A Few General Queries

Hey guys.

I'm just about to start my Masters course, and at the end of it am seriously considering a career as an officer in the Navy. I've done some research on this site, the Royal Naval website and various other places in the dark corners of the internet. I had some questions which I would really appreciate it if people on here could answer.

1) How common are roles within the Ministry of Defence? Obviously if I wanted to work there full-time I'd go the Civil Service route, but I would be interested in knowing roughly how many Naval officers work there, and whether they do it as a secondment of sorts from operational life at a senior level or if it's a career route some officers go through right from the beginning.

2) From what I can find amphibious warfare and intelligence roles seem to be mostly within the domain of the Royal Naval Reserve. Can anyone tell me if this is always the case and if so, how come?

3) On a related note, there seems to be no direct entry route for officers into the Royal Naval Police, but only through the Upper Yardman scheme (that is to say, there doesn't seem to be a direct-entry officer corps like in, for example, the RMP). Again, have I misunderstood the information out there?

Thanks guys.
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War Hero

It's interesting to note that your areas of interest are largely non-seagoing roles. None of the jobs you have mentioned are "direct entry" and as such, there is no published career information. Furthermore, if you ask about them on the recruiting helpline or at an AFCO, you will most likely be pointed in the direction of which direct entry branch of the Navy will present the most career opportunities in your areas of interest.

There are many appointments (posts) for (mainly) Warfare Officers within the Ministry of Defence but very few full time roles. Interestingly, there is a decline in numbers of Officers required to work in London (if that's your intention) with the geographic relocation of command positions. Makes sense really, when you think that modern communications should reduce the cost of accommodating people on extremely expensive allowances in London when they can work equally as cohesively elsewhere for much less. In short, there are jobs to be had working with our civil service colleagues for the duration of an appointment (draft) predominately in the South East but it's not until you are at the top end of the chain of command before you are likely to be employed in a longer term role. Numbers-wise? Not disclosed, but it's certainly feasible after one or two seagoing appointments as a Warfare Officer.

The Maritime Reserves, over the years have evolved into a largely non-seagoing branch of the Naval Service who's future, until the last SDSR and the wonderful FR2020 (Armed Forces-on-the-cheap/Poundland collaboration), was very much in the balance. To prevent the decline & inevitable demise (pre FR2020), the RNR evolved to create essential but largely non-equivalent support roles. There are regular service posts in both these areas, but again they are more likely to be transient posts, after a couple of seagoing posts, rather than career roles in the main - although you can specialise (as a Warfare Officer) later in your career in intelligence, mine clearance, hydrography, etc.

In my experience Royal Navy Police commissioned Officers tend to be drawn from experienced Naval Police Ratings, who in turn are drawn from the ranks (ratings) of the Naval service. Experience & subject knowledge is the key in this role, it's not a temporary post.

Common sense would suggest a Logistics Officer with a legal background could feasibly become a Naval Provost Marshall but I've not come across any that followed this route, personally. sgtpepperband is a likely contender to give you more specific info on the Naval Police: View Profile: sgtpepperband - Navy Net - Navy and Marine Community

Good luck in your aspirations.
After 15 years service, I am now at the very lowest point where I can be considered for those sort of policy jobs. If this is a good thing or bad thing is up for discussion.....
Depending on the branch you join as a regular, you could end up working alongside the Civil Service very early on, particularly in procurment (MOD Coresham and MOD Abbey Wood - Bath and Bristol centric) fairly early on. Whilst you can't officially specialise in procurement, there are many who have been in DE&S for over a decade.

The Maritime Reserve would offer you the route to work full time with CS, and then part time with the RNR - with FR2020, the whole concept of employment and jobs etc, is up for serious revision. PM me and I can give you much mo re details.

There is also the regular route as a barrister!
I was asking about the Royal Naval Police because I'm currently also studying for my CKP (Certificate of Knowledge in Policing), with the intention of going to Hendon on a graduate scheme. Been having second thoughts though in whether the police would be the best fit and have always liked the idea of joining the Navy, seemed a good idea to see if the two fields could easily mesh though. I'm surprised though, given the RAF and the Army have direct-entry policing roles at an officer level.

Quick and really useful responses, cheers guys!


War Hero
Spin it around & service police qualifications count for little with regard accelerated advancement in the Police. If "taking charge" overrides the will to gain practical experience then the odds are you will be better suited to the arms of the service that provide that opportunity.
If you have a desire for policing, the RN is not for you. The Army and RAF tend to be located in "garrison" towns, hence there is a "concentration effect" that won't really happen in a ship (that is deployed for 9 months), and consequently the 2 junior services require a "concentration of policing". The RN Police are selected from volunteers from those who already understand the naval ethos (ie, "branch transfer"). They then return to the fleet and serve In ships whilst covering other jobs. As there is not a large requirement for managers of the naval police service, the officers are then selected from the lower deck.

As for serving in corsham or abbey wood, if you are an engineer, after your first sea job, it is a real opportunity.

Good luck in wherever you go, but if mainstream policing is your bent, then sadly I'd have to recommend you join the pongos or the women's auxiliary baloon corps.
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History. With a Masters in Terrorism and Insurgency Studies. So no, not engineering. That requires actual knowledge. I know some engineers, if that counts...And yes, that makes sense, thanks for the clarification never thought of it that way. Don't suppose anyone has had any experience working with the DIS, and could tell me a thing or two?

Also in my lurking about this forum I've come across something slightly disturbing. About two years ago I had laser eye surgery (LASEK), as my eyes were about -7/-7.5. At the time I was interested in the Army (don't hate me) and in discussion with an AFCO was told that it was taken on a case by case basis, but that the severity of the condition before the procedure was not taken into account. The operation was and is a complete success, with absolutely no side effects. In fact, my vision is now above average. However having just checked the Navy rules (which I assumed would be the same as the Army's, perhaps stupidly), I came across this thread [http://www.navy-net.co.uk/joining-up-royal-navy-recruiting/74903-rubbish-eyes.html] where Ninja-Stoker states pre-operative condition of the eyes is a factor in Naval applications. A scour of the internet only shows me the Royal Marines eye-sight requirements, which concurs with NS. I know this is a very technical and obscure question, but if any body could direct me to at least the relevant literature then that would be greatly appreciated.

If it's right, I guess that's my choice made for me then!
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War Hero
The latest eye surgery advice is posted here #2: http://www.navy-net.co.uk/joining-up-royal-navy-recruiting/74903-rubbish-eyes.html

AFCO staff are not permitted to give definitive medical advice however the advice in that post is from the official letter sent in response to queries about this surgical procedure. Ultimately the only person qualified to give you a definitive response is the medical examiner. The problem is that in order to see the medical examiner and be told what you already suspect, you must first pass the recruiting test as an officer applicant.

Best of luck.
Ultimately, the inclusion of Lasek/LASIK is my fault. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe I am the first serving matelot to have entered the RN having had the corrective surgery. There was no actual real policy in place when I went through and I ended up needing to go to the UCL and undertaking the combat pilot reaction and response eye assessment under Professor John Barbur. This had to be undertaken at my own cost and the only thing I will explain is that the floating eyeball is seriously, seriously disturbing.
Resurrecting this from the internet grave. The AFCO told me the same thing as you guys (have to wait until the medical examiner gives the all clear or otherwise) so I'm currently about to take the psychometric tests (tomorrow, as a matter of fact). If and when I get to the medical examiner I'll update about their decision as I think it might be of interest to anyone else.

Another thing that's been confusing me, and again I've tried to find a definitive answer on the internet, is when you're counted as having joined the 'trained strength' and your ROS starts. Opinion seems divided on whether it's on passing out from BRNC or if it's upon completion of the IWOF or IWOC. Any clarification that could be provided would be immensely appreciated, as it would be good to vaguely know how long the commitment I would be making is.

Thanks in advance.


After 15 years service, I am now at the very lowest point where I can be considered for those sort of policy jobs. If this is a good thing or bad thing is up for discussion.....
I hit 15 years and the tractor beam got me. From inside the mothership I can confirm: Some youth and fresh ideas would be a godsend..... It's bad.
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