The Defence Forces have announced a recruitment campaign for new members to the Army and Naval Service.

600 recruits will be taken on this year with a further 850 in 2017.

Recruitment is open to all but the Defence Forces are seeking to increase female membership from its current level of 6%.

A social media campaign targeting women has been launched as part of the new recruitment drive with the aim of doubling the number of women members over the coming years.

All applicants must be at least 18 on Sunday 22 May, which is the closing date for applications.

Army applicants must be under 25 while those looking to join the Naval Service must be under 27 by the closing date. 

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney announced the launch of the recruitment campaign this afternoon.