A two-part series is now available worldwide, for a limited time only on RTÉ Player International, detailing the intense training endured to become a soldier in the Irish Defence Forces.

RTÉ cameras go behind the scenes as the latest group of recruits battle to make it through the grueling 17-week training to become fully fledged soldiers in the Irish Defence Forces. Thousands applied, 350 made it but can they stay the distance?

Over the course of two episodes, this gripping documentary follows a group of determined men and women as they pursue their lifelong dream – to become a soldier in the Irish Defence Forces. For the first time, our cameras have been given unprecedented access behind the scenes with the Irish army as a brand new group of recruits face the most grueling challenge of their lives.

Out of the thousands who apply every year, 350 make it to training and we follow a 40-strong platoon as they’re put through their paces. We learn what motivates these young people to say goodbye to social lives, friends, family and all the comforts of home and sign up to put themselves through 17 weeks of the most intense and punishing training imaginable.

Once it starts, the harsh reality of army life kicks in and for some the culture shock will be just too much. Strict discipline, little sleep and constantly increasing physical and mental demands test even the toughest of recruits to their very limits.

Getting through it takes all the strength and discipline they have, and many fall along the way, succumbing to injury, homesickness, or finding themselves overwhelmed by the demands the training puts on body, mind and spirit. Others achieve things they never knew they were capable of, discovering reserves of strength and endurance they never knew they had. But even armed with the right amount of guts and determination, which of the recruits will persevere?

Recruits gives viewers a unique insight into the fascinating journey of this group of very normal young Irish people pushing themselves to the limit and undergoing an absolutely life-changing transformation on their path to becoming soldiers.

Our cameras capture the highs and lows, from the individual struggles to the camaraderie, banter and friendship that helps them get through their toughest challenges and darkest moments. Tears, tantrums and triumph over adversity, we’re with them every step of the way as they learn what it really takes to become a member of the Irish Defence Forces.

Watch Recruits on-demand on RTÉ Player which is available across a variety of devices on iOS, Desktop and Android. To watch Recruits outside Ireland, simply download the RTÉ Player International app for iPhone and iPad where it will be available for a limited time only. For more details on how to watch on your Apple iOS device outside Ireland go to www.rte.ie/playerinternational. For more see @RTEPlayer and @RTEPlayerInt on Twitter; Check out rteplayer and RTEPlayerInternational on Facebook or follow the official hashtag #Recruits.

RTÉ Player International is a bespoke Irish iOS TV service with over nearly 500 hours of superb Irish television content. Catch up on the latest just-aired TV programmes, binge on box sets, or discover hidden Irish gems in a curated collection. Some content may require a monthly subscription to view. See App Store for pricing guide details.