Wednesday, 6 December 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
The following tabular statements indicate the strength of male and female personnel within the Permanent Defence Force, PDF, as at 30 September 2000, the most recent date for which such figures are currently available from the military authorities. These figures provide a breakdown between officers and various non-commissioned ranks across the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps.
The White Paper on Defence lays down a total strength for the PDF of 10,500, personnel. The recent PricewaterhouseCoopers special studies on the Naval Service and Air Corps set out recommended overall strengths of 1,144 for the Naval Service and 930 for the Air Corps respectively. These will be met from within the overall Permanent Defence Force figure.
The restructuring of the Permanent Defence Force to secure conformity with the White Paper's total strength of 10,500 and also with the  recommendations of the management consultants on both the Naval Service and the Air Corps will be achieved by way of the very detailed implementation plans for each of the services.
Women are eligible for service in the Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and in the Reserve Defence Force and to compete for all appointments on an equal basis and under the same general conditions as those which apply to men. All female personnel undergo the same training and receive the same military education as their male counterparts.
In previous years the trend for general service recruitment has been that 16% of all applicants have been female and that on average 16% of enlistments have been female. It is obviously not possible to predict what the relevant percentages will be in any future intakes of recruits, but there is no reason to assume that this pattern will change to any great degree.
The conditions of enlistment for general service recruits assigned to the Air Corps are the same as those for recruits enlisted in the Army except in the case of special categories of intake such as apprentices.
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