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Less than half of Defence Forces satisfied with military life

A recent report found that 48% of personnel were satisfied with military life, compared to 64% in 2008.

File photo of the Irish Defence forces taking part in combat training exercises in 2014.
File photo of the Irish Defence forces taking part in combat training exercises in 2014.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

LESS THAN HALF of Defence Forces personnel are satisfied with military life, a significant drop on 2008, according to a new report.

A recent report into wellbeing in the Defence Forces found that 48% of  personnel were satisfied with military life, compared to 64% in 2008.

The report also found that the majority of soldiers, sailors and Air Corps personnel would look for a job elsewhere and did not feel obliged to stay in the military.

When questioned, only 23% said they felt obliged not to look for a job elsewhere.

The report examined job satisfaction in the Defence Forces across a wide range of areas, with both positive and negative results.

The report found that in general stress among Defence Forces members wasn’t a major area of concern.

It found that four out of 10 of those surveyed worried about work in their free time.

Other results include:

  • 27% of personnel said they had considered leaving the forces because of commuting
  • 60% said they felt they were doing something worthwhile for their county
  • Over 75% of respondents disagree with the statement that pay is fair

The report also found that overall there was a perception of a lack of justice in the Defence Forces.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on defence Lisa Chambers said that the findings of the report were “extremely worrying”.

She said that despite a recent recruitment drive, the number of staff in the Defence Forces was declining.

“There are now just 9,025 Defence Forces personnel, according to the latest figures available – that’s well below the current agreed level of 9,500,” said Chambers.

“Representative organisations say they have endeavoured to engage with management but so far with little success.

Hopefully this report will serve as a wake-up call now. Management must heed the message and so must the government.

You can read the full report here

Read: This is what it’s like to be an Irish soldier… in virtual reality

Read: ‘He served his country with pride’: Tributes to soldier after body recovered off Donegal coast

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