A SKIBBEREEN man is urging people to consider applying for career in the Defence Forces, with a recruitment drive currently underway.
James Davis from Tragumna joined the force six years ago and was speaking as the second of this year’s general service recruitment competitions for the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) continued.
The current recruitment competition is described as an opportunity for young people to serve their country in both the Army and Naval Service. New recruits will receive first class training in weapons handling, military tactics, team work and physical fitness.
On completion of their induction training, personnel will have opportunities to serve Ireland both domestically and on overseas missions, undergo leadership training and choose from a broad spectrum of educational opportunities.
On completion of recruit and three-star training, which takes an initial 17 weeks followed by a further 12 weeks training respectively, newly qualified 3-star privates and their naval service equivalent, can expect minimum gross annual earnings of €27,000 (inclusive of military service allowance).
James joined up while at college doing a course on police and security studies.
‘A friend brought my attention to their website and I thought it looked like an attractive career option – I’m not the kind of person who likes to sit behind a desk.’
Following his training, he was stationed in Kilkenny for five years before going overseas to the Lebanon last May for six months.
He described that as a ‘brilliant experience’ which really ‘opened my eyes to the world.’
James was involved in peace keeping and said the situation ‘was very calm’ while he was there.
‘Being away from family and my fiancée for Christmas was tough, but you feel like you’re doing what you signed up for initially, and it also represents a good financial opportunity,’ he said.
He is currently upskilling at Collins Barracks, Cork to drive armoured military vehicles. ‘Being in the army can be physically and mentally challenging, but it teaches you to be a better person, gives you life skills and is character-building,’ he added.
The Defence Forces are seeking to induct approximately 700 people across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service this year through both of the general service recruitment competitions, as well as apprenticeships and cadetships.
The current competition is for general service in the army and naval service and is open until Sunday, October 7th and applicants can apply via www.military.ie/en/home/