Final graduation ceremony of 2006 takes place

Lieutenant General James Sreenan awarded DIT honorary degree

On the 25th November, Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant General James Sreenan was today conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the Dublin Institute of Technology. He was conferred with his award in front of hundreds of students and their families at the DIT Annual Faculty of Engineering Graduation at a ceremony held in St. Patrick's Cathedral. The ceremony marks the last of the DIT graduations for 2006.

In selecting Lieutenant General James Sreenan for an honorary doctorate, President of DIT Professor Brian Norton highlighted the outstanding contribution he has made to the Irish, and international military service as a leader and mentor. According to Professor Norton, 'James Sreenan has shown tremendous commitment not only to the training of others but also to his lifelong learning and personal development. As a former student of DIT we wish to acknowledge him as a standard bearer for graduates starting out on their own careers.'

Since the foundation of the State, the Irish Defence Forces have had a proud tradition of service at home and internationally, in support of United Nations missions around the world. As an entirely volunteer force, it has been the challenging and rewarding career choice for thousands of men and women. Since 2004, the Chief of Staff of this 8,500-strong organisation is Sligo-born James Sreenan.

Left to right - President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton; Lieutenant General Jim Sreenan and his Aide-de-camp, Commandant Sean White.

After secondary school James Sreenan chose military service as his career, and was commissioned into the Infantry Corps. His first appointments were with the Eastern Command, in the 5th Infantry Battalion Dublin and later the 20th Infantry Battalion (Reserve), where he served as Training Officer of a newly-established Irish-speaking company. His rise through the ranks was swift going from instructor in the Infantry School and later as Chief Instructor in the Cadet School, before being posted to the Training Section in Defence Forces Headquarters as a Staff Officer. From there he went on to serve in Planning and Research as Commandant and then as Lieutenant Colonel. He continued his rise through the ranks, being promoted to Colonel and the role of Deputy Quartermaster General, followed by appointments as Brigadier General, Major General and Deputy Chief of Staff.

His career has also included significant overseas service with United Nations missions. His first tour of duty was as Platoon Commander in Cyprus in 1967, returning there almost twenty years later as Staff Officer at the UNFICYP Headquarters. He was Military Observer in the Sinai Desert and on the Golan Heights. He was Company Commander with the 57th Infantry in Lebanon in 1985, returning ten years later to command the 76th Infantry Battalion. And he returned to Lebanon five years later, this time as Deputy Force Commander of UNIFIL. For his work during the historic Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon at this time he was awarded the Medal of the National Cedar in the rank of Commander, by the President of Lebanon and the Legion of Honour by the President of the United States of America.

In addition to his military education he has studied History and Politics in University College Dublin, Adult and Community Education in NUI Maynooth, and the Law of Armed Conflict with the ICRC in San Remo.

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