I really enjoyed this work experience week as I have always had an interest in the Defence Forces. I only now realise how big of an interest it is.

On the first day at Stephen’s Barracks we were all called for role call and split into two groups. I was put into group two; these were our groups for the week. We were given a tour of the barracks and we learned where the mess hall was. We also learned where the armoury and every other building are. We learned what equipment is brought with them on every trip overseas, such as: a sleeping bag, a knife, a roll up mat and drinking flask. I held the assault rifle that is most commonly used by the defence forces and also a machine gun.

Later on, we were shown a few sniper rifles, mortars, rocket launchers and a pistol.

On the second day we were given a briefing on orienteering and we were supposed to do it on Friday but it was cancelled due to the weather.

We were told about cadetship which is where you become a Commissioned Officer. If you do not take the cadetship course (which lasts up to around 18 months) and are promoted you are an NCO or Non-Commissioned Officer. In order to take part in the cadetship course you need a leaving cert and three languages. This is what I hope to be. We watched the privates take part in a demonstration march. The orders for the march are in Irish.

On the third day we were given a tour of the museum in the barracks and met the mascot of the barracks and the only dog owned by the Irish Defence Forces an Irish wolf hound named Fionn.

Later, I took part in the PT test which is where you must do twenty push ups and sit ups in a minute. As well as a 1.6km run around the barracks. The test was optional for us.

On Thursday I took part in a medical demonstration in which we were shown all the various equipment to treat different injuries that could occur. I was also shown the bare basics for survival training such as how to start a fire and how to purify water.

On Friday we were shown a basic demonstration on what to do if you were being fired at. Later, I sat in the mess waiting to go on the orienteering trip, but it was cancelled due to the weather instead we were asked for feedback on the experience of the week, I gave back positive feedback as I enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed this week and I am considering joining the Irish Defence Forces in the future.


Jack White 4A

Category: Transition Year