Written Answers. - Defence Forces Promotion Prospects.

P. J. Sheehan

Ceist:

20 Mr. Sheehan asked the Minister for Defence his views on whether there are sufficient promotion prospects for a majority of the Defence Forces; and the proposals, if any, he has in this regard.

Promotions are made to fill vacancies as they arise. While the number of non-commissioned personnel leaving the service has fallen substantially in recent years the present ratio of NCOs to Privates is five to six. As at 28 February 1994, there were 5049 NCOs and 5958 Privates in the Permanent Defence Force.

In 1993 a total of 172 personnel were promoted to corporal or higher non-commissioned officer rank and a total of 163 officers were promoted to higher rank.

As the House will be aware, a fundamental review of the structure and organisation of the Defence Forces is at present under way.