Hello, I would love to the join the RN. I'm a 27 years old and I have a background in aeronautical engineering. (HND qualified, EngTech accredited). I have been thinking about joining the RN for a while and now feel that I am at a crossroads - I hope that the good folk on this forum will give me some advice. In September this year I will start a two-year distance learning degree, to top-up my HND to BEng(hons). I understand that this is the minimum academic standard required to join RN as a commissioned officer. However, I will be almost 30 when I complete the course - perilously close to the maximum age at which I can apply for a commission. So I have been thinking about applying to join as a rating, working as hard as I possibly can (hopefully!) earning myself a commission along the way. My dilemma is this. If I hold out for my degree before I apply for a commission and I fail to make the grade, I will be too old to give a second go. If I join RN as a rating, I will take a £20K pay cut and I will have to sell my home. On a rating's salary, I may never get back on to the ladder. I have a good job, which I enjoy but I am looking for more and I have my heart set on RN. Should I throw caution to the wind and sign up as a rating or get my degree and take my chances at the OASC? Just to add to the equation - I want to be a submariner. I understand that dates from which the RN will be accepting applications from women are yet to be decided. I would still join to serve on surface ships, but submarines are my preference. If I apply now to join as a rating I won't be able to go for the submarine service. Any advice would be gratefully received. Gloria.