Written Answers. - Military Personnel Overseas Service.

Liz McManus

Question:

21 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the dissatisfaction among personnel at the fact that selection for overseas service is centralised at Defence Forces Headquarters level and that while commands and corps may nominate, they cannot select; if consideration will be given to delegating selection for overseas service to command/corps level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The selection of the majority of military personnel for overseas service is not centralised at Defence Forces Headquarters. Non-commissioned officers and privates who comprise the bulk of personnel serving overseas are selected at command and corps levels.

The selection of officers at headquarters level is, at all times, carried out in consultation with the General Officers Commanding the various commands whose advice in respect of nominations is generally accepted.

In the case of the 73rd Infantry battalion and the 28th Irish Component which are currently serving in Lebanon, only 58 were selected at headquarters level; the balance comprising 623 personnel were selected at command and corps levels.