No more Navy blues for women


IT IS NOW official. For the first time women are being recruited to the Naval Service and offered a chance to see the world. "It is a new departure for us, it will be a challenge for male and female alike. We are looking forward to it (the recruitment of females to the service), we see it as a positive development," says a spokesman for the Naval base and dockyard at Haulbowline, Cork harbour.

Up to 20 places in the Naval Service are expected to be filled before Christmas and there will possibly be more positions to be filled in the new year.

Judging by the level of interest in the advertised positions so far it is expected the number of applicants could rise to 1,300 before the end of the month.

It appears the old saying "join the navy and see the world" is still true. "It's a very different career. We do quite a lot of travelling - trips to the Mediterranean, the Baltic, America, Canada, the Azores. We haven't been to the southern hemisphere yet."

An interest in the sea is one of the chief prerequisites of the job, explains the spokesman.

Applicants should be aware that their service will involve spending considerable periods of time at sea aboard Naval Service vessels. Those who are successful enlist in the service for a fixed period of five years, with a Reserve Force commitment of seven years.

There is also a drive to recruit new members to the Permanent Defence Force - the Army. The closing date for receipt of applications to both the Naval Service and the Defence Force is this Friday.

Those who wish to enlist for general service in the Permanent Defence Force for a fixed period of five years with a Reserve Force commitment of seven years should phone, write or call in to the nearest military barracks for an application form.

The age limit for the Defence Force and the Naval Service is not less than 17 and under 22 years of age on October 1st this year. Applicants are expected to be a minimum of 165 cm (5'5") tall.

Prior to enlistment in the Navy or Army, suitable candidates must pass a medical examination and physical fitness test. Selection will be by interview.

Anyone who has previously applied must now re-apply to be considered for enlistment.

Both Naval and Defence recruits are offered training in a range of areas. The Naval Service spokesman points out: "Living together with people - your metal is tested. it is character building." It could be that the social interaction and discipline of a career in the Navy or the Army will be the making of many young applicants.