GS or Boats. Newbie question from an older guy

#1
Hi guys and girls

I have been reading this site for a few weeks now and it has been a great help.
I am looking at WS and wanted to get some advice on what service to go for. I understand the general consensus on here is do GS first and then transfer to boats after a few years, please can anyone advise if that is still the case (most posts relating to this are a few years old now) and also I am 32 will be 33 by the time I get to Raleigh, I have a Mrs and 2 kids 4 and 6 so the lack of comms on boats concerns me a little as they have been used to me being around so the RN will be a big change for them too but luckily my Mrs is strong and supportive.
That's enough waffle from me. Any help and advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
#2
Whichever way you decide to go, ensure that you factor in to your reasoning the locations of the submarine bases so that you can consider this along with where you live. I use the word 'bases' loosely. All seagoing boats will be based and run from the Clyde SM base in the very near future.

Surface fleet on the other hand are based in various locations. The RN website will have more details.

I wont provide advice on whether you should go boats or surface fleet as there are plenty of good/bad arguments for both much of which hinges on people's personal experience.

Good luck.
 
#3
Thanks for the reply. I live in the Midlands and family will stay here for now as Mrs has a good support network and want to limit the disruption to the kids. Appreciate it's hard to give advice as it is a personal preference. Is it still possible to go GS and then transfer in 2 - 3 years (bearing in mind my age)? Can anyone give me some pros and cons of both services based on my situation?
 
#4
Thanks for the reply. I live in the Midlands and family will stay here for now as Mrs has a good support network and want to limit the disruption to the kids. Appreciate it's hard to give advice as it is a personal preference. Is it still possible to go GS and then transfer in 2 - 3 years (bearing in mind my age)? Can anyone give me some pros and cons of both services based on my situation?
Glad to hear that your wife has a good support network.

If your intention is to stay in the midlands then the travelling time for your weekends at home will be a factor. From Stoke-on-Trent it used to take 4-4.5 hours to get up to Faslane depending on time of travel. As @Polto pointed out, all S/Ms will be based in Faslane in the near future. The only exemption to that being refits or long overhaul periods which will be in Plymouth. Comms on SSBNs are non existent from when you leave the wall until your return however you do get weekly family grams from loved ones. When I served they were limited to 40 words but that may have changed since I left.

Most surface ships, will be based in Portsmouth/Plymouth which will be a little easier on travelling. There are others on here who may be better able to advise on typical deployment duration and frequency but I would imagine comms would be a two way thing and more available to you, as would the opportunity for your loved ones to fly out to see you if you have an extended port visit in some delightful place or other.

The other thing to think of is where you see your career going. If you move from GS to boats after a couple of years then you would end up doing more technical training on different equipment and it may slow you down a little. Promotion timescale for both GS and SM services will probably be different, something else to take note of. Again, there are many learned people on here who may be able to advise.

Which ever way you go. Good luck and enjoy being part of a great team and community.
 
#5
Many thanks for your reply. The travel is something I hadn't considered.
In terms of career I want to progress as quickly as possible, SM does interest me as does GS both for different reasons. Does anyone have any insights as to quicker promotion / entry timescales / day to day life and whether age will be an issue. I guess just comparisons of the two and pros and cons of each.

Thank you
 
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#7
Applied for WS tactical SM but thinking GS first is better option. Have passed initial test, interview last week and AFCO has given me a financial form to fill in. Received SC email today to do. Eye test booked for Thursday next week and will be hand delivering with medical forms.
 
#8
JoR - I would normally say go GS and get a couple of jollies in before going SM. However, as the jollies are fewer and far between these days, and given your age and circumstances, I'd suggest going direct to boats, and even suggesting (spit!) direct to bombers.

Why? Well, you'll get more pay earlier (Submarine Pay) than your peers, which will be handy for the family. Also, if you join bombers you'll know when your leave and off patrol dates are months if not years ahead. This allows for better family planning (fnar fnar!)
 
#9
Thanks Sonar, I had thought about that option but part of joining the navy for me was to see some of the world. Is it still possible to go the GS then SM? If so do you get the golden hello? How long on average does it take to get to PO on SM and GS? Sorry for all the questions lol. Money isn't everything for me (although nice to have) I guess I want to know if it's possible to experience both sides and still forge a good career at my age?
 
#10
Jo , joining the RN is an adventure...and you get paid, promotion in skimmer or boats is down to you getting stuck in and age should not be an issue. I envy the yoot of today in the RN with all the new technology they have to deal with and maintain. You will see some of the world depending on which ship/boat you are on , the QE will be seeing a lot of the planet as we want to show her off . Whatever you decide ...best of luck.
 
#11
I wouldn't advise going boats if you want to see the world from what I've experienced so far. Albeit it's only 2 years on board. I wouldn't count a couple of days in Bergen as seeing the world. From a fleet boat perspective you will probably get to see your family an okay amount of time in a warfare branch when we are alongside however you will be at sea whenever the boat is out which could be over 6 weeks at a time. Sometimes with zero contact due to the nature of the time away.

I think bombers are the way to go if you have a family as they seem to get all the base support and generally get out on time. I am personally branch transferring to the medical branch later this year and thinking of giving them a shot.

To me it seems that boats aren't very attractive anymore as the perks are being diminished and the manpower situation is pretty dire so you are better off going GS and if you end up disliking it then go for submarines down the line. I highly doubt you'll struggle to transfer.

I cannot comment on promotion within the warfare branch. However I'd be joining as an ME or WE and getting on the advanced schemes if you want fast promotion. Although there are perks to being a lad.



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#12
Thank you for your insights.
I think I have a lot to think about. On a different note I was looking at RN website this morning re reading job roles etc... WS says up to 32k as you progress and only shows promotion up to LH and day one is at sea where as WS tactical or sonar says up to 48k, day one at Raleigh promotion up to P.O. can anyone explain this please?
 
#13
Thank you for your insights.
I think I have a lot to think about. On a different note I was looking at RN website this morning re reading job roles etc... WS says up to 32k as you progress and only shows promotion up to LH and day one is at sea where as WS tactical or sonar says up to 48k, day one at Raleigh promotion up to P.O. can anyone explain this please?
Has anyone got any ideas on this or is the website just confusing me? Also does anyone have any ROUGH timescales for promotion in warfare branch just so I have a ball park idea where to aim for and what to expect.
 
#14
DO NOT BELIEVE THE JOIN BOMBERS AND PLAN YOUR LIFE THING.

Its complete arse. As it stands A boats never leave the wall as they're always broken.

As far as bombers go you should know when you go and return but it always changes and ends up messing up the plans you made. You can't plan anything.

I spent just a year on a ship and loved it. I saw the world in the 12 months i was on it. I Then was vokuntold I was going on subs. Kicked off at first but now I'm on I wouldnt change it. The money is certainly a contributing factor but for me as an engineer having the nuclear tickets is a massive appeal.

I know on a sub once at sea you just do your watches and then that's it. No Turning to during the day. (general work).

The only real jollies you will get are Canada USA and maybe France on a bomber.





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#15
I think warfare is a pretty tough one to advance through the ranks in? There are no fast track schemes as far as I'm aware.

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#16
Thanks Merman. I think I am leaning towards ships first (but still not sure) purely for the 2 way comms because it's going to be a big change for the kids I want to ease them in as much as possible and 3 to 6 months with no contact from me is going to make it even harder. Shame about warfare not having fast track. How long on average does it take to get to say PO on Ships compared to boats?
 
#17
I think ships before subs is certainly the best way to go. If you go ships first then you will more than likely be allowed to switch. If you go subs first I doubt they would let you go ships afterwards.

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#18
Thanks for the insights and advice.
Can anyone advise on the promotional differences (quickness and highest levels you can achive) between ships and boats as a WS?
 
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