Dáil Éireann - Volume 673 - 04 February, 2009
Written Answers. - Defence Forces Schemes.
Deputy Jack Wall Deputy Jack Wall
Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Defence the progress made in regard to the commitment in the programme for Government to develop commissioning from the ranks programme. [3520/09]
Deputy Willie O’Dea Deputy Willie O’Dea
Deputy Willie O’Dea: Significant progress has been made recently in implementing schemes to enable more commissioning from the ranks.
The revised cadetship competition is now seen as the primary means of commissioning from the ranks. The cadetship competition has been revised to increase the maximum entry age to 28 and to award bonus marks to candidates with previous experience in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) or Reserve Defence Force (RDF).
 Results for the 2007 and 2008 cadetship competitions were encouraging with a total of 18 applicants with military service in the Defence Forces being successful in the 2007 cadetship competition and a further 13 applicants with military service being successful in the 2008 cadetship competition.
In addition, since 2005, 6 members of the Defence Forces were commissioned as officers from Direct Entry Competitions for appointments as Engineer Officers in the Corps of Engineers, Conductors in the Army School of Music and Aeronautical Engineer Officers in the Air Corps.
An internal Commissioning From the Ranks competition was held in June 2007. This competition provided an opportunity for enlisted personnel who have passed the cadet entry age to compete for entry on a potential Officers Course and ultimately, a commission. As a result of the competition a total of 24 applicants (23 males and 1 female) were selected from the ranks of Junior and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers. Following successful completion of training in the Cadet School, these enlisted personnel were commissioned as officers of the Permanent Defence Force on 10 June 2008.
Policy on the running of similar future competitions is being addressed. This issue is included in the Defence Forces Modernisation Action Plan agreed under “Towards 2016”. I have also asked the Chief of Staff for his views on the prospect of facilitating suitably qualified enlisted personnel to compete internally for technical/professional posts in the officer ranks in the future.
Dáil Éireann 673 Written Answers. Defence Forces Schemes.