Goodbye Royal Navy, some of it was fun.....

Discussion in 'The Afterlife - Resettlement and Jobs' started by angry_mac, Mar 20, 2013.

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  1. Well today I hand in my ID Card and walk out of Drake's main gate for the last time. Many of you have done this, but what were your feelings?
    I can't stop smiling, literally this is one of the best days I've had in the mob. The relief is monumental, I feel like Atlas who just swapped Earth for a Chinese Lantern.
    The past 23years have flown by with many memories and experiences, but unfortunately the nostalgia cannot wipe away what is a pervading sense of indifference I now have for what use to be a fine and outstanding fighting force.
    Before the Outrage Bus is boarded, this is not due to many professional and hard working men and women still serving, but give someone a Fisher Price tool set, there isn't much they are going to fix.
    Yes many of you blame the treasury, but the MOD, civilian and uniform have through decades of mismanagement, with a self serving, and blinkered vision has been one the major factors, in what we have now, a Navy without any ability to project power, an Army that is now only an Army in name, and a self indulgent RAF.
    That's my opinion of the bigger picture, my own small world in this....
    I am grateful for the trade and training they gave me, but it was a two way deal. I gave back 23 years. Many of them spent keeping systems functioning which were poorly supported, losing my hair and gaining 3 stone in the process.
    They say the pay is good, sorry I'd like to disabuse you on that,as an Engineer I'm leaving and receiving a 20% pay rise, and that pay won't be frozen, and my next job isn't even a managerial role, it's back to doing what I love best, solving defects and offering direct engineering support. Yes it's offshore, but the 185 days away a year is structured, and far less that what I would be doing on a t23 as a command system maintainer. My family life, which somehow has sustained 15 years of that crap will improve tenfold. BTW this isn't a rant because the Navy did offer 5 years EC, well I was 5 months into my last year!
    The only thing that kept me in after becoming an Artificer (another fine branch consigned to the scrap heap) was the knowledge that the subsequent pension and gratuity would be worth it, now that will be smashed, so how will the RN keep its future skilled Senior Rates? Frankly I don't care, you reap what you sow.
    It is sad that I leave with such negative feelings towards my last employer, yes the Navy had to change with the changing threat, but they got it so wrong, especially in Branch implementation.
    I've never been a 'them and us' when it comes to the officer cadre, but some attitudes do still need a lot of work. We are no longer an Empire Navy, two deck isn't populated by uneducated plebs, Senior Rates do not lie.
    What did I enjoy, meeting people and making good mates, funnily enough the most rewarding time I had was at FOST, and no I wasn't a smiling assassin. The RN gave me a unparalleled access to different sports and AT. This I must stress to guys joining, put down the Xbox controller, get out of your cabin, there is so much to do.
    And now as an ex-matelot, I'm glad to have served, regrets, I have a few, especially for some of the outstanding [email protected] ups I made.
    Good luck if you're still in.

    • Like Like x 13
  2. Good luck Mac and all the best :)
  3. Mac, very well written and very sad. While I left after my 23 years some time ago, I had all the positive aspects you mention and very few of the negatives. I was genuinely sad the day I left, though subsequently got a good (then better) job etc and had a blast, but not the blast of my time in the mob.

    I do hope some of 'them' read this - no not that 'them', but senior policy makers.

    Good luck!
  4. Well done for doing your time. Good luck in civvy street mate. Be aware that jobs in civvy street are never as described and they are not what they say on the tin... I left in 89, been made redundant a couple of times, shat upon by employers loads of times. I have now been self employed for about 10 years and I can safely say these 10 years have been hard work, but, the best working years as a civvy I have had... I say all this purely to make you aware that civvy street isn't the holy grail your post makes it appear to be. I really hope that it all turns out as you hope, good luck for the future
  5. Angry Mac..well said, I know exactly how you feel walking out of the gate, it's the same joyful sense of relief and adventure, similar to the last day at school.
    I was still smiling as I left, having just watched about 8 other senior rates sat in the release section waiting to see the Commodore for the final handshake..I told the supply officer, sorry but he (Commodore) hasn't wanted to ask about my welfare during the last 27 years, so thanks, but no thanks.
    Being a civvy is great, best of both worlds, still maintain good friendships with all your old oppos and you have the ability to make a **** site more money if your head is screwed on and your willing to work hard. Too many ex servicemen I know came out and expected the world to owe them a living cos they done the time in the forces.
    Good luck and enjoy being off shore..but stay away from the ice cream cabinets..or another 3 stone will grow over night. ( Gis a shout when that last bit makes sense).

    Rear Guards

  6. Good luck Angry Mac.

    While you're feeling in a good mood and as today is the UN International Day of Happiness, how about changing your callsign to "Happy Mac"? :winkrazz:
  7. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    All the best Mac I hope things work out for you
  8. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Everyone pretty much has that feeling of relief when they leave. Then, after a while, you realise that civvies are bigger fuckwits than anyone you ever came across in the military. It's odd but true when they say "Once in, always in". That and the fact you are not a civvy, but an ex-serviceman.

    Good luck with it all mate.
    • Like Like x 5
  9. I left in 85 and had mixed feelings, one was of elation that I was now free of RN petty rules, the other of sadness that I no longer belonged to that elite club.
    Luckilly I then started working for British waste of space as a naval weapons field engineer, life was back on track mixing with the guys I worked with for 22 years, enjoying their company without being restrained by the petty rules which had taken the shine off serving, a bonus was that the occifers suddenly started listening to my advice and treating me with more respect.
  10. Last time we "met" we shouted.
    So this time I'm going to do it again "HAVE A GREAT TIME AS A CIVVY".
    I walked out the main gate for the last time with a feeling of joy, sadness, apprehension and dread.
    Joy for a new found freedom, sad to be leaving the best mates I ever had, fear of what was to come, and dreading that I had made a mistake in cut and running.
    The Andrew does cocoon you to an extent, but if you're all about that soon dissolves into reality, and the shock of civvy street is more a learning curve than anything else.
    The biggest lesson you need to learn is that civvies are not the same as Jack. You need to be extra selective in your trust as unlike servicemen they in the main have no honour. The nearest they get to team play is a clique and its usually a pack of mongrels.
    As you are an intelligent gent then you will soon suss it, but the first few times you don't call it right it really hurts, its part a feeling of embarrassment that you fell for it, and a feeling of hurt, that you no longer belong to a group with integrity.
    Keep at it, your jack instincts cut in and you soon see them coming.
    Good luck and may the force be with you.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Good post.

    I banged out after only 6 years, I'd been fucked about a fair bit and my branch was in the process of being disbanded. Overnight I went from being a senior and well regarded OM on the cusp of getting my hook, to an ET with a 1.5 year wait to get a place on a 9 month promotion course, much of which I'd already done. This coupled with the fact that I'd spent my final 2 years dossing on RFAs, there was no way I was going to function in a 50 man mess again eating train smash for dinner.

    My over riding memories of my last day at Nelson were fancying the **** out of the Wren scribes who signed off my chit and walking out the gate with a veterans badge, wondering what my next set of adventures would be.

    As I readjusted to civilian life, I noticed that I'd changed considerably, I had more confidence but coupled with that came a short temper and an intense dislike of most of the authority figures I met. My attitude was "who the **** are you? You're not an officer or a senior rate." This got me in trouble a few times. To this day I still refuse to call anyone 'Sir'.

    On the whole though it was all good, I doubled my salary instantly, then quadrupled it the following year. Immediately I learned a few important lessons, if you don't pull your weight in the mob, people will just think your a ****, if you don't pull your weight in civvy street, you'll lose your job and probably your home. Having spent an equal part of my adult life in the RN and as a civvy, I can honestly say it's harder outside.

    Is life better outside? Well yes, but that's down to my personal luck and circumstances. Had I wound up working in a gash sales job on a marginally better salary, or worse still, trudging around my local Morrisons in a security guard uniform, my view would be entirely different.

    The main thing I miss is the camaraderie, if you say to your mates at work, "fancy getting smashed tonight?" They'll say "It's Tuesday you ******* degenerate" and recommend you start going to meetings. There is literally nothing I wouldn't do now to repeat either Newcastle's 2002 South Atlantic deployment or Exeter's 2004 Far East trip.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Reading this, and pondering on my own departure next year, I am struck by the fact that after over 30 years, I too will just hand in an ID card and walk from the gate. I have just spent a pair of years working alongside the USN and whilst a lot of what they do is Disneyesque flim flam I was very struck by their Retirement Ceremonies. I was invited to present the US Flag to the retiree, her favourite draft had been CINCUSNAVEUR in London and so this flag had been flown for her over the US Embassy and I was the senior Brit she asked me to take part. It is also a day for those without whom the service could not have taken part - the families and friends. Their input is acknowledged and they are made to feel very valid contributors. Each retiree also gets a letter of gratitude from the President, Sec Def and their State Governor. I am not ashamed to say that I found the whole thing very moving and whilst we might not want to go the whole hog, there are things we could do better - the letters for example.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. AngryMac - good luck now you've departed the Main Gate for the last time. Have a wet over the road and I wish you and your family a long and happy life. It takes some getting used to and you will still be saying "When I was on the........" on your death-bed believe me! You will, however - suddenly become the owner of a rather long list of "jobs that need doing" and you'll acquire a whole lot more paint brushes/power tools and suchlike. Unless you're minted and can afford to employ someone else
    that is.

    Yours Aye,


    Don't forget your old shipmate! - YouTube
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. I never bothered to see the Commodore when discharged from Drake, bollocks sais me just let me get home. But what did piss me off was the no-badge baby scribe who cut my ID card up, cheeky little get said you can "**** off now chief if you want" Could have strangled him.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ageing_Gracefully

    Ageing_Gracefully War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    You were still a Chief so you should have nailed him!
  16. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Good luck shipmate, I hope you stay on these boards. You never know, we may yet serve together again in the offshore world sometime in the future.
  17. Wasn't even offered the opportunity of "seeing the commodore", never even met the two and a half in Drake who wrote "borne for leave and routines prior to release" as the last entry on my employment record. Had a brief conversation with a bored scribe who'd been boned off to man the release desk during the lunch hour, and a similar experience to Pie-thatcher vis-a-vis the ditching into the gash bin of my dismembered ID card, then "That's it Chief" and away I went.
    I had been treated much more decently on leaving my last ship five months previously. Sat in the Captain's day cabin in a comfy armchair chatting to the Old Man for half an hour whilst being served drinkies by the PO steward, then invited into the Wardrobe for a few farewell drinkies before finally taking my leave of my messmates, but the final day was real let down, and from Mac's excellent post, not a lot seems to have changed. I would not have wanted the full Septic treatment, but a little appreciation of services rendered over 23 years would not have come amiss.
    Thirty eight years as "ex RN" have passed, but I still remember the good times, and some of the bad.
    Here's wishing you well Mac in your future life, and may you never look back.

  18. That's a fair one that Silverfox brings up, one of the saddest moments of my RN career was watching a 22 year PO go outside.

    We'd had a clear lower deck for something trivial like a BOST briefing and right at the end, the skipper said "Oh and it is with sadness that we must say goodbye to PO A****, who after a distinguished 22 year career is retiring from the RN."

    A very short and impersonal speech followed and the PO was made to step forward and receive a 12 quid bottle of blended whiskey, before the skipper wished him luck in his new career as an LGV driver.

    22 years man and boy for a bottle of Bells.

    By comparison when one of the blokes at my factory retired, we threw him a champagne reception with canap├ęs in Mayfair and gave him a 3 grand watch.
  19. Likewise! Went out after 22 years ... went to the release office and handed in my ID card and a young jenny gave me my Service Docs and that was it.

    Mind I had been summoned to the Skippers Office at RNH to get a handshake from the Skipper there before going to Nelson.

    Best off luck out here ... its not as bad as some make out!
  20. Good luck on the outsid AM. my story is similar with regards leaving although I refused to let the civvy in the UPO cut up my ID card, I did that myself, into the smallest pieces I could and scattered them on her desk. I did see the Commodore who had no idea who I was,his advice was "don't tell civvy employers you get a pension"!!!. Picked up my valedictory certificate (that I and the WO1 wrote), got my veterans badge and fucked off. 33 years of my life over in a forenoon although the mess put on a good do and I got presented with a crystal whisky decanter and glasses.

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