16 July 2021
By Tom Collins
Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, attends the commissioning of 5 Naval Service Officers
Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney (who is also a Cork South Central Fine Gael TD), attended this year’s Naval Service Commissioning Ceremony at the Naval base in Haulbowline, County Cork where 5 cadets of the 59th class were appointed to be Officers of the Permanent Defence Force.
Addressing the newly commissioned Officers, Minister Coveney acknowledged the demanding, but equally diverse and rewarding career path they had chosen as Officers in the Naval Service.
‘The Defence Forces are committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities for all members of the Organisation, in all aspects of its work, and to ensuring that the Organisation is reflective of Irish society and its changing nature. I have no doubt the Officers of the 59th Cadet Class will enjoy the many positive and gratifying aspects of military life such as the comradeship, and the very high level of job satisfaction that comes from leading and serving others’.
As the recently launched Naval Service recruitment drive moves forward, the Minister called on others to consider a similar career path. ‘I hope that we can encourage other young people to take on the exciting and rewarding challenge of a career in the Naval Service’.
The 59th Cadet Class were inducted into the Irish Naval Service in October 2019 and began their training in the Officer Training School. In the first two weeks, the 59th Cadet Class were introduced to the Naval Service by spending time on board LÉ William Butler Yeats before moving to the Cadet School at the Military College in the Curragh Camp, Kildare. Here, the Cadets were trained as infantry soldiers, focusing on drill, marksmanship, military discipline, fitness and land navigation. In December 2019, the 59th Cadet Class moved back to Haulbowline to begin Phase 2 of their Training.
Phase 2 of training commenced in January 2020. This ‘Marinisation’ phase saw the Cadets studying navigation while also completing a range of courses such as: Engineering, Communications, Fisheries, Gunnery and Strategic Studies.
The 59th Cadet joined LÉ Samuel Beckett to commence phase 3 of their training.
Phase 4 followed, with the 59th Cadet Class studying in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringasciddy.
Every day in college, the Cadets also trained and practised their pilotage skills in the simulators, with the target of becoming competent enough to navigate a ship for the first time. After 22 months of training, the 59th Cadet Class will take the next step in their careers.