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What is a Naval Service Officer (Cadet)

NAVAL SERVICE OFFICER CADET

What is a Naval Service Cadet

The Naval Service offers three types of Cadetship:

  • Operations Cadetship
  • Marine Engineering Cadetship
  • Electrical Engineering Cadetship

Training

Applicants who are successful in their application will be offered the opportunity to become a Naval Service Cadet in one of these three areas. Each of these Naval Service Cadets will undergo a course of training of approximately 21 months duration divided into different stages. All Naval Service Cadets will complete stage one consisting of military training in the Cadet School, Military College, DFTC, Curragh Camp alongside their Army and Air Corps counterparts. This stage is of approximately 3 months duration. During this time the cadet is instructed in weapons handling (to instructor level), basic tactics, arms and foot drill, map reading and communications skills.

On completion of phase one all Naval Service Cadets continue their training at the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co.Cork. Here the cadet will continue to learn foot and arms drill as well as build on the skills developed in phase one. In addition to this the cadet will take classes in seamanship, coastal navigation, fire-fighting, sea survival and armed boarding during this phase which lasts approximately seven months.

All Naval Service Cadets will then spend time at sea aboard one of the Naval Service warships as part of the crew.  As well as learning to steer the ship they will assist with ship maintenance, look out duties and seamanship. The purpose of this is to provide the cadet with the knowledge of how an Irish Naval Service vessel operates as well as to practice the skills they have learned up to this point.

Upon returning from sea the cadet will attend academic studies at the Munster Technological University, of which the National Maritime College of Ireland is a part of. It is at this stage that each of the Naval Service Cadetships differ in their training.

  • Operations Cadets will undertake a three year degree in nautical science, the first of which will be as a cadet. The course includes ocean navigation, ship operations, stability and a wide range of short courses.
  • Marine Engineering Cadets will undertake a three year degree in Marine Engineering, the first of which will be as a cadet. The course includes technical maths, practical classes with machinery, welding and marine electrical and mechanical workshops.
  • Electrical Engineering Cadets will undertake a four year degree in Electrical Engineering or Electronic Engineering, the first of which will be as a cadet. The course includes technical maths, practical classes with machinery, electrical workshops and lectures.

For the final phase of their training, in the summer subsequent to the academic year, all Naval Service Cadets will learn about administration and officer duties. 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 cadet training, cadets will become commissioned officers.

On being commissioned as an Ensign or Sub Lieutenant;

  • Operations Officers under training will officers will continue their studies in Nautical Science. As part of their studies they be posted to a ship where they will continue to learn about navigation, pilotage and an officers duties aboard a naval vessel. As part of their course, they must accumulate 12 months sea time, three of which may be spent on a merchant navy vessel overseas. .Once the officer under training has completed their sea time and gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Nautical Science they will undergo a watch keeping course of approximately five weeks. On successful completion of the course the officer will be a fully qualified officer and will be posted to sea.
  • Marine Engineering Officers under training will continue their Marine Engineering degree and once completed they will be posted to a ship where they will continue to learn about marine engineering. Once the officer under training has completed their sea time and gained a Certificate of Competency in Marine Engineering they will be posted to a ship as a Marine Engineering Officer.
  • Electrical Engineering Officers under training will continue their Electrical or Electronic Engineering degree and once completed they will be posted to a shore posting.

Who we want

The Naval Service is seeking applicants who are interested in serving the Irish state and who are seeking a rewarding career with a difference. We want applicants with an interest in engineering operating the states warship’s, 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 situations.

The Naval Service 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 warships in complex situations
  • 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 above and under 26 years of age on 1 September 2023. 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, competency based interviews and a medical exam. Candidates who are invited for assessments will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Applicant Form that, pursuant to Section 8 of the Data Protection Act, 1988, will authorise An Garda Síochána to furnish the Defence Forces with earlier, a statement that there are no convictions recorded against a candidate, or a statement of convictions, as the case may be.

 

Career Progression

Operations Officers 

After successful completion of the watch keeping exam an Operations Officer is posted to a warship. They will be posted as either a Navigation or Gunnery Officer. Whilst posted to a ship the officer will be involved in fisheries operations, search and rescue operations, drug interdiction operations and much more. They will also complete an additional year at the National Maritime College of Ireland where they will gain a Bachelor’s of Science (Hons.) in Nautical Science. They may get the opportunity to serve overseas on a Naval Service mission or with the Army. There are a wide range of courses available to an officer of the Defence Forces allowing them to continuously add to and improve their retinue of skills.

Marine Engineering Officers 

After successful completion of a Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency a Marine Engineering Officer is posted to a warship. Whilst posted to a ship the officer will be involved in maintaining and ensuring efficient running of the ships systems. They will be in charge of the technical department. They may get the opportunity to serve overseas on a Naval Service mission or with the Army. There are a wide range of courses available to an officer of the Defence Forces allowing them to continuously add to and improve their retinue of skills.

Electrical Engineering Officers

After successful completion of the Electrical Engineering or Electronic Engineering degree an Electrical Engineering Officer is posted to a shore position. They will be responsible for maintaining the electrical systems on the Naval Service’ ships including their radar and weapons systems. They may get the opportunity to serve overseas on a Naval Service mission or with the Army. There are a wide range of courses available to an officer of the Defence Forces allowing them to continuously add to and improve their retinue of skills.

 

2023 Terms & Conditions

View the 2023 Cadetship Timeline

2024 Benefits of Joining the Defence Forces