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Advantages and disadvantages of joining the Defence Forces?

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  • 31-05-2017 9:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6


    I'am thinking about joining the Army, I'am just wondering if I'am making a mistake so if anyone with some experience could tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of joining?


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,033 ✭✭✭Silvera


    From what (little) I know of the Defence Forces -

    - You could get a cadetship and learn a trade (which would stand to you whenever you leave)
    - Disadvantage that springs to mind - limited 'contract' upon joining..c.12 years afaik


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,342 ✭✭✭Negative_G


    Silvera wrote: »
    From what (little) I know of the Defence Forces -

    - You could get a cadetship and learn a trade (which would stand to you whenever you leave)
    - Disadvantage that springs to mind - limited 'contract' upon joining..c.12 years afaik

    You are only required to serve an undertaking if the army put you through college. Which is being phased out slowly but surely. This only relates to those applying for a cadetship.

    If you join as a graduate (level 8 - doesn't matter what) you will not be bound to any contract.

    The Defence Forces isn't the career that it once was. New enlisted entrants are dreadfully paid. How enlisted soldiers are expected to survive on €300-€350 a week is beyond me.

    My advice - do a reputable degree and do not join the defence forces.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,985 ✭✭✭mikeym


    Negative_G wrote: »

    The Defence Forces isn't the career that it once was. New enlisted entrants are dreadfully paid. How enlisted soldiers are expected to survive on ?300-?350 a week is beyond me.

    My advice - do a reputable degree and do not join the defence forces.

    Especially with a family :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,342 ✭✭✭Negative_G


    mikeym wrote: »
    Especially with a family :mad:

    Yes, especially with a family, a house to run, a mortgage to pay, children to educate.

    The renumeration might be fine short term for a young man or woman. But once they start considering mortgages, family and kids etc, the reality will soon dawn on them.

    It is nothing short of a disgrace.

    The DF has always been the firmly last in the line to get any scraps from the table. The nature of the military institution and the lack of any union representation means they must "swing up the arms".

    The recent prime time programme shows how far out of touch leadership are, both in the DF and in Government.

    There are soldiers sleeping in their cars because they can't afford the petrol to drive to and from home and the COS is on the television talking about "pinchpoints".

    I wouldn't in a million years recommend to any young man or woman to enlist. Life is too short.

    A life working from paycheck to paycheck is certainly a "life less ordinary".


  • Registered Users Posts: 398 ✭✭DanMurphy


    I wouldn't advise it.

    Give it a wide berth.

    I served 30 years plus, from the 1960s to the 1990s, even though I was strongly advised against joining.
    Eventually, I was allowed to join (needed consent as I was under 21) only if I didn't come home in uniform. Ever !!
    My mother would tell the neighbors I was in London.
    I agreed.
    But...being the stubborn jerk that I was, I came home after Passing out to show Dad my brand new 2 stars, etc. It was a bad move. An old biddy in her late 80s who lived about a mile from our house limped all the way over just to spit on me!
    Living from payday to payday is right.
    I don't know what it's like today, but it's true that the soldier exists on the scraps from the Cabinet table, and always the last in the queue. I had a buddy (he was on the Dole) and he drew three pounds per week more than I did as a Line Sergeant with more than 20 years service at the time.
    During my early service I couldn't visit my parents home (the neighbors didn't approve of 'Free Staters' in the parish and that was Limerick...not south Armagh)
    Later in my service, I couldn't come home in uniform (threats to my family) because I lived in an IRA 'supporting' village (In County Offaly) Mind you, none of the locals were in the IRA (or the Army), they hadn't the guts, but that's how it was.

    I came home from Lebanon in '79 gasping for a pint of Guiness. Went down to my local that night only to be told 'not tonight Danny, we're having an welcome home party for """"B F"""" (PIRA from two parishes away) to celebrate his release from Gaol."

    I know, I know... Ireland is changed since my day, but all I've said still lies just beneath the surface.
    If you want to be a soldier, and the life appeals to you, join another Army, in a country where the people are worth serving, and your service will be appreciated.
    Have a good life.
    Take an old soldiers advice.
    The Irish aren't worth serving, let alone dying for.
    IMO


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,553 ✭✭✭Fiery mutant


    DanMurphy wrote: »
    I wouldn't advise it.

    Give it a wide berth.

    I served 30 years plus, from the 1960s to the 1990s, even though I was strongly advised against joining.
    Eventually, I was allowed to join (needed consent as I was under 21) only if I didn't come home in uniform. Ever !!
    My mother would tell the neighbors I was in London.
    I agreed.
    But...being the stubborn jerk that I was, I came home after Passing out to show Dad my brand new 2 stars, etc. It was a bad move. An old biddy in her late 80s who lived about a mile from our house limped all the way over just to spit on me!
    Living from payday to payday is right.
    I don't know what it's like today, but it's true that the soldier exists on the scraps from the Cabinet table, and always the last in the queue. I had a buddy (he was on the Dole) and he drew three pounds per week more than I did as a Line Sergeant with more than 20 years service at the time.
    During my early service I couldn't visit my parents home (the neighbors didn't approve of 'Free Staters' in the parish and that was Limerick...not south Armagh)
    Later in my service, I couldn't come home in uniform (threats to my family) because I lived in an IRA 'supporting' village (In County Offaly) Mind you, none of the locals were in the IRA (or the Army), they hadn't the guts, but that's how it was.

    I came home from Lebanon in '79 gasping for a pint of Guiness. Went down to my local that night only to be told 'not tonight Danny, we're having an welcome home party for """"B F"""" (PIRA from two parishes away) to celebrate his release from Gaol."

    I know, I know... Ireland is changed since my day, but all I've said still lies just beneath the surface.
    If you want to be a soldier, and the life appeals to you, join another Army, in a country where the people are worth serving, and your service will be appreciated.
    Have a good life.
    Take an old soldiers advice.
    The Irish aren't worth serving, let alone dying for.
    IMO

    My advice, would be to ignore his.

    A friend of mine recently left a job to enlist, he loves it. He's young, wants to serve a few years, then will do something else. If you fancy having a crack at it, and fancy something totally different, then go for it.

    We should defend our way of life to an extent that any attempt on it is crushed, so that any adversary will never make such an attempt in the future.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,342 ✭✭✭Negative_G


    My advice, would be to ignore his.

    A friend of mine recently left a job to enlist, he loves it. He's young, wants to serve a few years, then will do something else. If you fancy having a crack at it, and fancy something totally different, then go for it.

    If you are young and have 5 years of your life to give with no tangible return in terms of qaulifications then so thats fine.

    I think the perogitive of most joining the army is for a career.

    If you want to play soldiers and do some army things, do it part time and join the reserve.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭dev100


    simasska94 wrote:
    I'am thinking about joining the Army, I'am just wondering if I'am making a mistake so if anyone with some experience could tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of joining?


    Depends on a number of factors what age are you ? Are you career driven/ money orientated ? Do you want to join as an enlisted person or go try do an apprenticeship or train as an officer ? Have you served in the RDF to get a feel for military life ?

    If your only 17 and haven't decided what you want and are not college orientated and haven't figured out what you want to do in life by all means join up if you meet the criteria . It's gotten harder to get in these days they don't just take you in because you've an interest in it.


    Personally if it were me trying to get in I'd be looking towards a trade at least you can take something away with you or go in as an officer plus the pay is better .

    Pay wise for the ordinary soldier is piss poor these days. I wouldn't like to be having a life on what they're paid !!!

    Officers would be paid a lot better than your ordinary soldier

    As the advert goes "A life less ordinary" unfortunately it won't pay many bills if you are enlisted as an ordinary soldier

    If you want a less ordinary life join another European army ....


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭Faith+1


    dev100 wrote: »

    If you want a less ordinary life join another European army ....

    Correct me if I'm wrong but the only other option for Irish nationals is the British Army :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭dev100


    Faith+1 wrote:
    Correct me if I'm wrong but the only other option for Irish nationals is the British Army


    The French foreign legion will take anyone :) I'm actually not to sure on what the criteria is but once your an EU citizen you should be able to join any EU army.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    This is one of the saddest threads I've ever read here.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 simasska94


    I have passed everything just waiting on my medical and having second thoughts about joining.I'am 23 years old have bin college but wasn't for me currently working a job that pays around 400 a week.
    I want go up the ranks once i pass out or even joint the rangers.
    When hearing all the negative thoughts and positive its making me wonder to joint or not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    Sir, you'll need to brush up on your English language spelling somewhat.

    Just a small point, but a very important one.

    tac


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    DanMurphy wrote: »

    I served 30 years plus, from the 1960s to the 1990s, even though I was strongly advised against joining.
    Eventually, I was allowed to join (needed consent as I was under 21) only if I didn't come home in uniform. Ever !!
    My mother would tell the neighbors I was in London.
    I agreed.
    But...being the stubborn jerk that I was, I came home after Passing out to show Dad my brand new 2 stars, etc. It was a bad move. An old biddy in her late 80s who lived about a mile from our house limped all the way over just to spit on me!

    During my early service I couldn't visit my parents home (the neighbors didn't approve of 'Free Staters' in the parish and that was Limerick...not south Armagh)

    Later in my service, I couldn't come home in uniform (threats to my family) because I lived in an IRA 'supporting' village (In County Offaly) Mind you, none of the locals were in the IRA (or the Army), they hadn't the guts, but that's how it was.

    I came home from Lebanon in '79 gasping for a pint of Guiness. Went down to my local that night only to be told 'not tonight Danny, we're having an welcome home party for """"B F"""" (PIRA from two parishes away) to celebrate his release from Gaol."

    I know, I know... Ireland is changed since my day, but all I've said still lies just beneath the surface.

    ^^^ This sounds like a ridiculously tall story. I've over 30 years service and have never heard of or experienced anything even close to this.
    tac foley wrote: »
    Sir, you'll need to brush up on your English language spelling somewhat.

    Just a small point, but a very important one.

    ^^^ Ridiculous, and a little insulting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    The OP wants to join the PDF and spelling doesn't matter?

    C'mon.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,033 ✭✭✭Silvera


    OP, what people are commenting on about your spelling is -

    You need to use I am or I'm...not I'am.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 simasska94


    Don't mind my spelling its not the topic, and the (iam im) thing is just auto correct on my mobile FOCUS ON THE TOPIC NOT OTHERS
    MISTAKES .I'm looking for honest answers about DF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    If you are not looking for honest answers, does that mean that you'll be happy to be told lies?

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 simasska94


    I think we got a hater here has nothing to say about the army just writing **** up to piss people off :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    I have 27 years service done and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I see people getting more opportunities on the dole for training and education with more chance of being in better paid employment long term.

    If its something that has been on your mind for years then go for it.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    tac foley wrote: »
    The OP wants to join the PDF and spelling doesn't matter?

    C'mon.

    tac

    I've never known it to be an issue. In fact a soldier is given the opportunity to continue his/her education to sit their junior and leaving cert exams, after which there are various tech schemes whereby a soldier can obtain a degree, which in itself is financially very rewarding.

    There are many negatives posted about a career in the DF which I'm not going to get into, but a well motivated soldier can do very well for themselves even with a limited education upon entry.

    And the OP doesn't want to make an issue of it so I won't go on about it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,460 ✭✭✭Barry Badrinath


    simasska94 wrote: »
    Dont mind my spelling its not the topic, and the (iam im) thing is just auto correct on my mobile FOCUS ON THE TOPIC NOT OTHERS
    MISTAKES .I

    Effective communication, comprehension skills, precision and attention to detail are all important aspects of being a soldier.

    Dont take the criticism personally but the smallest mistake can make a huge difference in many situations.

    Saying that, your spelling has nothing to do with your ability to soldier.

    The question you asked will yield a multitude of differing opinions. Everyones experiences will differ.

    Ask yourself why you want to join, dont base it on our positive or negative opinions.

    However, you can be certain of a few things straight away. It will be tough, tough enough that people leave on the first day of Recruit training and it gets harder.

    Your strengths and weaknesses become everyones strengths and weaknesses.

    You will experience heightened levels of pain, cold, fatigue, responsibility, pressure, intensity, stress, exhaustion, commeraderie and pride among others and sometimes all at the same time.

    You will most likely miss key social, family and life events during your career, things you can never get back. The army doesnt care if you have a life outside of it, it wants to squeeze everything it can out of you then ask for more.

    You will be expected to work 24hr shifts with €0.82c (approx) extra duty allowance per hour. You will be fed the cheapest food the army could get away with buying.

    You will be shouted at for years until its your turn to shout. You will work in all weather conditions, no exception. You will be consistently given tasks beyond your ability and expected to complete a 4hr job in 1hr, make that 55 minutes as you need to be somewhere else 5 minutes beforehand.

    You will be taught things that are completely alien to you, things you cant wrap your head around. Then you will become an expert in that thing and will be able to teach someone else.

    You will be trained to a high standard on many, many, many military tasks and equipment that you will hopefully and most likely never get to apply in real life.

    You will be given the opportunity to dedicate anything between 5 and 30 years of your life in the service of the State. You will represent the people of Ireland, retired and deceased ex soldiers, everytime you put the uniform on at home or overseas. You will be responsible for extending the legacy of the Defence Forces since its inception and into the future.

    You will spend days, weeks or months away from home in Ireland or overseas. Things will be hard. You will just have to suck it up.

    I believe that Defence is the lowest average paid branch of Public Service workers but I am open to correction.

    After Recruit training you will be paid a weekly wage of €416.35 before tax in the rank of Private for 3 years. If you remain a Private, you will max out on the pay scale after 9 years where you will earn a weekly wage of €628.53 before tax.

    My wage was laughed at by my friends over the years as they were buying multiple properties, swanky holidays, upgrading cars, bling bling, ching ching. Big bonuses for little effort etc. Apparently, I was an idiot for being in the Army.

    Now, Im an asshole because I have a guaranteed wage every week and the option to retire at 39 with a gold plated pension and lump sum payment. The lump sum I get for busting my bollox for 21 years service is less than €20,000. The weekly pension I will recieve will not cover my half of the mortgage so I will need to get another full time job.

    You wont be rich in the army and you wont be rich after the army. You will have a great fcuking time during your service with some absolute legends.

    Everyone wants to go up the ranks or be a Ranger.

    Now, do some research on military.ie and decide for yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    Effective communication, comprehension skills, precision and attention to detail are all important aspects of being a soldier.

    Dont take the criticism personally but the smallest mistake can make a huge difference in many situations.

    Saying that, your spelling has nothing to do with your ability to soldier.

    The question you asked will yield a multitude of differing opinions. Everyones experiences will differ.

    Ask yourself why you want to join, dont base it on our positive or negative opinions.

    However, you can be certain of a few things straight away. It will be tough, tough enough that people leave on the first day of Recruit training and it gets harder.

    Your strengths and weaknesses become everyones strengths and weaknesses.

    You will experience heightened levels of pain, cold, fatigue, responsibility, pressure, intensity, stress, exhaustion, commeraderie and pride among others and sometimes all at the same time.

    You will most likely miss key social, family and life events during your career, things you can never get back. The army doesnt care if you have a life outside of it, it wants to squeeze everything it can out of you then ask for more.

    You will be expected to work 24hr shifts with €0.82c (approx) extra duty allowance per hour. You will be fed the cheapest food the army could get away with buying.

    You will be shouted at for years until its your turn to shout. You will work in all weather conditions, no exception. You will be consistently given tasks beyond your ability and expected to complete a 4hr job in 1hr, make that 55 minutes as you need to be somewhere else 5 minutes beforehand.

    You will be taught things that are completely alien to you, things you cant wrap your head around. Then you will become an expert in that thing and will be able to teach someone else.

    You will be trained to a high standard on many, many, many military tasks and equipment that you will hopefully and most likely never get to apply in real life.

    You will be given the opportunity to dedicate anything between 5 and 30 years of your life in the service of the State. You will represent the people of Ireland, retired and deceased ex soldiers, everytime you put the uniform on at home or overseas. You will be responsible for extending the legacy of the Defence Forces since its inception and into the future.

    You will spend days, weeks or months away from home in Ireland or overseas. Things will be hard. You will just have to suck it up.

    I believe that Defence is the lowest average paid branch of Public Service workers but I am open to correction.

    After Recruit training you will be paid a weekly wage of €416.35 before tax in the rank of Private for 3 years. If you remain a Private, you will max out on the pay scale after 9 years where you will earn a weekly wage of €628.53 before tax.

    My wage was laughed at by my friends over the years as they were buying multiple properties, swanky holidays, upgrading cars, bling bling, ching ching. Big bonuses for little effort etc. Apparently, I was an idiot for being in the Army.

    Now, Im an asshole because I have a guaranteed wage every week and the option to retire at 39 with a gold plated pension and lump sum payment. The lump sum I get for busting my bollox for 21 years service is less than €20,000. The weekly pension I will recieve will not cover my half of the mortgage so I will need to get another full time job.

    You wont be rich in the army and you wont be rich after the army. You will have a great fcuking time during your service with some absolute legends.

    Everyone wants to go up the ranks or be a Ranger.

    Now, do some research on military.ie and decide for yourself.

    This sums up the job perfectly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    Yup.

    I served 33 years in another Army.

    I wouldn't have missed it for anything, warts and all.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 CorkHarbour


    Effective communication, comprehension skills, precision and attention to detail are all important aspects of being a soldier.

    Dont take the criticism personally but the smallest mistake can make a huge difference in many situations.

    Saying that, your spelling has nothing to do with your ability to soldier.

    The question you asked will yield a multitude of differing opinions. Everyones experiences will differ.

    Ask yourself why you want to join, dont base it on our positive or negative opinions.

    However, you can be certain of a few things straight away. It will be tough, tough enough that people leave on the first day of Recruit training and it gets harder.

    Your strengths and weaknesses become everyones strengths and weaknesses.

    You will experience heightened levels of pain, cold, fatigue, responsibility, pressure, intensity, stress, exhaustion, commeraderie and pride among others and sometimes all at the same time.

    You will most likely miss key social, family and life events during your career, things you can never get back. The army doesnt care if you have a life outside of it, it wants to squeeze everything it can out of you then ask for more.

    You will be expected to work 24hr shifts with €0.82c (approx) extra duty allowance per hour. You will be fed the cheapest food the army could get away with buying.

    You will be shouted at for years until its your turn to shout. You will work in all weather conditions, no exception. You will be consistently given tasks beyond your ability and expected to complete a 4hr job in 1hr, make that 55 minutes as you need to be somewhere else 5 minutes beforehand.

    You will be taught things that are completely alien to you, things you cant wrap your head around. Then you will become an expert in that thing and will be able to teach someone else.

    You will be trained to a high standard on many, many, many military tasks and equipment that you will hopefully and most likely never get to apply in real life.

    You will be given the opportunity to dedicate anything between 5 and 30 years of your life in the service of the State. You will represent the people of Ireland, retired and deceased ex soldiers, everytime you put the uniform on at home or overseas. You will be responsible for extending the legacy of the Defence Forces since its inception and into the future.

    You will spend days, weeks or months away from home in Ireland or overseas. Things will be hard. You will just have to suck it up.

    I believe that Defence is the lowest average paid branch of Public Service workers but I am open to correction.

    After Recruit training you will be paid a weekly wage of €416.35 before tax in the rank of Private for 3 years. If you remain a Private, you will max out on the pay scale after 9 years where you will earn a weekly wage of €628.53 before tax.

    My wage was laughed at by my friends over the years as they were buying multiple properties, swanky holidays, upgrading cars, bling bling, ching ching. Big bonuses for little effort etc. Apparently, I was an idiot for being in the Army.

    Now, Im an asshole because I have a guaranteed wage every week and the option to retire at 39 with a gold plated pension and lump sum payment. The lump sum I get for busting my bollox for 21 years service is less than €20,000. The weekly pension I will recieve will not cover my half of the mortgage so I will need to get another full time job.

    You wont be rich in the army and you wont be rich after the army. You will have a great fcuking time during your service with some absolute legends.

    Everyone wants to go up the ranks or be a Ranger.

    Now, do some research on military.ie and decide for yourself.

    OP,

    Just a little update on Fancy Pants excellent reply.

    Due to a new pay agreement which has just been signed off on you will now earn €498.48 a week before deductions once you are a 3 star private, this is for the first three years.

    This is an annual salary of €25,920 approx.

    When you enter your fourth year of service that rise to €599.70 per week before deductions.

    This raises your annual salary to €31,184

    It continues to rise each year until you max out at the top of a privates pay scale at €704.43 when you enter your ninth year.

    You would then be earning an annual salary of €36,630.

    If you get selected for overseas a six month tour of duty will be worth €14.5k tax free.
    You should do at least one in the first five years.

    If you get a trade or a specialisation there is tech pay ranging from about €28 to €118 euro extra a week. This is not easy to get, so don't think that you will be lucky.

    It's a great job, a great career, a unique life.

    I wouldn't change it and have enjoyed my two decades or so immensely.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,604 ✭✭✭Kat1170



    It continues to rise each year until you max out at the top of a privates pay scale at €704.43 when you enter your ninth year.

    So new entrants will have more wages than old. That's just as bad as it was, just the other way around :confused::confused::confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 99 ✭✭kellbag91


    Long time since this was active but thought I would throw my two cents into the mix.
    I looked at the Irish army a few times but was always unimpressed with what was on offer. I'm sure many had a great career but the wages and travel prospects seemed low. I decided to go for the Royal Marines commandos. I was surprised how many Irish lads I met in the barracks. Political opinions aside, if you want to do some real soldiering give them a look.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,029 ✭✭✭Lockstep


    Kat1170 wrote: »
    So new entrants will have more wages than old. That's just as bad as it was, just the other way around :confused::confused::confused:

    The pay increase is backdated, so those who were on the old contract got their pay increased as well as backpay dated from July 2016.


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭cruisedub1


    simasska94 wrote: »
    I'am thinking about joining the Army, I'am just wondering if I'am making a mistake so if anyone with some experience could tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of joining?

    Don't bother , morale in the army is at an all time low due to lack of promotion and low pay .


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,688 Mod ✭✭✭✭Morpheus


    What will happen to the RDF when this Pay is corrected? RDF and PDF match like for like on basic pay no?


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