Proud day for families of Army recruits from Wexford
A young soldier from Cleariestown in Wexford was named Best Tactical Student at a passing out ceremony held by the Defence Forces.
Daniel Kennedy (20) was presented with the award as the 141 Recruit Platoon passed out at Collins Barracks in Cork at the conclusion of 17 weeks of intensive training.
The award goes to the recruit who has best displayed a tactical awareness and ability to complete tasks in a proficient manner, utilising the information he/she has been taught in training.
Daniel enjoys running and soccer and plays rugby with Wexford Wanderers team. He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to serve overseas with the United Nations.
He found the first week of training difficult because none of the recruits knew each other but they soon became good friends through their shared experiences.
Another young Wexfordman, Laurence Stout from Curracloe was also among the recruits who successfully completed the training which is designed to produce physically fit, disciplined and motivated Two Star Infrantry Soldiers with basic military skills.
Recruit training is followed by Three Star Training and at a later stage by Trained Soldier Specialist Training Courses.
Laurence applied to join the Defence Forces because he said he wanted a career with a difference. He enjoyed learning to use the Steyr rifle and the GPMG as this is a skill that the majority of people never get the opportunity to experience, he said. His jobbies include, soccer, football and boxing.
Each of the new recruits completed four phases of recruit training including rifle marksmanship, physical training, use of the bayonet, general purpose machine gun, health and safety, communications, tactical training, unarmed combat and grenade training
An increasingly multi-ethnic Irish society was reflected in the latest bunch of recruits to join the Defence Forces with many different nationalities included.
The passing out ceremony was attended by family and friends of the proud recruits who were welcomed by Lieutenant Colonel John O' Neill, acting executive officer for 1 Brigade.