Skip to main content

Requirements

FAQs dealing with requirements for Applicants intending to join the Defence Forces

What vision must I have?

Army:

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Admin):

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unaided vision of not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other.
  2. Unaided vision less than 1) above, but which is not less than either 6/12 in each eye OR 6/6 in the right eye and 6/36 in the left eye.
  3. Unaided vision of not less than 6/36 in each eye, and can be corrected to not less than 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.
  4. Normal colour vision

Naval Service (Any Branch other than Admin):

  1. Unaided vision must be not less than 6/6 in one eye 6/9 in the other
  2. Night vision must be normal
  3. Normal colour vision

What age do I have to be in order to be enlisted into the Permanent Defence Force?

Applicants for General Service with the Army and Air Corps must be not less than 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for General Service with the Naval Service 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.

Applicants for Air Corps Apprenticeship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 21 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications. In the case of serving Defence Forces personnel applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 23 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications.

Applicants for Cadetship must be not less than 18 years of age and under 28 years of age on the date deemed by the terms and conditions.

Do I need my Leaving Certificate to apply for General Service?

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

What if I have sat exams such as O or A levels instead of the Leaving Cert (Cadetships)?

Supply the details of your results or the exam you are sitting, and if they are considered to be equivalent to the Leaving Cert standard set out above, they will be acceptable.

What are the height requirements?

The height requirement for all candidates wishing to enlist in the Defence Forces is that they must be a minimum of 157.48cm.

Is there a medical examination and physical test?

An offer of appointment in the Defence Forces is conditional on the passing of both a medical examination and a physical fitness test prior to enlistment.

I have heard that the Defence Forces uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) as one
means of determining medical eligibility. Can you explain this?

I have heard that the Defence Forces uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) as one
means of determining medical eligibility. Can you explain this?

The BMI is calculated by the formula: weight (kilograms) divided by height (metres) squared, i.e. kg/m2, and is a guideline of an appropriate range of body weight with respect to minimising certain health risks.

Under 17: you will be assessed by the examining medical officer in order to determine whether you could cope with the demands of training.

17 to 29: You fall within the acceptable range for entry.

30 and above: Is not acceptable for entry into the Defence Forces and youwill be classified as medically unfit.

*Please note that the BMI result is indicative only, other factors affect the result. An initial failure of the BMI in the case, for example, of well muscled but short rugby player will result in a Body Fat Composition Test being used in lieu of the BMI test.

Read more about Defence Forces Fitness testing.

Will I have to go overseas?

Overseas Service is deemed mandatory for all personnel in the Defence Forc es.

Will I need to be very fit to join the Naval Service?

No. You are not expected to be very fit when you join. A fitness assessment will be carried out as part of the selection process along with an Interview and Medical Examination.

Read more Information about Fitness Testing

Will I need to be able to Swim in order to join the Naval Service?

No. You are not required to be able to swim in order to join the Naval Service. We will put you through a Basic Swimming Course, and a Sea Survival Course in order to improve your confidence in the water and in using the various survival equipment in use in the Naval Service.