02 Jul 2022

Defence Forces veteran charity unveils new female uniform

Women are being encouraged to join the defence force as veterans charity reveals new uniform

Women are being encouraged to join the defence forces (Image: Shutterstock)

Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann has launched a new female uniform to encourage female veterans to join its ranks as part of its diversity and inclusion strategy. 

Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) is a registered Irish charity for veterans of the Defence Forces.

The new strategy aims to attract more women, minorities, disabled, and younger to consider joining ONE when they leave active duty. 

ONE has recently elected Tracey Connolly as a new director to the board, and this new initiative follows her election.

The optional uniform consists of a tailored blazer, blouse, a fitted skirt, or trousers and was designed by Defence Forces veteran and ONE board member, Tracy Connolly, and her team.

Tracy Connolly served at home and abroad for over 23 years, serving in Kosovo and Lebanon as a peacekeeper. It is the first female-specific uniform to be unveiled as part of the Irish Defence Forces Veterans Charity and is one of many new actions taken to encourage female veterans to join ONE. 

It recognizes the crucial role women play within the Defence Forces and the steady rise in the number of female veterans.

1,468 women across Ireland have served within the Defence Forces since 1980.

A target of 15% female representation within the Defence Forces by 2025 has been set.

Women currently make up 7% of the Defence Forces, with 603 currently serving.

ONE Board member and Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisor, Deirdre Carbery said they are drawing upon the widest possible set of backgrounds, talents, and skills to maximize veteran support services and to adapt to the changing needs of veterans.

"The feedback was that women don’t want to look like men, they want to embrace their femininity and to feel valued and seen for being a woman." she added.

ONE promises to 'provide a community and a space that is giving equity of opportunity to all veterans to be seen, to be valued, and to reach their own individual potential'.

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