Entry selection into the Royal Navy as an Officer.

slim

War Hero
In this modern age it would be nice to see direct entry officer dropped almost completely from RN recruiting.
Why not make it so that everyone joins at Raleigh and completes basic naval training. At this stage any rating wishing to be considered for a commission could do part two training as a seaman. During these two periods the wheat should be sorted from the chaff.
Ratings selected for officer would then go to Dartmouth, others could then recategorize to branches they were considered suitable for.
Hopefully this way ratings selected would make better officers and those not selected could either leave or remain in service.
This would not apply to officers joining as doctors or those with relevant engineering degrees sponsored by the admiralty.
In the 60s all WREN officers joined as ratings first.
 
Yes, what a great idea. And while we're at it, why don't we abolish saluting, uniform, orders and anything else that isn't all New Labour and "modern"? And engineers?! That's the one branch that doesn't need any officers at all - the CPOs and WOs do all the work and have all the knowledge.

Officers are selected because they are a certain type of future leaders and managers, as determined by the RN as what is needed. Ratings who are identified as future leaders are also selected for a commission, if they want to, or they can stay on the lower deck and do a different (but no less valid or difficult) sort of leadership on promotion to LH and above.

Of the RN officer corps, about a third are now ex-ratings, which shows that not only are we the most egalitarian service, we've also got a good technique at spotting those who can be officers. Of the rest, 85% of new direct entry officers are graduates, who (by definition) are the brightest of their generation. Make them join as ratings, and all the bright ones would say "sod this" and do a different job. You'd lose the quantity, you;d lose the quality and within a few years you'd lose the navy. There are alternative ways of training officers (the CTCRM technique could work) but if it ain't broke, why change it?
 

slim

War Hero
geoffrey said:
Yes, what a great idea. And while we're at it, why don't we abolish saluting, uniform, orders and anything else that isn't all New Labour and "modern"? And engineers?! That's the one branch that doesn't need any officers at all - the CPOs and WOs do all the work and have all the knowledge.

Officers are selected because they are a certain type of future leaders and managers, as determined by the RN as what is needed. Ratings who are identified as future leaders are also selected for a commission, if they want to, or they can stay on the lower deck and do a different (but no less valid or difficult) sort of leadership on promotion to LH and above.

Of the RN officer corps, about a third are now ex-ratings, which shows that not only are we the most egalitarian service, we've also got a good technique at spotting those who can be officers. Of the rest, 85% of new direct entry officers are graduates, who (by definition) are the brightest of their generation. Make them join as ratings, and all the bright ones would say "sod this" and do a different job. You'd lose the quantity, you;d lose the quality and within a few years you'd lose the navy. There are alternative ways of training officers (the CTCRM technique could work) but if it ain't broke, why change it?

So all the chinless wonders that I served with are no longer selected as officers, nor all the ex public schoolboys that I encountered. Many in my day (and I left in 1985) were in the wardroom because it was their birthright. It was said that Prince Andrew once asked a rating why he hadn't gone to university. The reply "because I got the same grades as you sir". Were these really quality officers?
Lets really go back to the old days and make officers purchase their commissions and also purchase each rank they attained.
Anyone worthy of a commission joining as a rating would get one, it would just be a little harder to attain.
 
A

angrydoc

Guest
Slim, RN Officers traditionally did not purchase their Commissions, cf. the Army. This is why we are Officers and not gentlemen, as most Officers in the grand old days of yore were promoted from the lower decks, as against the Army where parents purchased a Commission for their son.

Are you under the impression that Officers do not get basic Naval training in BRNC? I was chatting one of the PTIs (a LH) a while ago who was one of the BRNC PTIs during my time there, and he said he had utmost respect for Officers now as he saw that we do as much (if not more) crap than Ratings when under training!

I also agree with Geoffrey - everyone is in the RN to do a different job. Team work is about everyone using their own abilities to get a job done: not everyone doing the same job and ending up with a cluster.

Incidentally, I believe the RN has the highest proportion of SD Officers of the three Services.

I fear this thread may continue for some time...
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Birthright? What on earth are you talking about.... I don't think this thread will continue for too long as it is too ludicrous to last.

Slim, Officers do their own version of Part I training at BRNC which is harder and more intensive than at Raleigh. To add the extra time would not be of any benefit in terms of time or cost. Those who would not make the grade are picked up already during their time at Dartmouth and as a WarfareOfficer spends a year there, including time in a mess deck at sea, he/she has to jump through far more hoops than his Raleigh counterpart.

If it is that easy to become an officer - why did you not get a commission, or was it that if you joined the ranks of the Wardroom you would no longer be able to justify your outdated classist views....
 
slim said:
So all the chinless wonders that I served with are no longer selected as officers, nor all the ex public schoolboys that I encountered. Many in my day (and I left in 1985) were in the wardroom because it was their birthright. It was said that Prince Andrew once asked a rating why he hadn't gone to university. The reply "because I got the same grades as you sir". Were these really quality officers?
Lets really go back to the old days and make officers purchase their commissions and also purchase each rank they attained.
Anyone worthy of a commission joining as a rating would get one, it would just be a little harder to attain.

Just how do you define a chinless wonder? Certainly when I went to Dartmouth you could go there with 5 O Levels/grades and it was certainly not the preserve of public schoolboys otherwise I would not have been there nor would many of my mates.

Yes diresct entry officer schemes have their failures, so promotion from within the ranks schemes, I have met SD officers who were well past their sell by date, and just look at some senior police officers, they all have to start on the beat as a constable.

Personally I think the RN should open up it's officer recruitment even more on the direct entry, especially on the technical side, and in what used to be the supply side.

As it is the navy has taken the selection of suitable candidates for commission from the lower deck very seriously for a long time. I was placed on the retired list some 10 years before you left and I not only remember having to score every rating in my division for suitability for a commision but also the periodic exhortations to find more candidates. The lower deck was seen not just as a valuable source of officers but an essential source. I think in general that the innoculation of the wardroon with SD officers did improve the quality effectively.

Peter
 

slim

War Hero
The wardroom is not for everyone. I was happy in the navy as a POAEM(R) until I decided to take day release and obtain my ONC in telecommunications. Once educated to this level it was apparent that my educational qualifications were better than many of the officers that I served with. I have no problems with the traditions of uniform or saluting and I am certainly not new labour. The way that many officers spoke to and treated other ranks however did bother me. As a senior rate I treated my junior rates with respect and firmness and made a point of never talking down to them, many officers were unable to do this.
On leaving the service I worked for British Aerospace for seven years as a senior field engineer. This was an officer status position which meant living in the wardroom during sea trials. The respect shown to me by officers was completely different to my time in the service (perhaps this was because the navy were paying my company £700+ per day for my services).
Every officer should spend 6 months living & working as a junior rating on a seagoing ship. This may instill a little respect in them for their subordinates.
One last point.
A ship could proceed safely to sea without any officers on board. Could it do the same without any senior rates?
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Slim - your last statement in your latest post is so out of touch with reality I'm not going to dignify it with a response.
 
Slim

Making a prat do 6 months sea time as an OD will not stop him being a prat. And having said that being a prat is not soley an officers priviledge POs can do it quite well too, even without an ONC. Qualifications especially those of an academic nature (anything gained in school, college or university) do not guarantee the application of comon sense.

As indicated by the posters above your final statement indicate the lack of reasoned argument in your stance.

I hope you feel better after the weekend.
 

F169

War Hero
Slim, you appear a well balanced chap, both chips weighing the same and equally displaced on either side of your clavicle, I assume? Was an HNC too difficult then, a degree too time consuming?

Rarely have I read such drivel in a thread. I spent a year as a middie at sea in three ships and life would have been a damned sight easier spending it in one department learning a trade/skill than having to learn about everybody's jobs in turn and take the daily sh1t from above and below which build's a subbies back bone.

As to proceeding safely to sea, I have yet to meet a Senior Rating with a BWC for a FF/DD or qualified as a navigator, or come to that CO. In your branch I imagine you thought all the effort that goes into planning ship's complements and watch and station bills existed just to give officers something to do ashore and the joss a migraine at sea?
 

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