Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

About this Sector

About this Sector

Please give an overview of your sector?

The roles assigned by Government are:

  • To defend the State against armed aggression; this being a contingency, preparations for its implementation will depend on an ongoing Government assessment of threats.
  • To aid the Civil Power (meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda Síochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State).
  • To participate in multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations in support of the United Nations and under UN mandate, including regional security missions authorised by the UN.
  • To provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State’s obligations as a member of the European Union.
  • To carry out such other duties as may be assigned to them from time to time e.g. search and rescue, air ambulance service, ministerial air transport service, assistance on the occasion of natural or other disasters, assistance in connection with the maintenance of essential services, assistance in combating oil pollution at sea.

Permanent Defence Force

The Permanent Defence Force consists of an Army, an Air Corps and a Naval Service.


Army Cap badgeThe Army is structured into two all-arms brigades, consisting of combat, combat support and combat service support elements. Each brigade is designated a territorial area of responsibility, specific garrison locations and a recruitment area.

The Defence Forces’ Training Centre (DFTC) and Defence Forces’ Logistics Base at the Curragh Camp support the training and logistics functions for the Permanent and the Reserve Defence Force.

Naval Service

Naval Service CrestThe Naval Service, based in Haulbowline, Co. Cork, has a flotilla of eight ships, a headquarters, an operations command, a logistical support command and a Naval Service College.

The flotilla consists of a helicopter patrol vessel squadron, large patrol vessel squadron and an offshore patrol vessel squadron. The support command is responsible for personnel and all logistical, engineering, and maintenance functions.

Air Corps

Air Corps RoundelThe Air Corps, based at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, consists of a headquarters, two operational wings, two support wings, an Air Corps Training College, and a Communication and Information Services Squadron.

The operational wings consist of a training/light strike squadron; helicopter squadrons; a maritime squadron; a transport squadron and a fixed wing reconnaissance squadron. The support wings are tasked with specialist maintenance of the aircraft fleet.

Reserve Defence Force

The Reserve Defence Force mirrors the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). Units are rationalised and amalgamated to facilitate this structure. The RDF is organised into the First Line Reserve and a Second Line Reserve. The First Line Reserve comprises of former members of the Permanent Defence Force and the Second Line Reserve comprises an Army Reserve and a Naval Service Reserve.

Army Reserve

Army ReserveThe Army Reserve is organised on an integrated basis. In practice, Reserve units for sub-units of Permanent Defence Forces units, to which they are affiliated. The particular  Permanent Defence Forces unit is then responsible for the equipping and training of its Reserve elements (sub-units).


Naval Service Reserve

Naval Service Reserve CrestThe Naval Service Reserve is divided into two groups known as the Eastern Reserve Group and the Southern Reserve Group.

Each group consists of two companies: Dublin and Waterford in the Eastern Reserve Group and Cork and Limerick companies in the Southern Reserve Group.

What is the size and scope of the sector?

The Permanent Defence Forces establishment is 9,500 all ranks.


Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

Naval Service Direct Entry Officers

The Naval Service has a number of opportunities for Bridge Watchkeeping Officers (Operations Branch), Marine Engineering Officers and Electrical Engineer Officers. These are vital positions and we are looking for highly motivated individuals who combine professional skills with leadership ability and the desire to take their careers to exciting new places.

Terms and Conditions


Reserve Defence Forces

The Reserve Defence Forces advertise for Army Reserve and Naval Service Reserve personnel on an annual basis.

Please visit www.military.ie and follow the careers link for further information.