27. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if an exit snapshot survey or interview has been carried out by the Defence Forces on members leaving the force; if so, the findings of the survey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20386/18 asked on 10 May 2018)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Military life places unique physical and psychological demands on individuals and given the rigors of military life, there is understandably a relatively high level of turnover among Defence Forces personnel. This is not new and the Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service.

Exit questionnaires are given to personnel as part of the administrative processing of their departure. Completion of such questionnaires, which are anonymous and confidential, is voluntary but personnel are encouraged to do so. Additionally voluntary exit interviews are conducted on certain personnel.

While this information is analysed by the Defence Forces, any conclusions must take into account the voluntary nature of this information and gaps that may exist in providing a comprehensive account of the reasons for departure.