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Keith Lynch, Private (Line)

Keith completed his Leaving Cert in St. Olivers Community College, and continued on to Dundalk Institute of Technology to study Business Management. He chose to joint the Army towards the end of his stay in college, and applied for entry as a graduate.

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What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

After an average Leaving cert, in St. Olivers Community College, I applied and gained entry to DKIT to study Business Studies Management and Administration. This focused a lot on the management of human resources and also on working in a team environment.

On completing of my degree I travelled to the U.S.A. on a J1 visa and worked with many different nationalities and cultures. I feel that both of these milestones in my life have helped me greatly in my career, both helping me to not only work well in a team at home but also in my dealings with other nationalities while over seas working on missions with the U.N.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

I feel that my father helped me greatly when I was making the decision to join the army. He allowed me to see both sides of the arguement before I made the decision myself. I would like to think that his clear headedness and ability to formulate arguments for both sides has helped me learn to make decisions myself. But he was definitely a great help and advisor when making the big career decision to join the army.

How did you go about getting your current job?

While in college both myself and a friend discussed joining the army after viewing it at a careers day. On completion of our degrees we both applied to join the army and were called for interviews. On passing the interview we were selected to attend a medical and then on completion of that a fitness test had to be passed. On passing all three sections I was contacted by ManPower (now Fas) who then confirmed my acceptance.

Describe a typical day?

Every day in the Defences Forces is different. There is never a mundane day in the Defences Forces. Generally they consist of lectures based on different situations and tactics employed by a soilder, and also training on different weapons and equipment.

The majority of the day is focused towards physical and mental fitness and strength. Each training sessions is geared towards a different aspect of this fitness ranging from: a simple run in training gear to a fully uniformed "battlerun" with equipment which is always both challenging and rewarding.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

The general running and operation of the barracks is a very important part of my daily tasks and responsibilities. This can range from Barrack Guard Duty to Cash Escorts and Work Details within the barracks. My main responsibilities are punctuality, the carrying out of my duties all while remaining professional and presentable as we are inspected regularly. The Defences Forces is a big team in which we all are players and so we all work hard not to let the team down.

What are the main challenges?

Constantly learning new weapons and warfare tactics keep me alert and challenged. Life in the Defences Forces is an endless learning curve and so we are always improving ourselves and those around us. Overseas operations are a very challenging feature of my career and one which I welcome as they give me the opportunity to put into practice my training and skills. Being away from home, friends and family is a major challenge facing any soilder.

What's cool?

There is a great team feeling in the Defense Forces and this is seen best in the sports activities that we engage in regularly including Gaelic, Soccer Orienteering and Golf. The fact that we regularly get to spend time in the open air doing physical activities as opposed to being stuck in an office block or call centre is one of the main reasons that I love my job. Time off is also very important and can be taken at your own desired time once requested. This is an aspect of my job that I find cool.

What's not so cool?

There is very little I do not like about my job but if I had to select one it would have to be the the lack of control I have over my day-to-day activities as my day is timetabled by others. However generally I find this a minor annoyance.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

My ability to work within a team and drive a team forward is something I find helps both me and those around me everyday. I'm also professional and disciplined in all my acttivities which is a skill I have developed during my years in the Defence Forces.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

P.E. was always one of my favourite subjects in school and is probably the most obvious subject I have taken into my career. However I use Geography on a daily basis in map reading and orienteering. In my degree the subjects of Communications and Human Resources help me to work well in group duties and training excersises.

What is your education to date?

Leaving Cert. 
Degree in Business Management .

Since joining the Defence Forces I have completed a military drivers course, a .5 weapons course and an I.L.S.W weapons course and an overseas trip to Lebanon.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

The training I recieved in Human Resouce Management allows me to work well in a group dymamic. But mainly my military training has helped me to improve as a solider and gives me the ability to gain promotions and complete more overseas missions.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

I was awarded Best Solider in my Platoon during training which has been one of the highlights of my career so far. Recieving my overseas medals was a great achievement and a very proud day for me in the Defense Forces. In my social life being awarded Player of the Year in my local GAA club was a moment that I still feel very proud about.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I'm and out-going guy and I get on well with others which is essential in the Defence Forces. I'm also very focused and driven which helps me strive towards goals and tasks making me more efficient in my career.

What is your dream job?

Professional Footballer, but I think I might be getting a bit long in the tooth for that one.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

I find job security a very important feature of my job. Althought I may not make my millions, I will never be unemployed. A large part of my lifestyle revolves around sports and fitness and I feel that my career is perfect for that aspect of my life.

There is also the prospect of promotion within the ranks and with that comes responsibility which I'm looking forward to as a new challenging aspect of my lifestyle. Being overseas can be a difficult aspect of the lifestyle, being away from loved ones for months at a time, however, living so close to my home unit offers me much more time to spend with family and friends.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Only enter the Defence Forces if you are willing to commit to it 100% as it is a long tough road which can be extremely rewarding if you fully engage it. Like everything in this life, you get out what you put in.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Energy, Teamwork, Commitment .

What is your favourite music?

Hip Hop and the Saw Doctors

What is your favourite film?

Any Given Sunday

What is your pet hate at work?

When it rains

What is your star sign?


Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

One of the main features of my job is constant improvement and training. I will, throughout my career in the Defense Forces, take part in many training courses and development programmes including; Snipers Course, Mowag Driving Course, Potential NCO's Course and RECCE Course.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

The Reserve Defence Forces is a great organisation and one which will give a great insight into life as a solider. This is the perfect place to gain work experience and learn if the Defense Forces is the job for you.

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