'Reducing your talent pool'. I don't think there has been, nor will be a shortage of volunteers. Maybe some who don't mind waiting either. You step aside and someone will surely fill the space you left.But the absurd wait times being a "test" only makes sense if the trait you desire most above anything else in an officer is patience. If you're looking for anything else you know small things like, talent, ability, intelligence, temperament, knowledge or literally anything else then making applicants wait years is reducing your talent pool. Nelson isn't famous for his ability to sit on his arse for two years while the navy sorted out their application process and found him a place at the AIB is he?
You cannot equate Nelson Navy to todays.
Nelson - a cosh on the back of the head and your in assuming you have all your limbs pre coshing. Officers withstanding of course. A simple private income got you a commission.
Today. As your finding. A long sift process with your educational certificates and degrees.
Nelsons Navy it is not!!