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Thread: Army Officers

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    Needs of the service come first. If you're not fairly mobile when you start and go where there are vacancies, then the question must be asked why opt for it as a career in the first place.
    I'm pretty open minded about moving around actually, I've spent most of the last 5 years away and didn't miss it at all. It was just a hypothetical question, as I know from the stories I heard from people who served in the BA about them upping sticks and off to somewhere new every once in a while, i was wondering if it was the same, albeit on a smaller scale in the PDF.

  2. #27
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northie View Post
    Also out of curiosity, what are the timescales of an officer career? Some of the careers information I've seen for the British army give a timelines eg

    2nd Lt 12 Months
    Lieutenant 1-3 Years
    Captain 4-6 Years
    Major 8+ Years etc

    Anyone have any ideas as to what the situation is with the PDF?
    2/Lt - 15 months (ie your cadet training)
    Lt - generally around a further 18-24 months or there about (those with level 8 degrees prior to their cadet training are commissioned as Lts)

    It all depends on your annual reports, courses completed, vacancies in your corps, the promotion ban etc etc

    The following course must be successfully completed for promotion:
    PSO Platoon Commanders Cse - 4 months (2/Lt & Lts)
    Young Officers Cse - Infantry 2 mths, most other corps are longer (for promotion to Captain I think)
    Junior Command & Staff Cse - 5 months (for promotion to Commandant)
    Senior Command & Staff Cse - 9 months (for promotion to Lt Colonel)

    source:http://www.military.ie/dfhq/pubrel/p...tsHandbook.pdf

    Put it this way ... you will not bump into many commandants (equivalant to major) with only 8 years service.

    ---------------------

    The current Chief of Staff was promoted to the following ranks with the following service (source: military.ie):

    2/Lt - 2 years (the course used to be 21 months, it is now 15)

    Lt Col - 30 years
    Colonel - 36 years
    Brigadier General - 38 years
    Major General - 39 years

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by northie View Post
    I'm pretty open minded about moving around actually, I've spent most of the last 5 years away and didn't miss it at all. It was just a hypothetical question, as I know from the stories I heard from people who served in the BA about them upping sticks and off to somewhere new every once in a while, i was wondering if it was the same, albeit on a smaller scale in the PDF.
    Keep that attitude in your interview then, if you say you want an area, people are going to ask themselves if you want to stay local will you want to serve overseas.

    They'll send you a booklet explaining things later

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    Keep that attitude in your interview then, if you say you want an area, people are going to ask themselves if you want to stay local will you want to serve overseas.

    They'll send you a booklet explaining things later
    I listened to that Radio interview about the bord snip cuts and when hearing the the average officer spends 15 years overseas I thought "nice one".

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by northie View Post
    Some of the careers information I've seen for the British army give a timelines eg
    Get the BA or US Army comparison out of your head for starters. Officer promotion in the PDF is currently much slower for a number of reasons most notably 'the hump'. This is when the Government panicked in the early 1970's and took in huge Cadet Classes with well over a hundred Cadets. This went on for a few years and when the PDF didn't expand in line with the number of new officers there were a surplus of officers for a finite number of promotions.

    The good news is that a lot of these officers (the one you see in Bks and go "he's very old to still be a Comdt") are begining to fall off the cliff now having to retire on age grounds and it will only take a few years for the effect to cascade back through the organisation.

    Another on the plus side a lot of officers over the last 20 years have gone out to civvy street mid career which creates the pyramid type structure in a natural way without any blood on the floor. On balance, it's excellent news for new entrants. The time at 2/Lt and Lt will probably remain the same but the time at Captain and Comdt will reduce.

    2/Lt - 2 years (skip this if you're a graduate)
    Lt - 4 years

    Both automatic

    Captain - 10 years
    You'll be eligible to enter the competition after seven to ten years. Those who come first will be promoted straight away with the balance taking three years so its still an average of ten years. Once you complete the Junior Command and Staff Course (aka 'the half lobotomy') you are guaranteed of making Captain.

    Comdt
    Based on the current situation you could spend 8 years at this rank before making Lt Col if you're lucky enough. This is the only rank you are guaranteed to make as an officer. You could finish your career at this rank having to retire at 56.

    You might think that's bad in comparison to the BA but you should note the absence of an 'up or out' policy in the PDF. This is where you must make a higher rank by a certain age or length of service or else you're out. A lot of gung ho or walter mitty types (many of whom post on this forum) would be all for it until it would apply to them. No system is perfect and I don't think ours is either but it's a lot more human that the up or out system. It can be quite brutal and is often exploited by vindictive COs who can literally drum an officer out by giving them a series of awful annual reports which will stop them from being promoted and by the time they get a new CO and more objective reports it's too late.

  6. #31
    Closed Account ZULU's Avatar
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    Some great insight Jessup. Thanks for posting

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    2/Lt - 15 months (ie your cadet training)
    Lt - generally around a further 18-24 months or there about (those with level 8 degrees prior to their cadet training are commissioned as Lts)

    It all depends on your annual reports, courses completed, vacancies in your corps, the promotion ban etc etc
    For the benefit of Northie that information isn't accurate.

    Cadets in Ireland are Cadets not 2/Lts. All Cadets are enlisted personnel for the 15 month course until commissioning. You have a six digit o/ranks Army Number until the day you are commissioned and then given your four digit officer Army Number. It's a great test for a spoofer. Ask them their Army number and then ask them their Cadet School number. Your service as an officer i.e. 2/Lt, doesn't start until the day you are commissioned.

    2/Lt - 2 Years
    After commissioning those without a degree spend two years as a 2/Lt. Those with a degree are commissioned as 2/Lt and promoted to Lt the next day to satisfy DFRs.

    Lt - 4 Years
    Everyone (degree, non degree, CFR) spend four years as a Lt on which you are promoted to Captain automatically on the same day as their classmates. It has nothing to do with annual reports (unless you blot your copy book), courses completed, vacancies in your corps etc.

    Captain - 10 years
    Promotion competitions for officers currently only start at Captain to Commandant. Those currently being promoted to Comdt are from 68th to 71st Cadet class who would have started in the Cadet School in '91 '92 '93 and '94 So the range of service there as a Captain before they could enter the promotion competition is from about ten years to seven years but by the time everyone on the list is promoted it's an average of ten years anyway if you imagine it without a promotion ban. I don't think I've ever heard of an officer jumping more than one class but I know of one of two officers dropping a few classes!!

    The higher you go into the competition from your Cadet School placing the better. It sounds unfair that a placing on a course you did so long ago when you were maybe still immature follows you for so long but that why the Cadets work so hard. Your class placing determines your seniority and that sticks with until the Capt to Comdt competition. Subsequent service has an influence of course but you have to remember that most of those who finish ahead of you in the Cadet School are going to have good service too.

    So if you do get the Cadets work your ass of when you're there. When things get tough just keep saying '15 for 30' to yourself. 15 months of hell for 30 years of the life of a gentleman!

    Comdt - (anywhere from 8 years to 22 years)
    There aren't enough hours in my day to explain the system of Comdt to LtCol. The variables are numerous and complicated. Cross that bridge when you come to it but some of it goes back to the Cadet School so I'd stress again to work as hard as you can there. EG Every Bn Comdr in UNIFIL made it from LtCol to Col. In an effort to be fair and 'spread it around' two Bn Comdrs were picked from each Cadet Class. So that was one Cadet Class per year. Therefore if you wanted to have any chance of making to Col via that route to had to be Inf first of all. Inf is the best Corps for promotion above Lt Col. Then you had to be one of the top two Inf officers in your class.

    Hope that's some help Northie.

  8. #33
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    Great stuff Jessup, there's a wealth of info available about the BA online, but very little about the PDF.

  9. #34
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I bow to your superior knowledge jessup

    I presume you have to have successfully completed the YOs & Jun C&S Cse though??

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    I bow to your superior knowledge jessup

    I presume you have to have successfully completed the YOs & Jun C&S Cse though??
    Junior C&S has to be passed to make Comdt yes, not Captain. I can't think of anyone who has failed it

    The issue of YOs course is not as clear cut. You wouldn't necessarily have to complete one of these to be promoted.

    The Cadet school qualifies every officer as an Inf Pln Comdr. Hence Inf Pln Comdrs o/seas that are Arty, S&T, etc. Has changed recently with smaller o/seas units and more than enough Inf Lts to go around. In my experience Inf YOs were very irregular and when one did happen there were all sorts of exemptions, EG Served overseas already. So there are plenty of senior Inf Offrs out there who never did a YOs.

    The logic being that there is no major skills gap from the Cadet School. Having said that, the recent reduction from 21 to 15 months in the Cadet Sch might have created that gap. Does anyone know if the three month Light Inf Sp Wpns Cse is still done in the Cadet School? The BA Inf YOs is made up mostly of that, allowing Sandhurst to be only seven months.

    The Corps are different and YOs courses are held every few years. Some Corps are so small that you might make Captain before doing a YOs and then not being 'young' never do one. You might miss one course because you're in college and the next because you're overseas. You can't be 'punished' then and not promoted with your peers. I'm thinking S&T and CIS here in particular.

    It could apply to Arty and Cav too but these are the two least likely Corps where you would not have done a YOs. The first reason is that you normally must have completed your YOs to serve in a junior officer Cav or Arty o/seas appointment. The second reason is those Corps have a 'Standard Course' and you might find this very difficult to complete if you didn't do the YOs.

  11. #36
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The logic being that there is no major skills gap from the Cadet School. Having said that, the recent reduction from 21 to 15 months in the Cadet Sch might have created that gap. Does anyone know if the three month Light Inf Sp Wpns Cse is still done in the Cadet School?
    The new PSO platoon cmdrs course helps to make up from the reduction, it is undertaken by all who have passed through the Cadet School and is 4 months long.

  12. #37
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    Excellent idea. Personally I think they could shave another three months of the Cadet Sch and make it 12 months. There's a lot of stupid sub courses and bullshit academics on it. That would make it an extremely attractive offering for Graduates. Do a Masters or Post Graduate Diploma that will cost you X and might lead to SFA or in the same time you can paid to do a Cadetship which will lead to a rewarding career.

    The only problem with that is it would see an end to the Senior Class / Junior Class dynamic and also halve the staff requirement for the Cdt Sch so can't see it happening.

  13. #38
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    I like this mans style.

    Jessup has just brought a new degree and knowledge to the board in several threads well done this man.

    I'm not qualified to post on it as I have only come across certain aspects of it but it makes good reading..keep it up
    Just visiting

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessup View Post
    Excellent idea. Personally I think they could shave another three months of the Cadet Sch and make it 12 months. There's a lot of stupid sub courses and bullshit academics on it. That would make it an extremely attractive offering for Graduates. Do a Masters or Post Graduate Diploma that will cost you X and might lead to SFA or in the same time you can paid to do a Cadetship which will lead to a rewarding career.
    It looks like a lot of the non military subjects have been taken out:
    During this time the cadet is instructed in weapons handling (to instructor level), tactics (conventional, internal security and counter–insurgency), arms and foot drill, military engineering, human resource management, communications skills, military law, computer training in office information systems and academic studies which include leadership, psychology, Irish and military history, politics and economics.
    I do seriously believe they need to move towards short service commissions and ending/cutting back on the USAC scheme.
    Last edited by DeV; 11th August 2009 at 00:21.

  15. #40
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    I'm afraid what Jessup said about every Lt. Col, that commanded a a UNIFIL BN . is inaccurate. A Friend of mine, cant remember which Bn, he was in charge of never made it past Lt. Col. and retired at that rank.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drylander View Post
    I'm afraid what Jessup said about every Lt. Col, that commanded a a UNIFIL BN . is inaccurate. A Friend of mine, cant remember which Bn, he was in charge of never made it past Lt. Col. and retired at that rank.
    Are you sure it wasn't one of the trips to Eritrea? That was a horrible trip and the Lt Col paid a heavy price indeed.

    Even the Bn Comdr of the '72.5' Bn got promoted (the one where the lads sold the .5 HMG). I can stand over the 70Bn to the 89Bn for sure. That's 20/20. Maybe there is one exception from the 43Bn to the 69Bn but I doubt it.

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that a successful o/seas tour as a Unit Comdr is a shoe in for promotion. Many officers would be able to complete such an assignment but they never get the chance. I'm sorry that your friend didn't make it to full Col but he got a really fighting chance the many Lt Cols never get.

    I was trying to explain for the benefit of some posters asking about promotion that your performance in the Cdt Sch follows you for a long time. You will increase your chances of being picked as an o/seas Unit Comdr the more senior you are within your Cadet Class and that starts by going Infantry, trying to finish as high as possible in your class and maintaining that position in subsequent promotion competitions.

  17. #42
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    Ah Jessup

    you are a rock of sense- except

    the lads never sold that .5-

    convictions were overturned- 2 innocent lads

    though one prick of a Comdt who couldnt site a jacks never mind a .5 is now a civy-

    the only guilty one out of this entire debacle is that prick of a God fearing born again Comdt and the

    idiot whoo decided to entrust the lives of men into the nads of a lad who couldnt wipe his own

    arse without checking to see how it would affect his career-
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  18. #43
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    Oh yeah I forgot about that. That's partly what started the review of the whole courts martial thing and the first military judge etc.

    Back to the Army officer angle, that started this thread and what they do. That's a prime example of 'an officer is responsible for everything his/her troops do and fail to do'

    Overseas is a great opportunity to further your career but it can also kill it!

  19. #44
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    Jessup speaks the truth.

    To the initial poster of this thread: take out all the cynicism and put in an application. Officers do lots of good work and then too much paperwork. Much is expected of them and getting through the training is not easy. Why? They take responisbility. Not that soldiers, sailors or aircrew of enlisted rank don't. But ultimately it's the officer is expected to make the decision, give direction to his/her troops and make it happen. It doesn't matter if that order is to march on parade for a guard of honour or to 'follow me' over the hill, it's your call. And when you get it worong you'll know all about it.

    Don't let that scare you. The training is tough, but progressive. Some of it is unnecessary, but all of it actually forms you into the basic model for an officer. The troops in your first unit, your first overseas trip (for the army) and your first real fu@k up take the rough edges off you. If you're lucky, you meet a good CO and good officers around you early on. These will rub off on you. Don't mind the 'high stool' talk...being in charge of Irish soldiers is one of the best jobs in the world. And that's on a bad day. When you meet good NCO's you'll just know who they are. They are SO important to you that you should nurture them, expecially the young one's, 'cos they're the C/S's and BSM;s of the future.

    They won;t all love you...but if you do what you're supposed to, they'll respect you. Give it a lash. I highly recommend it.

  20. #45
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    I cant actually fault your post Parade Boy

    some of our Officers are great some are shite

    some of our NCOs are great some are shite- cest la gurre


    When you meet good NCO's you'll just know who they are. They are SO important to you that you should nurture them, expecially the young one's, 'cos they're the C/S's and BSM;s of the future.
    that should be tatood on the arse of every Cadet.

    except replace the word THE with YOUR


    Now I demand you write something I can pick holes and find fault with- off you go
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  21. #46
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    I have a special interest in the cadets and I would like to thank Jessop and others for their insights.
    Much appreciated

  22. #47
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    Best of luck to you. In one way the toughest thing is getting into the Cadets in the first place. The applicant numbers will probably be very high this year. Try and get a few mock interviews, they're essential.

    The quality of instruction is excellent so don't let people put you off or feel a bit overwhelmed. Never fired a weapon before, doesn't matter, never read a map before, doesn't matter. That will all the taught to you. They're looking for good raw materials not the finished article.

    It is physically tiring so the longer you can go without having to pull on your mental reserves the better. Work on your cardio fitness if you can, don't mind weights really unless it's pushups and pullups. A little bit of hill work with a backpack and a few 2 litre bottles full of water wrapped in towels. When you're wrecked don't stop, empty out one bottle and repeat until you are wrecked with no full bottles.

    Running on loose sand or similar is good for simulating Battle PT which is a shock to the system and muscles if you've been doing just road running.

    I don't think there's much you can do to prepare for the mental challenges. Just keep your head down and keep telling yourself that no matter how bad it gets its worth it.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by parade boy View Post

    To the initial poster of this thread: take out all the cynicism and put in an application. Officers do lots of good work and then too much paperwork. Much is expected of them and getting through the training is not easy. Why? They take responisbility. Not that soldiers, sailors or aircrew of enlisted rank don't. But ultimately it's the officer is expected to make the decision, give direction to his/her troops and make it happen. It doesn't matter if that order is to march on parade for a guard of honour or to 'follow me' over the hill, it's your call. And when you get it worong you'll know all about it.

    Don't let that scare you. The training is tough, but progressive. Some of it is unnecessary, but all of it actually forms you into the basic model for an officer. The troops in your first unit, your first overseas trip (for the army) and your first real fu@k up take the rough edges off you. If you're lucky, you meet a good CO and good officers around you early on. These will rub off on you. Don't mind the 'high stool' talk...being in charge of Irish soldiers is one of the best jobs in the world. And that's on a bad day. When you meet good NCO's you'll just know who they are. They are SO important to you that you should nurture them, expecially the young one's, 'cos they're the C/S's and BSM;s of the future.

    They won;t all love you...but if you do what you're supposed to, they'll respect you. Give it a lash. I highly recommend it.
    [QUOTE=parade boy;263884]Jessup speaks the truth.

    To the initial poster of this thread: take out all the cynicism and put in an application. QUOTE]

    parade boy,my initial post was not meant as cynicism, I was genuinely interested and I have put in an application for the cadets. I would have applied much earlier for it but have been in college for the last 6 years and now have a masters and now the shit has hit the fan and they are hardly taking anybody on. Just my luck.
    Thank you for the insight into the the role of officers parade boy and what to expect if I ever get in.
    Jessup thanks for all you have posted also.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessup View Post
    Best of luck to you. In one way the toughest thing is getting into the Cadets in the first place. The applicant numbers will probably be very high this year. Try and get a few mock interviews, they're essential.

    The quality of instruction is excellent so don't let people put you off or feel a bit overwhelmed. Never fired a weapon before, doesn't matter, never read a map before, doesn't matter. That will all the taught to you. They're looking for good raw materials not the finished article.

    It is physically tiring so the longer you can go without having to pull on your mental reserves the better. Work on your cardio fitness if you can, don't mind weights really unless it's pushups and pullups. A little bit of hill work with a backpack and a few 2 litre bottles full of water wrapped in towels. When you're wrecked don't stop, empty out one bottle and repeat until you are wrecked with no full bottles.

    Running on loose sand or similar is good for simulating Battle PT which is a shock to the system and muscles if you've been doing just road running.

    I don't think there's much you can do to prepare for the mental challenges. Just keep your head down and keep telling yourself that no matter how bad it gets its worth it.
    I think you may have responded to my thanks. Actually, my interest is in an existing cadet. And his future, if successful. The progression through the ranks was insightful as was the class placement indicators. I'd heard, albeit from a Naval Officer, that class placement had little relevance but your post seems to indicate that, for the army at least, it can follow you through till captaincy.
    If I've mistaken your post, apologies, no offence meant.

  25. #50
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    Thanks for all the wonderful replies! I've been looking for information like this all over the official site, but couldn't find it. This information is invaluable!

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