Direct Entry

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by Rich1, Jan 19, 2009.

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  1. I'm considering looking at officer DE but wondered if there's anyone out there who is currently doing this and has any thoughts about it. I know that there are some strong opinions either way but I'd be keen to hear what the suggested benefits are.
    I've got no preference either way with the system; can see the advantages to bringing people in and training them as officers straight off - equally I can understand that the experience of being a JR first has huge advantages but given that the DE system is there, it's something I might be interested in getting into.
    If there's anyone currently doing this, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. I'm at the point of trying to get my JO training started, so while I can explain how and why I got here I can't say how it's working out...


    I went the DE route primarily because I'm thirty-eight years old and, to be blunt, by the time I'd done enough time as a rating to be useful and learn much, I'd be getting too old to be worth commissioning & earn a return on the investment.

    Another reason is that I did the Other Ranks part twenty years ago with the Army, and don't feel any great enthusiasm for repeating it; plus the RNR roles I was interested in, and felt I could bring something useful to, mostly need a commission. (Even though the SRs and sergeants' messes are usually the most pleasant places to be...)

    I also don't personally feel that showing up to act as a junior rating for a year or two, tying up spaces on courses that others could have made better use of, only to then get hooked out into the wardroom as part of a big plan, is a great way to build cohesion or get myself welcomed or a good use of limited budgets. And if you're not training properly and taking the courses and doing the work, you're playing rather than working.


    That said, there are reasons to be a little cautious about going DE officer. It may just be me, or my unit, or some other reason, but to date I haven't been feeling loved or included: there's an expectation that you'll sort any issues out for yourself, know what to do, where to go and who to talk to. Which, for a civilian whose previous Service time was in Army DPM, is a little tricky: I'm currently caught up in a squabble about where I'm meant to go to get issued some kit, with my unit sending me to a regular facility and the Regulars turning me away, saying it's my unit's responsibility and not their fault that the Reserves don't have any stocks. (The counter-argument is that as an officer you should be able to do all this for yourself, and I'm doing my best - shouldn't join if you can't take a joke)


    Going officer and being useful in the uniform is not going to be easy, and whatever route you take will have some bumps along it. I went DE because of my age and prior experience, and probably would not have joined up if the DE route hadn't been available. (So the RNR is getting another junior officer - whether having me on strength is a gain or a loss remains to be seen).

    If you're a few years younger than me, then starting on the lower deck may give you some valuable experience and still leave you time as an officer between "joining trained strength" and "retired as too old" to be useful.


    It's a highly individual issue, is the short summary :)
     

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