The Irish Defence Forces are made up of the Permanent Defence Force and the Reserve Defence Force. The three branches of the Permanent Defence Force are the Army, the Air Corps and the Naval Service. Building a career in each branch involves slightly different steps.
The primary routes are entering as a cadet, recruit or as a specialist; for example technical roles, musicians or medical personal. There are two rank structures within the permanent defence forces:
- Commissioned Ranks – are officers, those who lead the defence forces. People entering the commissioned ranks are taken on as an Officer Cadet.
- Enlisted Personnel Ranks -are the rank and file of the permanent defence forces, upon completion of training they become Privates (Ptes) in the Army, Able Seamen in the Naval Service or Airmen / Airwomen in the Air Corps. As an enlisted personal you can rise to a non-commissioned officer and there is a route to the commissioned ranks.