Can political affiliations affect your career?

This probably seems like an odd question but can political affiliations affect your career in the RN? I'm a member of one of the main political parties, not anything extreme or banned but we live in a very polarised society these days and know people personally who have been discriminated at work due to their political affiliations as well as having job offers/interviews revoked when being asked about their political status.

I'm just curious , as I join soon, if it's possible for a superior to make life difficult or block promotions etc if they oppose your views on something entirely unrelated to your job; as we increasingly see in 'Civvy street'?

To be clear, I don't talk about politics at all and I'm aware most people don't care, It's just that previous experience has made me cautious.


Lantern Swinger
If you don't talk about politics at work, how would they know any different?

The expectation is that the military is politically neutral, at least outwardly. To this end, I personally do not have any ties to any political parties. What you do behind closed doors is up to you, as long as you don't contravene any rules/laws, bring us into disrepute or break neutrality. Just remember that you are representing the Service whenever you wear uniform or even in company where your status as a service person is known, and act accordingly.

I can't remember what the official guidelines are, there is probably something in BR3 (look it up).


War Hero
in all seriousness. This is what I could find on it. Don't take this as gospel as there may be more up to date info out there..

a. Service personnel are not permitted to take an active part in the affairs of any political organisation, party or movement. They are not allowed to take part in political marches or demonstrations and are not permitted to participate in industrial action or in any form of political activity organised by civilian trade unions or professional associations.

b. There is, however, no restriction on the membership of a political party or trade union and there is no restriction on the attendance at political or trade union meetings where attendance at such a meeting is intended to enhance trade skills or knowledge. Uniform is not to be worn at such meetings.

if your membership is with an extreme group, that is a different issue entirely!
If you don't talk about politics at work, how would they know any different?
Basic background searches/ security clearances etc I dont know if this information becomes part of a personnel file of sorts. Information is 'out there' whether you think it should be private or not.

For example, a friend of a friend at university declared his conservative views in an 'anonymous' online debate, was then Doxxed and harassed.

I suppose my question is more, with politics creeping into everyday life more often and some people tending to be very zealous with their beliefs, are you able to avoid that in the RN?


I guess it all depends on who you are working for/with. Just like there are bigots when it comes to religion and sexuality there are those who have an active dislike of people with differing political views. I found it very difficult to write up a subordinate who was a rabid socialist, to me it seemed counter to military ethos. (Standby for incoming)


War Hero
@RabC makes a fair point, if your views are out there and sombody, who can affect your career does not agree, it shouldn't but it could. That's not just the navy that is all walks of life, keep your private life just that, private.
New a rating requested to go on a special course, after 3 months he was turned down, apparently his grandfather had been a member of a communist party in his youth, his grandfather had crossed the bar, nobody including his grandmother knew of this, but the squirrels did?
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