BRNC Info?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by simonjgriffithshr, Nov 4, 2006.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hello everyone!

    I've been looking at these forums occassionally for a few months now. Have been quite impressed, and have even stretched to making a couple of (very rare) posts quite recently.

    I passed my AIB in May - with a view to going to university and hopefully being assisted by the Navy. Exams came around and I didn't do as well as perhaps I should have done, so didn't get into my first choice university (Cardiff for Law). I decided that I didn't want to go to university at home (my second choice was Gloucestershire for Sports Education) so in September when I got a call asking for my A Level results I asked if it was possible to swap from the UCE/Bursary list to the NCE list. Not a problem according to the person from the AIB on the phone. It was too late for consideration for November entry, so it would be January at the earliest. Which was good because I was in a plaster-cast as it was thought that I'd broken my scaphoid playing rugby (luckily it later turned out that it hadn't been!).

    Anyway, to the crux of this post! Had a call yesterday (Nov 2nd) morning from the same person at the AIB telling me that I had been selected to start at BRNC on January 2nd as a Naval College Entrant in the Warfare Branch. In his style of prompt mailing, the paperwork arrived this morning (Nov 3rd) - I've never seen so much crammed into (two) envelopes! Needless to say I was very happy to have everything sorted and in place (provided that in updating it, I don't tick the 'yes I have been involved in terrorist activities' box on the security clearance form :? ). I was also happy that I had got into the first available entry.

    So, all this paper! Very interesting reading, and there was certainly more info than on the BRNC web-site! But... Despite all of the literature, it still doesn't give a 'feeling' for the time at BRNC. I now know that my sports jacket should have vents and I'll need a fountain pen (plus lots of more useful stuff), but I don't know what it'll actually be like! Hard work, long days - obviously. But what sort of mixes - does training continue at weekends or is that used for private study and activity?

    With no specifics in mind, can anyone who has been through or worked at BRNC or known anyone (well) who has been through BRNC that can give me anything on it, it would be much appreciated. Any little tidbits would be fantastic (in fact, the little nuances would be good to know, as they tend to give a real feel for a place).

    Thanks in advance,
  2. They will brain wash you any way into thinking anybody who didnt start their naval career at dartmouth is a piece of turd who cant find their punctuation buttons any way so who cares if you know which ffffork to use
  3. Ignore Yorkie-s. He obviously has a beef with the system.

    Be prepared for long days initially; they won't seem so bad once you get into a routine. Your first weeks will pass like a blur as you are swept along through the initial admin process; your first term is generally designed to act as an induction into the Navy. You will learn all the basics whilst working towards appropriate levels in various military and academic skills.

    There will be free periods - use them wisely. These are all about planning your day. Instead of sitting chatting - sitting chatting whilst doing shoes for next day is better, etc. You'll understand this once you realise that there are only a few hours in a day of prep time. Laundry facilities exist and are good so you won't have to do your own.

    Get fit, if you aren't already. Find a pair of psychological blinkers as much of what you go through may not make sense but is designed overall to build leadership, command and team membership skills, etc and it always makes sense to the staff who will be assessing you as you go along. Bitching about stuff will get noticed hence the blinkers - remind yourself that you are at point A and need to get through to point B. Follow the route given to you and everything will be fine.

    The college runs along academic lines - there is a fair academic faculty (some good and some not so), a good library, reasonable IT suite, pool, multi-gym and large gymnasium, excellent food, and lots of other interesting facilities too. Learning to find your way around will be the first hurdle to climb.

    Naturally there will be organised sport, marching, messing about on the river in boats (great fun) to go along with the academics. Brush up on your math and English skills (if you need to), read a little general naval and military history but concentrate on the last 200 years. Remember there are lessons to be learned from key Army figures too.

    Maybe one of the recent entrants can provide a little more up-to-date information on this.

    Good luck - you will enjoy it.

  4. How many presentations do you have to make at BRNC? I HATE public speaking!
  5. Any leadership type course will involve something along the lines of a 15 minute presentation on anything of your choice, it's just to see if you have the initiative and means for public affairs etc

    Every one will become nervous, it's just a natural reaction but don't worry; if you are cut out for this role then it will happen.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  6. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Your time at BRNC will consist of 6x7 week phases.

    Phase 1 - New Entry training - this is the no leave, getting up early, getting fit, living in mess general navalisation stuff. Also first stage in leaderhsip training which culminates in big test on Dartmoor.

    Phase 2 - slightly better accom, different uniform, prpearing for Initial Sea Training so more emphasis on professional training such as navigation etc. Night leave but no weekend leave.

    Phase 3 - Initial Sea Training. Embarked in a ship with your class - live and work alongside Junior Rates in an attempt to understand what makes them and the ship tick - most valuable and make the most of it.

    Phase 4 & 5. Now you are a senior - single cabins, wear rank with uniform, live in Senior Gunroom (v nice) and work consists of academic studies. You will also be involved in the training of the juniors and can have weekend leave when not required for duty.

    Phase 6. Passing out phase. Emphasis now firmly back to Naval training, includes Divisional Offiers Course, Operational Planning training and culminates in final (pass or fail) leadership exercise which takes place on and around (or sometimes even in) River Dart.

    Lfe at the College is totaly bewildering at times as we have so little time to cram so much in. It is also not the real navy so some of the things will have apperently zero relevance - trust the staff - when you get to sea you will understand why they make you do the things they did!! There is not the luxury of time to bugger people about for the hell of it - although it may not seem that way at the time.

    You should have enormous fun, you wil make firends that wil last forever - mine are 24 years old and counting!

    They should have sent you a fairly comprehensive book about all this - remember you are all in the same boat (pun intended)

    Any furhters q's just shout - have a great time - I was 2 years on the staff and was continually impressed by the way the cadtes (or most of them) grew up in such a short space of time.

    best of luck.
  7. Good luck to you.
  8. Above all Maintain your sense of humour We were given this advice at our first talk in the college 41 years ago and it is still valid

    Very difficult at times to remember

    Always give your maximum effort plus to everything you do

    Remember two eyes for observing and evaluating, two ears for listening and understanding and one mouth for speaking

    So engage brain before opening mouth
  9. Study the art of effective written communication

    see this website for the BBC Style Guide

    also this page with advice from George Orwell

    learn to present without the use of visual aids

    if you do use visual aids don't subject your audience to either death by powerpoint or death by vufoil

    for tips about using powerpoint see this page
  10. Thanks guys, plenty of useful information there. Keep it coming if anyone else has anything. :)

    I referee as well as play rugby, so I've had a little practice at this... :D (I was in the awkward postion of refereeing my team at the weekend - in my club's shorts, socks and training top - because no ref turned up, from full-back to referee in one easy step!).
  11. Sounds as if not that much has changed except the timescale, even if you take the Mids year in the fleet out it took us a full two years to do that. On the endiuring freindship thing we had our 40th reunion 2 years ago and 130 turned up out of about 500 who started as cadets.

  12. The fact that you seem to be getting off your arse and researching the matter will stand you in good stead. I'm not convinced that everyone does which is a crime when you consider the quantity of information available on the net these days.

    I suspect that if you soak up even half of what is being said here - you are already ahead of the game. jeeperz' comment about a sense of humour is absolutely vital. There will be times when you just don't feel like it but these are probably the most important times to do it and attempt to lift the spirits of those around you. It will get you noticed but don't become the class fool in the process as you don't want to get noticed for the wrong reasons.

  13. Good advice Silverfox

    also remember two ears for listening and comprehension, two eyes for observation and evaluation one mouth for speaking and giving your opinion

    always a good idea to use them in that order - first appearances can be deceptive

    The old adage of "engage brain before opening mouth " applies in all cases

    Those with more gold on their sleeves normally have one thing you haven't gained -- experience

    So no harm in asking them for advice It costs nothing
  14. If I could be allowed to present a, most respectfully, more up-to-date opinion...

    BRNC has been doing what is does for over a hundred years now. The system works. Everything posted by SilverFox and Jeepers especially remains true today at BRNC.

    I would draw-out one comment in particular - SF's about getting from A to B. The sort of people who go to BRNC should be the same sort of people who become frustrated with imperfect systems and practices. Undoubtedly you will experience this whilst at Dartmouth - Phase 2 for everyone, and 4+5 if X. Don't let this get you down - look to the future. BRNC is a means to an end and it is easy to forget this whilst there.

    I passed out not long ago and enjoyed the place on the whole. Some of it is not meant to be fun, but then that is the way has to be. You do make very strong bonds, and I'm sure I will still be able to remember the names of the people I shared my 1st cabin with or walked up the steps with for the rest of my life - and no doubt you will too.

    Best of luck in January - enjoy ACE (!) - and keep the board posted.
  15. Thanks again for the input. Wilberforce_Banyanker, thanks for passin on some recent first hand info, rest assured that I'll try and keep the board posted on occassion.
  16. Hi Simon,

    I am also joining BRNC on 2 Jan! There was quite a lot of paperwork in the pack they sent out but I think I've cracked it all now. Just the English assignment still to write!

    Taking the NCE route has got to be a good idea, you may miss out on uni now but I'm sure the RN experience will be much more exciting and you can always study for a degree later.

    Good luck with the fitness prep etc.

    See you in January.

  17. My impressions (and I was there 20 yrs ago - although people who were there 20 years before me said it doesn't change much..)

    Do get fit before you go. Learn to use an iron well, and bull shoes (ex-forces people can show you).

    I was not very street-wise, being straight from school, and a comprehensive at that. A lot of the posh types from public schools found it easier than me, as they were used to "the system". Try not to get spotted as someone who doesn't fit in - a couple of my fellow trainees delighted in making life miserable for me, though I'm glad to say it was just one or two. I did a lot of dumb things like being too honest at the wrong time, and not covering my ass enough.

    Make sure you are living up to what they tell you they want, even if a lot of it is a load of bollocks. Some of it seemed silly to me at the time and only a long time later did it come home to me that not all of it was. Make it look as though you are taking the training seriously, even though few of us did 100% of the time (some of it is crap).

    You are ALWAYS being watched and assessed there, even on leave activities and so forth. Once, when I got hold of my training records and had a look (don't ask...) I found that people had made comments on my future suitability for pilot training based on my performance in handling a motor whaler at 6.30 am on the River Dart! And that from a Weapons Engineer!
    Another comment was from a CPO who captained a yacht that I'd been on during leave activities, when I'd been seasick (and very bored) most of the week. Needless to say, neither comment was very flattering!

    I got far better Officer and Leadership ratings much later, when I was in flying training, partly because I'd come on a bit by then, but I think more likely because I wasn't being assessed by tossers in a daft environment.

    I always remember that one of my mates managed to create a great impression on day one, and our bosses never lost that impression of him - he got away with murder right to the end. Try to do the same!

    I second the comments about using time sensibly, especially at first. You need to work as a team with your guys in your cabin and course. Look out for your mates, because there will be times you need their help. One of my mates was a maths genius and I know he got me through the "maths for pilots" course, (which, by the way, was a complete irrelevance).

    The staff officers are often the best and worst that the RN has to offer. Be very careful of the shit ones, who (as I've alluded to) can really spoil your day if you do something they notice.

    Try to win things. Coming in first for your Division in the Cross Country will bullet-proof you when you f*ck something up later (see earlier comment about my teflon-coated mate, who rowed for the Navy).
    And do remember to laugh at it. I hated BRNC, but I do have some good memories of it, and I think most people do have a better time than I did.
    Good luck.
  18. Thanks codbutt.

    I'll try to follow my school-time then. Started, everything was great, did work, did very well. In year 10 I stopped doing the work, but still did very well. In sixth form I still didn't do any work and it didn't go quite so well, but my impression remained and so I was still in everyone's good books so no-one gave a damn!
  19. Hi Kate,

    What branch are you entering? Agree about the paperwork though - thought the postman had popped the Amazonian rainforest through the door there was that much! Finally got it all finished yesterday (I'm not the most organised...) and posted it (guaranteed delivery just to be sure).

    Can I assume, from a couple of things you said, that you're a direct entry (graduate)?

    Fitness prep is sorted - ten days of skiing in Canada starting next Thursday/Friday (can get a load of swimming in at the hotel too!).

    Yes, see you there!
  20. Hi Simon.

    I'm heading down in January too. Think I'm almost good to go though no doubt I'll have forgotten something fairly major. Have you picked up any hints or tips on extra bits of kit to take, I've been told a zippo lighter and two shower caps are useful?!

Share This Page