The Minister acknowledged the ongoing challenge of recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces and highlighted a number of actions that have been undertaken to date in order to address this matter. Minister Coveney stated that “Ongoing recruitment efforts have resulted in 577 inductions so far this year, of which 49 were cadets. These inductions occurred despite the COVID challenges”. The Minister added that while the current number of officers in the Defence Forces was above establishment figures, he was aware that some ranks continue to be over and under-represented. As Minister for Defence, his priority is to return the Defence Forces to full establishment. In that context he stated that “I look forward to the report due at the end of this year from the Commission on the Defence Forces, a body tasked to examine the issue of recruitment and retention”.