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Commissioned Officer – Direct Entry

We offer a number of direct entry pathways. A direct entrant is one who goes directly into a rank in the Naval Service, without going through the recruit training programme. We recruit people who have skills necessary to the Naval Service.  

We offer the following competitions.   


  • Direct Entry Marine Engineering Officer 
  • Direct Entry Operations Officer 
  • Direct Entry Electrical Engineering Officer 


Personal Development 

The Defence Forces presents endless opportunities for you to develop, as a person and as a leader. 

Learn how to be part of a team, how to be a leader, and how to manage people. Work and experience life in a unique environment with the strength of a diverse team around you. 

Enhance your soft skills like leadership, critical thinking, teamwork and combine these skills with your excellent technical knowledge, they will be reinforced through the experience gained from life at sea at the forefront of military maritime operations. Through this learning pathway you will enable your success in the future, as these are universal skills which translate into all work environments.  

The Defence Forces ethos of volunteer service and our values of Respect, Loyalty, Selflessness, Physical Courage, Moral Courage, and Integrity form the bedrock of our organisation and are central to our effectiveness. You will carry these values with you for life. 


Overseas Service 

You will have the opportunity to apply for service overseas on UN, EU peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions with the Defence Forces: typically these missions will see you deployed in a land based role. Navy overseas maritime deployments are also possible. 

Military and Non-Military Courses 

You will be able to compete for places on a wide variety of courses as you pursue your Continued Personal Development. Courses such as Naval Service Divers, Maritime Interdiction Instructors, and Sea Survival Instructors enable you to grow personally and professionally. You will become a highly valuable asset to the Navy. 


 We will enhance and develop your ability and capability:  

  • To lead and be part of dynamic teams. 
  • To effectively communicate to personnel under your control. 
  • To plan, supervise, and perform all tasks associated with emergency response activities. 
  • To work accurately and calmly under pressure. 
  • To fault find and problem solve. 
  • To multi-task and adapt in challenging environments. 


These new skills will help you adapt to any situation and will be carried with you for life.

Marine Engineering Officer 

A Marine Engineering Officer in the Naval Service is a key person and an essential member of a ship’s company. Amongst other things, you will have the following responsibilities; 

  • Maintenance and operation of equipment on board, inclusive of the hull and structure of the ship, its main engines and auxiliary machinery with associated fuel and water requirements, electrical supply systems, deck machinery and hotel systems ( showers, sanitary, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, heating) 
  • Health and Safety Officer 
  • Engineering Branch Officer (approx. 15 personnel) training and welfare. 
  • Damage Control Officer responsible for all fire and hull breach scenarios onboard including the training of the ships company and maintenance of equipment. 

Operations Officer 

An Operations Branch Officer in the Naval Service is responsible for the efficient running of the ship. The Operations Branch Officer’s responsibilities include Bridge Watch-keeping, where you will be responsible for safe navigation of the ship, the safety of the ship’s company and the security of the weapons and communications systems on board. Operations Branch Officers also lead boarding teams in fishery protection and anti-drug running operations and are, therefore, key leaders and motivators of the ships company.  

Electrical engineering Officer 

Officers of the Electrical branch are responsible for the design, procurement, installation and maintenance of a wide range of systems within the Naval Service fleet including: power-generation and distribution, navigation systems, communications systems, weapons systems, hotel and environmental systems. Electrical Engineering Officers are also responsible for technical training in the Naval College and the maintenance of Naval Service IT infrastructure. 


Please refer to our current Terms & Conditions for further information.