Direct Entry Officers

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by Uncle_Albert, Jul 28, 2007.

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  1. DE has been around for a while now and I'm yet to see any in my unit.

    Are there any plain vanilla DE officers out there, post-AIB, in unit? I mean Joe Sixpack in off the street - ex-URNUs, ex-RN, CORPUS/OPUS/PONE not included.
  2. I am in the process, not a joe blogs as have been in another reserve service for a while however I am starting from scratch like all other direct entries.

    Thoughts so far, even if not post-aib I apologise, rotate mostly around the process of getting people into the system.

    The hands off approach until you've passed AIB seems a little flawed for retaining interest but I'm told this is being addressed.

    Waiting lists for AIB seem rather high so again this might effect retention of candidates but I can't really think of any way to solve this.

    Lastly, having passed one AIB I found it odd that the one year rule was applied to the reserves as the waiting list for BRNC isn't applicable and surely in the years after skill sets would only have improved and developed?

    Just my initial thoughts and, hopefully, I will have more to give post-AIB as originally requested!
  3. Until you've passed AIB, you're not in the RNR so there's very little they can do with you, I expect.

    I'm looking for complete Joe Sixpacks, rather than people with prior experience. I'm feeding a pet theory I have about how DE will reduce the number of officers in the RNR, rather than increase it.
  4. Would you like to expand? As this isn't the case with the Army but I'm curious as to the theory from the dark blue side.

    Edit- original seemed a bit narky.
  5. I think I may qualify as a vanilla, Jo(sephin)e Sixpack, Uncle Albert!

    What would you like to know? :)
  6. So what is your theory? I am sure that I am not the only person that woudld like to know.
  7. It runs along the following lines:

    The introduction of DE will not affect the number of punters turning up at their AFCO to join the RNR - the pre and post DE publicity is much the same.

    Pre DE: Of that group of punters, some will want to be officers. They join as ratings, spend a couple of years learning their trade as ratings, and go on to AIB. Some of them will pass AIB because of their time as ratings, some of them would have passed AIB anyway. Some will change their minds and either leave or stay on the lower deck.

    Post DE: All those punters that want to be officers will go straight to AIB. Those that would have passed due to time spent on lower deck will fail, reducing the number of officers had DE not been introduced. Some of the extra ones we send, those who would have never gone to AIB had they spent time on the lower deck, will pass, but I believe that the kind of recruit who would change their mind or leave if they couldn't get an AIB straight away do not make useful officers, and will leave anyway or become one of those ineffectual officers you see hanging around at the back.

    In summary, my hypothesis is that the removal of time on the lower deck will reduce the quality of officer candidates being sent, causing some who would have passed to now fail, and the extra officer candidates we now send to AIB who never would have made it that far pre-DE make poor officers who do not counterbalance the loss.

    It is, of course, early days, and tracking the numbers will prove very difficult.

    Note: Of my most recent batch of NE ratings, at least three want to be officers, so maybe the AFCOs are not offering DE to all and sundry anyway.

    Note: If you're a DE candidate, and you think my statements above mean 'DE officers are all rubbish'; I suggest you practice your English comprehension before your AIB.
  8. When did you first express interest and when did you pass AIB?
  9. Whilst I appreciate where you're coming from on this, your assessment pre-supposes that good officers are born, not made and that there is no opportunity to influence the effectiveness of an individual post-AIB.

    Someone can probably clarify the process by which a candidate actually presents at AIB but presumably there are pre-filter stages where the prospects are assessed and advice given. Surely still the opportunity to say to a candidate that their prospect of passing AIB would be enhanced by a couple of years in the lower deck.

    AIB outcomes must also include the same thing.

    In terms of target market the DE route also allows those for whom a couple of years in the lower deck would have been a significant deterrent. Probably not a high number, but still a group with potential value and prospects. I note you do include them in your argument, but I disagree with the bland statement that they wouldn't make good officers anyway.
  10. I started the process of applying to join the RNR as a rating back in early 2006 having left in 2000 and was then offered the DE route. As posted previously, my AIB has been put back by months and although I did not expect a date immediately, am rather frustrated (so frustrated I have even considered joining the TA instead) at waiting nearly 18 months when I suspect I could have been well through the Rating NE course by now and potentially been offered AIB anyway.

    The unit has done a good job of keeping informed and running some useful AIB preparation events, which I think is as much as they are allowed to do.

    IMHO DE has the potential to be as good as regular direct recruitment of officers but there needs to be some consideration given to the order in which things are done.

    Perhaps an initial common selection weekend for all recruits could be carried out, with those wanting to go down the DE route watched for key capabilities needed to pass AIB, those who had not considered DE but look promising identified and everyone given the chance to get to know each other. The result of this weekend would be the start of a new NE course for most and the start of some pre-AIB preparation for DE recruits while they await an AIB date, those in the later category could perhaps be given Midshipman rank as with URNU members.
  11. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Not sure I wholly agree with this line of reasoning at all. Time spent on the lower deck or in another Service even is all good preparation, there is no escaping that fact. However the AIB looks a little deeper than making sure you know ranks/rates, can tie a knot or two. It examines your ability to take on responsibility, display leadership potential and most importantly your ability to assess facts, assimilate information and make a rational decision in a potentially fluctuating environment. (Whether the AIB is a good vehicle or not is another totally different thread).

    Time on the lower desk will give you a good footing to see how the RN/RNR works and to establish how you fit in. You may even be lucky enough to take part in some leadership cadre exercises which will develop those skills that are essential for an Officer, there will however always be people who no matter how much leadership training they receive find themselves incapable of getting people to follow them (even out of interest), there are those for whom leadership is something they intuitively possess.

    I was accepted as an RNR Officer a long time ago (in a previous life) - via common new recruit entry. Common training and via selection along the way. I don't recall any form of leadership training but went to AIB and passed. I don't think my time on the lower deck contributed one iota to my success - apart from getting some solid AIB prep advice from the unit.

    DE is no different to how Johnny Punter rocks up for an RN AIB. They get some advice, they get a decent steer and then its up to them.

    The RM have a POC course, RN ratings are doing similar and I have no doubt the RN will look to do this for Officers (or may, I must ask?) - but in essence I think the bulk of Officers inherently have what is takes - some need coaching and more development than others, some don't.

    What I do think was always wrong and has since been addressed is taking on Officers on Full Term Commissions at 18. Most people haven't fully matured/developed at this age, they don't know their own mind and hence its quite difficult to assess their potential. To make the sort of commitments the RN did was ludicrous, the new 3TC is far better - it allows you to see how people develop and perform. Will the RNR have a 3TC equivalent?
  12. To be honest I think it takes long enough to find your feet in an RNR unit as a rating (given that you only attend one evening a week) let alone as an officer.

    Was there anything wrong with the previous system other than it did not mirror the Regular system?
  13. Apparently not enough Officers (I know some branches are overborne, but across the RNR there's apparently a shortage and with many Lt Cdr's retiring in a few years it's about to get a whole lot worse).
  14. I dont know whether this helps or adds anything much - my mate went and did his aptitude tests today (passed) and was applying for rating entry. Had thought about DE and had degrees etc but decided against it due to waiting times and having to be "hands off" until you pass, as discussed above.

    The AFCO told him to put in a simultaneous application - continue with the NE one but at same time register an interest in a commission and start the ball rolling on that one, so at least until an AIB date comes up he will be occupied doing useful NE stuff.

    Sensible way to go or not, I dont know... havent been in long myself!! lol


  15. Not quite, although frankly the RNR has much less chance of training people up to be good officers than the regulars do - it's much harder for us to churn out good 'uns.

    Fair comment; neither of us have any hard evidence on this one. I'll be trying to watch DE, but it's damnably difficult.

    That's exactly my point, WD. It can turn marginal fails into passes. Remove the time on the lower deck, and they stay fails. I contend that the extra passes from people who don't want to spend time on the lower deck will not make up for it.
  16. Yeah, we could have snuck you onto the last PONE and you'd have had an AIB by Christmas. Ah well.
  17. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    [quote="Uncle_Albert]That's exactly my point, WD. It can turn marginal fails into passes. Remove the time on the lower deck, and they stay fails. I contend that the extra passes from people who don't want to spend time on the lower deck will not make up for it.[/quote]

    Thats what I was trying to say, I don't necessarily think thats right, I don't believe that time (once a week) doing the really quite sparse, repetitive training at an RTC will make that much of a difference, I certainly don't think it will make a marginal a pass - maybe in the odd one or two cases.

    Actually in some ways it may even turn off potential Officers when they see the haphazard nature of RNR training.
  18. U_A, you do make a valid point - whereas for full time officers, the O/Cs spend 7 weeks living in the junior rates mess during IST, with the RNR DEs they never get this experience. However, repeating the point mentioned before, there's no difference between an RN AIB candidate or an RNR DE candidate, except the RNR candidate knows that as he/she is driving out of the gates of Sultan after the medical they are in as an officer, whereas the RN candidate must wait for an allocation.
  19. Until very recently the JR NE training in my unit was far superior to JO training so anyone without a nautical background benefited massively from doing NE/Raleigh and a bit of time in branch before becoming a JO. We have had some DE JOs and they are very opinion is that unless you have relevant experience then time in NE prior to AIB is invaluable. However, whichever route you go the AIB is looking for potential. A DE officer may have the same potential but no knowledge or experience to support the little gold stripe. At least if you've been in for a bit before AIB you may have had some idea of what it means, in terms of responsibility and conduct, to have the gold and may, longer term, be a better officer for it.
  20. I personally think that if you go down the DE route, a new BRNC course is required which bolts RNR onto the new entry for 2 weeks of "hell" to give them a short sharp Raleigh like culture shock. They can do the later BRNC course once trained.

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