Monday 21 October 2019

Thousands battle for a handful of Defence Force posts

Sam Griffin

MORE than 2,600 people have rushed to join the Defence Forces following an annual cadetship competition. However, just one in 75 applicants is likely to be successful.

The application window for the drive, called the 'Cadetship Competition', ran from May 10 to May 26. In that time, 2,608 applications were received for the 15-month-long programme across six different positions in the Army, Navy, Air Corps and Equitation School.

However, between 2009 and 2012, on average just 35 cadetships were awarded. It is understood that a similar number will be offered this year, which would indicate that only one in 75 applicants will be awarded a cadetship.

The six positions advertised this year were for the Army, Air Corps and Equitation School and there were three separate positions within the Navy.


A cadetship is a course designed to train potential commissioned officers in the rank of lieutenant. Salaries for cadets begin at €16,599.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence said: "Nobody can say for certain how many cadetships will be offered but there is no reason to think it would be much different from the number awarded in the last couple of years."

The Government has set a limit of 9,500 members for the Defence Forces. They currently have 9,163.

Of the 2,608 applications received, 1,419 were for the Army and 493 for the Navy.

The Air Corps received 546 applications and the Equitation School 150.

Irish Independent

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