A few Questions about the life in the Royal Navy

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by YayaBanana, Aug 31, 2013.

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  1. Hi everyone. New on here and I have been reading a lot of the posts to get an idea on what I might be getting myself in for.

    My first question is, and I don't mean to sound ignorant but I have done a lot of searching on the subject but with no luck. It's one thing my girlfriend is most worried about and something I am more curious about. What length of time are you usually deployed at sea? I know you can be deployed for 6 months but are you also deployed for shorter periods in between? Sorry if these sound ridiculous but I really can't find info on this.

    And then if you are deployed for 2,3,6 months what time do you get off before and after the deployment? Do you have to use your own holidays time or do you get a certain amount of extra days off before or after?

    I'll leave it at this for now but I might come back with more. If it makes any difference I am looking interested in doing CIS or Logistics.

  2. A deployment could last anything between a few week and a few months. My longest was 11 months but we did circumnavigate the globe so no complaints about that one.
    Worst part of sea time for myself was all the mundane crap between trips. Weeks here, weeks there it soon gets you down.
    They used to give us an annual leave allowance. You used that for holidays ect. Can't recall extra leave because we were deploying.

    As for the girlfriend. Taken it as an opportunity to kick her to the kerb. Much easier to be free and single whilst sailing the high seas. ;)
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It`s very difficult to describe "average" time at sea, but as a rating, drafted to an operational ship over a 4 year cycle (ie not counting a routine annual maintenance period, alongside for several weeks or a ship in refit), you can realistically expect about 40/60% sea/alongside. Bear in mind "alongside" isn`t necessarily in your base port or even in UK. Every 18 months, you can realistically expect to be away from base port for a six month deployment if serving on anything as big or bigger than a frigate. Periods away from base port vary - you could be "day running", returning to harbour daily or each weekend or you could be on exercise/training at sea off UK for a few weeks. When overseas, you seldom spend more than 3 or 4 weeks actually underway and often have a two or three day visit, sometimes longer, with the opportunity to fly a partner out and take up to a week`s leave in the locality.

    Relationships can last, don`t assume someone else`s experience will occur to you. It takes a strong and independent relationship to cope with separation. If you`ve never spent time apart and currently see each other or speak to each other daily, you`ll find the transition more difficult than a couple who regularly spend weeks apart. In my experience you reap what you sow and I`ve often found those who bleat about the infidelity of a former partner were hardly a paragon on virtue themselves, before, during or after the inevitable split. The assumption a partner doesn't`t know what you are like when apart is naive in the extreme.
  4. I'll be honest - if you're in a Ship that's running (i.e. the 2/3 years between coming out of re-fit (which takes upto a year) and going back into re-fit), life can be pretty brutal. You'll have 2 x 6 week periods alongside, as well as leave periods, but you can pretty much guarantee that you'll be at sea for the rest of the time. Maybe 2 or 3 weekends alongside every month, but don't think you'll be in a cushty number.

    And as an added bonus, every 12 months you'll deploy for 6 1/2 - 7 months; my last 2 ships have re-deployed 12 months and 1 day after getting back from our last deployment. Note though, as a Junior Rate you're not supposed to do more than 660 days away from your base port in a rolling 3 year period.

    But on the plus side, it means you'll be going foreign lots, saving money, doing the job you joined up to do etc etc.
  5. I am just an applicant myself but my ex was an ME and having lived in pompey for a few years a fair few of my friends are still serving. If you like being able to plan then from what i have seen perhaps the navy ain't for you, someone i know was crash drafted to a ship a week before it went away for 4 months, and they hadn't been expecting to sail until next september on their old ship; how often this happens i am not sure but it is perhaps wise to be aware that you can be given minimal notice to deploy sometimes as well (needs of the service come first and all that). Me and my ex mister had a weekend away planned and he had to stay on board so went with a friend instead (wasnt as romantic), if things like that wouldnt phase either of you then thats a plus- if it does phase then you will wind up feeling guilty for things out of your control. In terms of deployment length Daring is out for 9 months at the moment as you probably know and cougar ships are out for 4 months (on here there are posts about deployments if the information is widely available in the public domain anyway and not a danger to opsec, also check the navy twitter, facebook and news pages to get an idea of deployments). Even when alongside you can be expected to stay on ship for duty (not sure if this depends on what trade you are) at times, and 'mini' trips seem to happen a fair bit as well as other stuff which would prevent you being able to go home at certain times and on certain weekends. People i have known have gotten a fair whack of leave after a deployment, leave accrues whilst away and as most of the ships company are home except for those on duty, i would assume everyone gets an allocation of time off after deployment? Although that is speculation and would need to double check that. Relationships can work but it is hard, and as ninja said part of it is dependent on what kind of relationship you have. If you are both very secure, trusting and can hack long periods away and perhaps limited communication then there is no reason that it shouldnt work. You will have so many opportunities mind to experience new things (winky face) and the social side of serving allows for all kind of mischief so rather than it being a case of will it work, maybe ask if its something you definitely want to work. Without sounding like a cow if you really want to join up but your lady friend is the one thing that will deter you, then unless you figure you are gonna get married and all dat perhaps consider your options- people often regret the things they didnt do then the ones they did (obvious exceptions to that rule).
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  6. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Lets be honest here, no one ever joins up to stay at home do they?

    As a young thruster embrace the adventure and travel, worry about the hang ups later.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. wal

    wal Badgeman

    Stayed single for 22 of the 24 years. The more foreign runs the better. Halfway round and back in the late 60's. all the way round in the 70's. and some middle east and back. Great Lakes and back and plenty of European trips in-between.

    Like Wet Blobby say, If you don't want to be away don't join.

    Would I do it again too ****ing right I would. even with the shitty bits(not too many of those)
  8. Some trades do seem to have a disproportionately large amount of time based in the UK compared to other branches though, I think the ratings that go down the Meteorology route spend a lot of their time at air bases (although I know this wasn't the area the career path the OP was thinking about).
  9. Thanks for the replies everyone. Very helpful so far.

    I see some of the RFA jobs they do 4 months and then get 3 months off, so it's not like that in the RN then is it? Are you expected to do 6+ months at sea and then be back at base a week or 2 later?

    Just another quick question, the salaries shown for the jobs, are the before or after tax? Can't seem to find that on the Royal Navy site either.

    Thanks again for all the help everyone.
  10. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    YB: Your enthusiasm is admirable but as mentioned above, the variables are too diverse to give you a definitive answer. Your branch, rank, role on board and what type of ship you are drafted to will affect the length of the deployment, but the overriding factor will be the Fleet operational requirement at the time. While deployment times are usually predetermined it is not unheard of for units to be counter-assigned while en route to their home port to another area of responsiblity to provide support at short notice (i.e. disaster relief/populace evacuations/combat re-tasking).

    Having said that, just because a ship is deployed overseas, it does not necessarily mean you will be "closed up" ready for combat all the time. There is plenty of time at sea to apply yourself for promotion, self-education or "socialising". Obviously there will be a reluctance to give current ships' movement details, but just do some Googling for media stories about ships deploying/returning from deployment (the Portsmouth News often provides media stories of naval interest and sometimes states how long HMS xxxxxx was away from the UK for).

    As for pay, the listed salaries are pre-tax. But there are opportunities to earn additional allowances to your monthly wages; these are explained on the RN site and other open sources (including the search function in Rum Ration (top right hand corner of the home screen). Given the current financial climate, military salaries are favourable in comparison to other jobs for young people at the moment.

    Good luck! :thumbleft:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The wages are pre-tax. The Armed Forces get paid 365 days a year, whether you`re on six weeks annual leave or otherwise. The RFA pay your wage for the length of your contract whilst you`re doing the job. There is a difference, the RFA will man ships operationally tasked and rotate manpower as required for as long as a ship is "on task". In the RFA, whilst you get paid leave, the bulk of the time you are employed under contract, you`re going to be at sea, underway.
  12. too right ninja my mum and dad got married while he was serving and he retired in 2005 after 13 years of marriage and they are still going strong.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. *blackcat mode on"

    I got married in 1981 whilst serving and left in 2007 and still with wife No 1 so 32 years in total.

    *blackcat mode off*
    • Like Like x 1
  14. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    It takes a special kind of woman to be able to live with a matelot.

    Or, a bunch of average ones... :twisted:
  15. can see where people are coming from tho. my dad says it takes a special kind of woman or man to be with a sailor. as today has just shown me. had a great week planned with someone special to me. it would be one of the last times he sees me before i join up. said he cant be in a relationship with me cause im joining. so feeling really bad now.

    some sympathy would not go a miss.
  16. Look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

    thought I get it in first! :)

    Posted from the Navy Net mobile app (Android / iOS)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  17. ohh your hilarious joint force. im laughing my head off here lol
  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    His loss, your gain. Chin-up, crack-on.

    On the bright side, you will not now have the chore of travelling up and down the country, at great expense, to see a partner who may live many miles away from where you are working. You are also now free to find a partner who can cope with separation and share your interests rather than their own small-minded self interest. If your partner can't cope with the prospect of separation, without even giving it a try, they sure as hell can't cope with the actual thing.

    I've lost count the number of people who quit training due to "partner pressure" and when they do, I guarantee the relationship falls on stony ground, the person leaving regrets it, blames their partner & usually splits-up a couple of months after leaving anyway. At least now you haven't got someone winging that they miss you when you ring home, particularly when you're feeling low & thinking of quitting.

    Don't lose sight of your career aspiration, remain focused and look forward to the adventure that lies ahead of you, not what you've left behind.

    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. At least they have been honest with you beforehand I suppose, not much constellation now but you'll see :) Be too busy soon and have too many opportunities to be worried about it, single and ready to mingle and all that- winky face.

    Also good luck in training, your new life awaits!
  20. awww you 2 make me feel better already :)

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