Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by hantslad, Feb 11, 2006.

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  1. Chaps,

    I need some advice, as I am thinking of joining the RNR. I grew up in the Portsmouth area, my dad was w WO Stoker and did 36 years in the RN. I had always intended to join the RN, but while at Uni, I discovered I was too short sighted for Officer Entry. I was gutted.

    I joined the TA in 1998 and have served in the Infantry, in a Field Hospital (as a clerk) and with the Intelligence Corps.

    I am a Foreign Equipment Recognition Instructor and I have a working knowledge of Arabic (the TA sent me on a course). I also did an operational tour in Bosnia.

    I left the TA when I joined the police. I rejoined the TA last year, but I'm not enjoying it as much.

    Living in London, I miss the sea, so I am thinking of leaving the TA and coming to the RNR. I am currently a Cpl.

    My main question is, what Branch???
    I have a mate at Ferret, but appreciate it could take a lot of time and effort to get commissioned and end up there. (time I dont have cos of work and shift committments).

    I am 25 years old.

    Sorry for boring you, and I dont intend for it to sound like "wow arent I brilliant" but I would appreciate some advice as to which rating branch would suit me, and whether you think its a good idea or not!
  2. If you have those skills, then it would not take you long to reach Ferret. The RN is realising that Int should be part of our skill set (at last), so if you can bring skills in, then it all goes in your favour. Best bet would be to come in with a Logistics (Pers) slant, then get your language skills recognised. Go to DISC for an assessment, and see where it goes from there. And yes, RNR can be sent to DISC for assessment....
  3. Cheers for your advice, my languge skills are up to date and I have a NATO Language qualification. So I guess I better get my butt down to HMS President
  4. Hi hantslad,

    Curious to find out how you got your NATO Language qualifications. I speak Spanish fluently and I have been trying to get myself sorted and the best I have been able to do is get myself on a "list" somewhere.

  5. I got them by attending a course at the Defence School of Languages in Beaconsfield. If you give them a call, you can arrange to have your skills assessed. From this assessment they will decide what level you are at and give you a NATO STANAG Language rating for Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

    This will then go on your docs, and you will be eligible for a one off language payment. (not sure how much it is)
  6. Thanks for that. By the way, wouldn't it be easier and quicker to get into the Int Corp (if that is what your interest is) seeing as you are already in the TA?

    If you want to go to sea best options with us lot is GSSR and even then their job is to stand guard on the gangway of some RFA.
  7. Im already in the Int Corps!
  8. Hello Hants Lad,

    I think you need to be very clear about what you actually want out of the reserve forces. If you genuinely want to get to sea, then obviously the RNR is the way to go, but you are going to have to put up with going right back down to the bottom of the heap again and then working your way back up. Would transferring to another bit of the TA like the Port Maritime, or just taking up sailing, provide a better option?

    There are some branches/specialisations which are more likely to spend time at sea than others but that can be a bit of a lottery too and people perhaps go to sea a bit less that you think. You probably won’t get to sea for a couple of years of joining, and although you can really dip in and have some quality sea time with the RNR, more than one person has found that their “fortnight†at sea turned out to a few days at sea and the rest of the time alongside. Marvellous if you are in Singapore, less exciting if you are in the UK.

    The main sea-going specialisation is GSSR (General Service Seaman (Reserve)). Their main role is providing security teams (SPO Teams) for chartered merchant shipping, but they do general seamanship too and there are more opportunities for specialisation later on.

    Ferret is, of course, an option if you want to go down that route, but will you really be doing anything you couldn’t do more easily and quickly with the Int Corps?

    There are two other issues you will wish to explore. Firstly, although I don’t think anyone would claim that all is completely well with the TA, it does at least have a very clear role in supporting operations and the day to day work of the armed forces. I am not convinced that the RNR is in the same position. The RN sort of thinks the RNR is a good idea but isn’t completely sure what to do with it. Some of that probably comes from the lack of clarity over the RN’s role, but I think it is fair to say that the RNR is still in a state of flux over specialisations and what it is supposed to do. I hasten to add that this is all my opinion rather than received wisdom and others on this forum might wish to give different views, but my advice would be that if you want to be deployed and do stuff, you are better off staying with the TA.

    Secondly, you will want to take some soundings on which Unit to join, as you probably know there are two in London. I know some people at President, PM me if you’d like to know a bit more.

    Le Jaq
  9. Ref 'Le Jaq' on 13 Feb "The RN sort of thinks the RNR is a good idea but isn’t completely sure what to do with it."

    I am currently working with the UK Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO) in Dubai. We are a deployed unit of 3 RNR personnel and the unit has been established here since late October 2001 (we were sent out to provide reassurance to the maritime industry following 9/11).

    We are all NCAGS (Naval Cooperation & Guidance to Shipping) specialists and I can assure you that the RN knows EXACTLY what to do with us. We have been an integral part of RN operations in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Red Sea region and have won a huge number of supporters at all levels across the RN.

    Sadly we seem to be one of the RNRs best kept secrets which, considering UKMTO Dubai has been an Operational Deployment for over 4 years, is quite shameful. Thankfully the secret is not quite so well kept in the RN. If anyone is interested you can see some of our Information Notices and get a better feel for what we do on the rncom website at
  10. The eyesight requirements are the same as the RN for Rating entry which in theory is what everybody should be joining as initially. Hantslad said his eyesight wasn't good enough for officer entry, I take it he was going Warfare, your eyesight has to be S1 for that. I had the same problem.
  11. Hantslad is so short sighted that he fell outside the unaided vision requirement for 1, S2 and S3! Its nice to be talked about though! Thanks for all your advice. I guess I have some thinking to do
  12. When O first joined the TA in 1998, I did my medical on a Friday night in a dusty camp in North Wales. It was very very easy to get in!
  13. Hants Lad.....bit puzzled...presumably you are now London based?

    re joining Port & Maritime, I've just finished with 165 Regt...good bunch of guys and time on the water guaranteed if you join Vessel Troop.

    BUT, be warned....the role is pretty much lighterman rather than deep sea....since 17 P&M (the Regular unit) lost the two ocean-going LCLs ARDENNES and ARAKAN in 2000-ish, the largest vessels that the Army operate are the Ramped Craft Logistic . I'll post a pic in a bit.

    The RCLs are coastal...the furthest trip I did was Soton- Weymouth though occasionally they go to Channel is.

    The unit ( 165 Port Regt RLC(TA) is administered from Grantham in Lincs, even though most of their working weekends are done at Marchwood near Southampton. we deployed to Iraq on Op Telic 1 (compulsory mobilisation) which means that those who were on that op are now coming back into the frame to be mobilised again.

    If you are looking for waterborne ops, unless you could be assessed having current seamanship skills you'd be looking to do a B3 seaman course (2 weeks) at Marchwood as your first trade course.

    Until you've passed B2, you can't be coxn of anything bigger than a RIB.

    That said, just like the RNR, you get paid to be on the water....what more could anyone ask ! If the water in question happens to be in Iraq or Pakistan then...hey...tant pis euh ?

    PM me if you want a contact.

    Lee Shaver
  14. Alright Hantsy,

    Get in the GSSR branch shipmate, SPO teams are the future! You sound like you've had experience with weapons and shouting at people. Pluses you'll get to Sea and you'll get to look dead ard. Negatives you stand a good chance of getting shot!

    Just join up then worry about branches Shipwreck.

    Fear God Honour the Queen.
  15. Dubaipusser,

    IMHO the reason why you are one of the best kept secrets within the RNR is that no one knows how you get selected to go. The perception is that it is by 'Magic Circle'. This may also explain why you get comment about being in Dubai at all.

    This is a shame because you guys do a v. useful job out there. It just isn't put across well to the rest of the RNR.
  16. Naah. its not the Magic Circle in NCAGS, its the Tufty Club. To see who's in or out just check out the manning lists for Bell Buoy and the like!

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