Family's questions

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by orrico, Jan 25, 2015.

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  1. Hi All.

    I'm currently going through the recruitment process for Logistics Officer; AIB is coming up in the next few months. I'm at the point in the recruitment process where the chance of me joining up is becoming very real for my family, and they are - understandably - concerned and full of questions. I've searched through the forums and the RN site and still can't answer many of them, so thought I'd turn to you guys in the hope you're able to help me answer some of their questions/concerns. Thank you in advance!

    Bit of background: I'm coming into the RN after a few years in civvy street following university. My partner and I have been together 5 years (not yet married!) and have recently bought a house together.

    1) What is the support network REALLY like for loved ones at home when you're deployed? Obviously the RN will tell you 'officially' that it's fantastic, but I'd appreciate any personal experience you've had.

    2) I understand that the leave entitlement is 38 days + bank holidays. I also understand (before anyone says it!) that leave is totally dependent on operational requirements. Question is: How does the leave actually work (in theory, operational circumstances aside)? I.e. can you take 4 weeks in a block or are you restricted to, say, 2 weeks at a time? Do you have to take leave at set times or can you take it at any time (operational circumstances dictating etc!)? If you have been at sea for, say, 6 months do you get additional leave as you will have been working basically 24/7 whilst at sea? I assume not as that's part of the job, but again - they asked the question!

    3) When at a shore establishment how does leave/weekends/evenings work, again operational circumstances dependent? I.e. can you go home to see family at weekends or in the evenings if they're near by? Or do you have to remain on-base?

    4) How often am I likely to be moved around (i.e. between ships, shore establishments etc)? I believe it's about every 18 months but is this a guide more than a rule?

    5) Is there any opportunity at all for leave (assume not) or at least weekends at home during BRNC/ILOC? My family and partner live in Devon so easy to get home from Dartmouth/Raleigh but I assume there's absolutely zero 'free' time during BRNC particularly.

    I'm really sorry if these seem stupid questions but they're the concerns my family have, and I feel I owe it to them to give them honest answers so they are aware of what I - and they - are entering into.

  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    If you haven't already done so type BRNC into the search box (top right) load of info there. Good luck
  3. Thanks Janner - will do
  4. 1) The support network depends if your partner was to live close to where you're based. Also, you get out what you put in, if she decides to become active with the wives/partners click then thats up to her. NPFS in my personal experience are amazing if you have a genuine problem at home, and need time off or reassignment closer to home.

    2) Leave during training is set in blocks i.e, Christmas 2 weeks, Easter 2 weeks, Summer 3 weeks. Plus you will also get the occasional Bank Holiday if it falls outside of a leave window. After training it is really dependent on your ship's program, but it is manageable with your department. For every month deployed you get an extra day of leave to take when you are back in the UK.

    3) Shore establishment leave generally works in Block Leave again. But you can with agreement of your line manager take leave as and when. Unless you are required for work at weekends, they are yours to enjoy. You can choose to live on base and return home at weekends, or you can commute in to work, I believe it is now 70 miles or 1 hours journey time.

    4) After ILOC you will be assigned to a ship to complete your LO training, then the cycle of assignments and courses begins all in agreement with your appointer. Rule of thumb is 18-24 months.

    5) After the 1st term at BRNC I believe that you're allowed to go home at weekends, but don't quote me on that! But if your training is interrupted by a leave window such as Easter, Summer or Christmas then you will be entitled to take your leave. During ILOC you will be allowed home every weekend unless you are duty.
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  5. Digger84 - thank you so much for such a comprehensive response. Really appreciated and will give me the answers I need to reassure my family. Thank you!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. to take point 1 a little further, many matelots deliberately live outside the 3 main port areas, but where their wife grew up. As such, the support network they rely on is not a Naval one, but rather one of old friends, family and familiar areas. I personally quite like it, as does my wife, but it's not for everyone. Every Ship will have a scheme where the CO emails the Families about once a term, and there will be other "ship" things, but that doesn't really kick in until you are deployed.

    The hardest point will be as a YO - you may well join and leave a ship in the middle of a deployment, and you are rarely away long enough for the proper detachment cycle* to kick in. All I can suggest is that you grin and bear it - it does get easier (until you have kids!), and you'll all get used to it.

    *,d.d24&cad=rja - if you've not been exposed to this before, I suggest you have a shufty.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

  8. 1) Personally, as a singly, it was pretty appalling. My family generally had to wait for me to use my welfare minutes to let them know I was okay. As a married man, I don't know the answer yet.

    2) It's 38 days, inclusive of bank holidays (So 30 days plus 8 bank holidays). Bank holidays are mandatory leave, unless operational or under training. If you're onboard ship, you get 1 day extra per 30 days you're attached to that ship.

    3) If they're close by, nothing stopping you from going to see them in the evenings - just let an oppo know if you're doing so.

    4) 18 months for Logistics Officer, but this will be increasing to 24 months.

    5) There's "time" but generally not allowed as they want you focussed on training and going out can make you hanker for a return to civilian life.
  9. When I was at 1(F) squadron my wife was sent a newsletter when we were away. The newsletter she got (from Afghanistan) basically slated Naval Strike Wing who we took over from. She was not amused how the Navy were being portrayed and basically dripped to some welfare bint who phoned her up. The news got to the Squadron CO out in the Stan who had a word, he was very apologetic and basically said he had not read it. He wrote to my wife also.

    6 months later, I was in the admin office and the latest newsletter was being stuffed in envelopes, I picked one up and started reading. CO walks in and sarcastically says "is it ok this time", my reply was "not really sir! , you've cut and pasted the last one". They had only printed the same one again.

    I may have accidentally sent Naval Strike Wing a copy too!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Thank you all so much for the responses so far. It's the one thing that worries me most about the Navy and the one thing that the 'official process' can't really answer

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