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What is an Air Corps Cadet (Pilot)

(The following information is for guidance only and does not replace the official Cadetship terms and conditions which should be consulted)

What is an Air Corps Cadet (Pilot)

Successful applicants are offered cadetships to become Air Corps Pilot Officers in the Defence Forces. The Air Corps Cadet will undergo a course of training of up to three years (approx. 30 months) duration divided into two stages. Air Corps Cadets will complete stage one consisting of military training in the Cadet School, Military College, DFTC, Curragh Camp. This stage is of approximately 17 months duration. During this time the Cadet is instructed in weapons handling (to instructor level), tactics (conventional, internal security and counter–insurgency), arms and foot drill, map reading, communications skills, first aid, basic military engineering, human resource management, communications skills, military law, and academic studies which include leadership, Irish and military history, politics and accountancy.

The purpose of Cadet training is to develop character and leadership skills and instil a sense of duty and responsibility. To benefit from that training, which is conducted in an environment of strict discipline, the Cadet needs mental acuity and physical agility. Upon successful completion of military training in the Curragh, Air Corps cadets will become commissioned officers.

On being commissioned as a Lt or 2/Lt, Young Officers will be posted to the Air Corps, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin 22 to commence Stage 2 - flight training. This stage progresses from ground school (EASA ATPL standard) to flying training. Flying training consists of elementary and basic flying to advanced flying including navigation, instrument flying, aerobatics, formation flying among other disciplines. It should be noted that, subject to the exigencies of the service, young officers may undertake some or all of their flight training abroad in a recognised military flight training school. On successful completion of ground school and flying training, Officers will receive their military pilots’ wings and qualify as military pilots.

Who we want

The Air Corps is seeking applicants who are interested in serving the Irish state and who are seeking a rewarding career with a difference. The Air Corps is seeking applicants with an interest in operating highly advanced aircraft in complex operational environments. We are seeking applicants who want an opportunity to work within teams of competent professionals and who want to develop their leadership skills and lead highly motivated personnel in challenging missions.

The Air Corps is looking for applicants who have:

  • The ability to effectively plan, prioritise and organise
  • The ability to carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions
  • The technical and physical ability to operate military aircraft in complex mission profiles
  • Clear, concise and effective communication skills
  • High levels of self-motivation, the ability to motivate others and to work effectively in a team
  • The ability to function effectively in physically demanding and high pressure situations

Requirements / Qualifications

A summary of candidate requirements and qualifications is as follows:

  • Be 18 years of age or aboveand under 26 years of age on 1 September 2022.
  • Be a citizen of the state or be any other person who has a lawful entitlement to reside and work within the State for the period of enlistment required for the course of training as a cadet and, if subsequently commissioned as an officer, for the additional period of time that is required for the purpose of any such appointment.
  • Be of good character and satisfy any security clearance requirement.
  • Leaving Certificate/Bachelor Degree Graduate (specific grades apply).

Selection Process

Candidates will undergo numerous assessments including psychometric testing, physical fitness testing, psychomotor testing, a psychological interview, competency based interview, simulator assessment and a medical exam. Candidates who are invited for interview will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Application Form that, pursuant to Section 8 of the Data Protection Act, 1988, will authorise An Garda Síochána to furnish the Defence Forces with either, a statement that there are no convictions recorded against a candidate, or a statement of convictions, as the case may be.

Career Progression 

After successful completion of the Wings Course, Air Corps Pilot Officers are assigned to operational squadrons in the Air Corps specialising in either fixed-wing flying or undergoing a Helicopter Conversion Course to become a qualified helicopter pilot. Operational Pilot Officers carry out a wide variety of missions and roles including Army and Naval Service Support, Air Ambulance, Air Transport, Maritime Defence and Security Operations, Special Forces Support, Aerial Fire-Fighting, Ministerial and VIP Air Transport and Aid to the Civil Power tasks. Air Corps Pilot Officers also have opportunities to become Qualified Flight Instructors and Rating Examiners as well as serving in Defence Forces missions overseas.

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