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Considering applying to RFA

TC123

Newbie
Good morning all,

I am a 37 year old working in civvy street and, whilst i've done okay (senior manager in Supply Chain), it would be a massive understatement to say I am struggling to see myself doing it for the next 20 years or so. I just feel there must be something more out there. Vague, I know, but I have a feeling many of you will relate.

I am ex-URNU (a fair few years ago now admittedly!) and I loved it. Over the last week or so I've found myself spending a fair bit of time thinking about my options and the RFA has been in my thoughts. I'd thought about the RN but I figure that ship has sailed a long time ago (excuse the pun...). I can see that certain roles (Logistics Officer, Warfare Int Officer, etc.) recruit until 39 but I would imagine my chances of progression would be somewhat limited and, with a young family at home, I would be away from home for a lot more of the year than within the RFA.

So, I'd been looking at LSO (trainee) and I had a few questions:

Pay and training: The 'role at a glance' suggests £25k as a trainee (10 weeks at Dartmouth then in the region of 2 years at the DMLS?) So, appx. £25k for 2 years then appx. £35k as a qualified third officer? I'm not hugely motivated by money but I do have a reasonable mortgage and other obligations to consider.

Leave: EVL 7 days per month spent on board ship as a trainee? Would I be right in saying this increases to the 21 days per month served once training completed? How much, realistically, would I be home for over the first two years?

Progression opportunities: I have been looking through various other threads and found one that seemed to suggest progression opportunities limited in Logistics. Is that a fair summary? I am a hugely driven individual and if it was a case of dead man's shoes I would think that would be a huge turn off for me.

Thank you very much for your help/advice. I am seriously thinking about this and just wanted to have the situation 100% clear in my mind before making any decisions.

Cheers
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
Good morning all,

I just feel there must be something more out there. Vague, I know, but I have a feeling many of you will relate.
Yup I turned 30 and got tired of sitting in a cubicle farm reading emails about engineering, I thought it might be nice to actually do engineering.

I would be away from home for a lot more of the year than within the RFA.
Depends where in the RN you ended up, a fair amount of RN officers go to sea only rarely, and spend most of their career behind various shore side desks (current 1st sealord would like to change that).

On average when I am seagoing (currently doing my turn in an ashore post), I spend 7months away on ship and 5 months at home in a year.

I'm not hugely motivated by money but I do have a reasonable mortgage and other obligations to consider.
your numbers sound in the right ball park, but it might be worth looking up Seafarers Earnings Deductions (SED), its an allowance with HMRC where if you spend as a seafarer more than 6months outside the UK within a 12month period (work or leave) you get all your income taxes rebated. This may help the mortgage payments.

Progression opportunities: I have been looking through various other threads and found one that seemed to suggest progression opportunities limited in Logistics. Is that a fair summary? I am a hugely driven individual and if it was a case of dead man's shoes I would think that would be a huge turn off for me.
All RFA branches are small compared to the RN, therefore there are less positions to be promoted to, hence the dead mans shoes references.. However if you are motivated you can progress through the ranks at a reasonable rate. In my branch (Systems Engineering) I went from qualified 3/O to 1/O in under 10 years.

Hopefully one of the Supply fraternity will turn up and answer your questions in more detail

All the best with your decision
 

TC123

Newbie
@Random Thank you for your reply. It is certainly helpful.

As you say, hopefully one of the Supply fraternity will be able to add a few more details.
 
Hello @TC123, f you've not yet found it the RR Search facility will result in some wheat plus plenty of chaff, so be creative when entering key words. Moi? Former S/M Weapons with limited but only general advice on the RFA.
Tip - An easy slip 'o the tongue but NEVER EVER mix your RFA with RAF, your recruiters will go absolutely bananas !!

Understandably, RFA LO applications attract an awful lot of interest and you will discover there is a hell of a lead time for selection with mighty gaps of silence between the various stages. eg I have had a mature, well qualified relative in that queue since 15m ago. HIs next step might be in July 2021 with no guarantee beyond that.

Also, be prepared for a lack of response from those in training, on the job or on leave. Like most other RR recruiting inquirers [RN/RFA/RM] a returning fledgling is almost as elusive as a two-horned unicorn,

Best of luck, we often ask 'please let's know how you get on...' Excepting a couple like @Random few ever respond...
 

TC123

Newbie
@BreathingOutOnTheWayUp Thanks for your reply. I will have another dig around using the search facility and see what pearls of wisdom present themselves.

If I ultimately end of making an application, I'll be sure to pop back and let people know

Thanks again
 
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