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Officer Cadet

An Garda Síochána

Careers without College
An Officer Cadet undergoes a course of training,
following which he/she is Commissioned as an Officer. The
categories of Officer Cadet are:
  • Army Cadet
  • Air Corps Cadet
  • Naval Service Cadet
  • Army Equitation Cadet
Selection Procedure

Preliminary Interview:
Held at Regional Centres. Air Corps and Naval
Service candidates who reach a satisfactory standard at
this interview will be invited to attend for aptitude tests.

Medical and Fitness
Candidates who reach a satisfactory standard at
the Preliminary Interview/assessment test will be
required to undergo a detailed Medical Examination. The Physical Fitness practical examination is designed to test a candidates potential to undergo the rigours of military training.

Final Interview
The Final Interview is normally held on the same day as the Physical Fitness Examination and is subject to the outcome of the Medical Examination. Candidate suitability is assessed at interview under Personality, General Knowledge, Intelligence, General Suitability, Games and Sports.

Annual Competition Time Frame

  • Advertised in National Media -April
  • Closing Date for applications- End April
  • Preliminary Interviews at Regional Centres- Commence May
  • Final Interviews in Dublin Commence Mid-July
  • Notification of Cadetships -Mid-August
  • Enlistment into Defence Forces- Late Sept./Early Oct.
Army Apprentice
Apprentices are required to enlist for service in the Defence Forces for a minimum period of 12 years, comprising nine years in the Permanent Defence Force and three years in the Reserve Defence Force.

Training takes place at the Army Apprentice
School in Naas, Co. Kildare in one of the following trades:

  • Carpenter
  • Motor Mechanic
  • Fitter (Armourer)
  • Electrician
  • Radio Technician
  • Electronic Service Technician
Normally lasts three years and includes both
instruction in a particular trade by fully qualified instructors
and military training.

On completion of the training course, the apprentice is assigned to a Corps where theoretical and practical training is continued for a further year. Apprentices will then work at their
respective trades in the Corps to which they have
been assigned.

Normal Intake
The number of candidates selected for medical
examination and interview may be restricted based on
educational qualifications.

Summary of Qualifications
Candidates must be at least 16 and under 19 years
of age on 1st September in the year of the competition.

Candidates must have passed five subjects in the
Junior Certificate or its equivalent. These subjects
must include:

  • Irish or English
  • Mathematics
and two of the subjects listed hereunder;
  • Metalwork
  • Materials Technology (Wood)
  • Science
  • Art
  • Technical Graphics
  • Technology

Have educational qualifications which, in the
opinion of the Minister for Defence, are not lower in
standard than those specified above. Candidates
applying for a Radio Technician apprenticeship
must have a pass in Science and Higher Level

In addition, different trades may require passes
in specified subjects on a list available from the
Department of Defence.

Candidates should study the full conditions
carefully as they are subject to review from time to time.


Apprentice Technician
Apprentices in the Defence Forces receive
training for their chosen trade, as well as military training.

Army Apprentices
Army apprentices train at the Army Apprentice School in Naas and are allotted to various Corps depending on their trade.

Air Corps Apprentices
Air Corps apprentices train at the Air Corps apprentice
School in Baldonnel.

Naval Service Apprentices
Naval Service Apprentices train at the Naval Service Base
in Haulbowline.

All apprenticeships in the Defence Forces are
recognised by

The Army and Naval Service have a requirement to
recruit men and women to serve as private soldiers and

Naval Recruit
Recruits in the Permanent Defence Force are
required to undergo an initial training period of
approximately 16 weeks.  On completion of
training recruits qualify as private soldiers or
seamen.  A private or seaman can normally apply
for courses to qualify for promotion to Corporal
or Leading Seaman.

Recruits in recent years have been recruited for
a fixed term of five years. On completion of five years
permanent service a member may be permitted to
extend the terms of his/her permanent service.
The remainder will be discharged from the PDF but
will remain on the First Line Reserve for a period of seven years.

Full conditions of service may be obtained from :
Competitions Section,
Department of Defence,
Colaiste Caomhin,
St. Mobhi Road,
Dublin 9.
Tel.:  (01) 8042149  Fax:  (01) 8373604

Conditions of Entry together with Selection
Procedure & Time Frame can be obtained from:
The Secretary General,
Competitions Section,
Department of Defence,
Infirmary Road,
Dublin 7.
Tel.:  01 8042127 and 01 - 804214901 - 8042493
or (1890) 4265555 (Lo Call)Fax :01-804242