attend a full medical examination. In conjunction with this all candidates will be security vetted by An Garda Siochana.

Candidates are required to pass both the medical examination and security vetting to be considered for induction.

Award of a place in a Recruit Platoon

The candidates who finish at the top of the competitions order of merit will then be offered a place in a Recruit Class.


The Recruit Training Syllabus is designed to produce a physically fit, disciplined and motivated Ordinary Seaman with basic military skills. Naval Recruit training is foundation military training. It is 18 weeks in duration. It is followed by Trained Specialist Training courses.

On successful completion of training Recruits are assigned to a Branch and a vessel of the Naval Service.

Training (eighteen weeks)

The Recruit Training Syllabus is designed to produce a physically fit, disciplined and motivated Ordinary Seaman with basic military skills. Naval Recruit training is the foundation of military training.  It is followed by Specialist Training courses. 

Phase 1: Induction - 2 Weeks

Instructional focus will concentrate on Foot/Arms Drill, Rifle Marksmanship and Physical Fitness. Instruction will also commence on the following subjects; - Occupational First Aid, Hygiene and Sanitation and Health & Safety Training.

Phase 2: Intermediate Training Period (4 Weeks)

Instruction will be completed in the following subjects: USP, Guard Mounting and Sentinel Drill. This period will also provide the necessary examinations, which the Recruits must successfully pass prior to final approval. Annual Personal Weapons Test and Fitness Test.

Phase 3: Final Training Period (7 Weeks)

The Recruit will also be introduced to professional Naval Training. At an early stage of this period the Recruit will complete courses pre-requisite to joining a seagoing unit, namely Damage Control/Firefighting, Personal Survival Techniques, and a Basic Seamanship module. Thus a one-week sea familiarisation will be completed on completion of these modules.

Water confidence training will also be completed during this period. Skills Demonstration will be incorporated into the Recruits Passing Out Parade.

In addition, the recruit will be more exposed to the mission and roles of the NS.

Unit Assignment

Recruits who are deemed to have successfully completed the training programme receive their Branch assignment in the last week of the Recruit Training, where they are assigned to a branch of the Naval Service.

Branch Training

To become a fully qualified sailor, immediately after completion of a Recruit training course, the Ordinary Seaman must complete his/ her Branch Training Syllabus to advance in grade to Able Seaman. This progression is part of the developmental process for the young sailor.

This training will enable successful sailors to progress in their career development. This training will further increase their:

  • Self discipline
  • Confidence and trust in the Defence Forces
  • Time management skills
  • Trust in his/her colleagues and personal professional integrity
  • Adaptability
  • A sense of work standard and safety standard
  • An ability to communicate
  • Has drive and endurance
  • Contributes to the team effort
  • Takes responsibility for his/her own development and learning.

Career Progression

Newly qualified Ordinary Seamen are encouraged to put themselves forward for further courses in the Naval Service. These courses may enable the Seaman to specialise in certain areas of the Naval Service and progress towards career advancement.

Applications will open online here