Help choosing an alternative role

#1
So I applied to the Royal Navy at the start of the year with the hopes of becoming a mine clearance diver. I passed my aptitude test and interview stage and was told after my medical and pre-navy fitness test it could be 6-12 months before I could attend the final potential divers assessment. I was okay with this waiting time but was also asked to have a former flesh tunnel repaired before my application could continue. I've just had my stitches removed and contacted my careers advisor who informed me the waiting list for divers is currently around 3yrs. I was certainly hoping to begin my navy career much sooner than that so was advised to select a different role and apply to the divers from within the service.

I was hoping I could get some advice from people within the Navy that could suggest a role that meets the criteria for everything I hope to get out of my time in the service before hopefully moving on to the clearance divers.

I have looked through multiple roles on the RN website but I want to make sure the role I choose is the right one for me and I believe speaking to people with experience is the best way to do so.

I am looking for a role that is very physical and hands on, not overly technical (i.e. not An engineer or communications role). Though not my main motivation for joining the Navy it is also important to me that my role involves a good deal of travel and time spent at sea, the more the better.

I am 21 years old, educated up to A-level with good grades but I have no degree. I am also very fit and can currently run the pre-navy fitness 2.4K on an incline treadmill in 7min 40sec.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#2
Have you considered joining the Royal Marines?

A fair number of Royals have transfered "in service" to Mine Clearance Diver after completing their return of service. Physically, you'll find no other branch of the RN comes close when it comes to the demands of the Commando, so it is an ideal specialisation. Are there Royal Marines Divers? Yep, but only in the SBS.

The RM Landing Craft specialisation are probably the most likely element of the Corps to serve on ships, but there are also driver billets afloat and the Fleet Standby Rifle Troop (43 Cd0) serve afloat carrying out boarding ops worldwide. 42 Comnmando are also increasingly likely to serve afloat in future. When the new carrier(s) come online, I have no doubt they will have capacity to carry a RM detachment & they will almost certainly be deployed globally.

Find out more: https://www.royalmarines.uk/
 
#3
Seaman spec, chef, Medical Assistant (MA) are all very hands on.

Beyond that, Mine Warfare, Supply Chain Logistics and Warfare Specialist might be worth a look.

You have A-levels so officer is an option, but much of it is hands-off. Warfare Officer would keep you busy. Not sure if you can specialise as a Mine Clearance Diver Officer and even if you can, the requirement is going to be very small.

That's the RN roles. Have you considered the RM, if you want physical and hands on?
 
#5
I have considered it, and was expecting this to be a suggestion on this thread, which takes me to some follow up questions.

Whilst I am fully prepared and willing to be to perform potentially dangerous and arduous tasks in my service, one of the aspects of the clearance diver role that drew me to selecting it was a primary focus on helping people rather than harming them.

Admittedly my understanding on the exact role of a Royal Marine is limited, so could you say with any certainty the likelihood of a situation arising that could compromise that moral within my initial term of service?

I am aware some situations call for these kinds of actions and I am not against them whatsoever, I just want to stress that I am not of the mindset that I am joining the navy with the specific intention to fight, hurt or kill other people.
 
#6
Yeah a warfare officer specialising in mine clearance is currently my top option, if I don't find any other suggestions here that fit me and my abilities it will likely be the role I choose.
 
#7
See my previous reply for my thoughts on the RM, any insight would be a big help!

Also would you mind clarifying what you meant by a "small" requirement?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#8
MCDOs, don't do much by way of diving in comparison to ratings - they tend to supervise Diving Ops rather than partake, in the main. There are probably only about half a dozen MCDOs selected a year (happy to be corrected on that figure, but it ain't many).

Whilst it's appreciated people may join the Armed Forces wanting to help rather than harm, to be honest, there are few Divers that strike me as wholly humanitarian aid workers. Yep they do Explosive Ordnance Disposal but they also have an attack diver role and can work in support of covert operations.

When Divers dispose of explosives, they generally do it by making them explode rather than by dismantling a firing mechanism and in doing so, they wreck swathes of the ocean floor and coral reefs, not to mention killing dolphins, cuddly seal pups, the odd whale and shoals of fishies. Probably :)

Interestingly one of the set questions for Naval Officers is "Would you be prepared to kill?" On the other hand the people most likely to face that particular scenario are Royal Marines Comnmando Other Ranks - we don't bother asking as it is assumed they know what the job could involve.
 
#10
If you feel strongly about helping rather than harming (although remember, as a whole we don't do a lot of actual fighting; it's largely counter piracy, humanitarian and "keeping Britain's interests safe") then I will echo my earlier suggestion of MA. The marines have a similar role I think.

Chef is also hugely important to morale...
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#11
So if I became a warfare officer eventually specialising in mine clearance there's not much chance I'd spend a lot of time in the water?
MCDOs do get to dive but not much in relation to MCD Ratings. You will see MCDOs getting their "qualifying minutes" in at Horsea Lake, but rarely ratings as they generally get sufficient operational dives to qualify for diving pay.

@Chalk_bosun has listed some really good alternatives to consider.

Those currently aspiring to become Royal Marines Medical Assistants (MA) are facing about a three year wait to specialise which has led to Royals switching to the RN to train as RN MA's instead.
 
#12
So if I became a warfare officer eventually specialising in mine clearance there's not much chance I'd spend a lot of time in the water?
Not as much as the ratings, but as far as officer jobs go it's relatively hands on. You'd have to qualify and keep in date for certain things. The Southern Diving Unit have been in the media quite a bit lately (preparations for QE's arrival mean they keep digging up ordnance in portsmouth harbour), and it's the Lt MCDO that seems to appear in all the photos, and does all the interviews... Might be worth a look/read.
 
#13
Not as much as the ratings, but as far as officer jobs go it's relatively hands on. You'd have to qualify and keep in date for certain things. The Southern Diving Unit have been in the media quite a bit lately (preparations for QE's arrival mean they keep digging up ordnance in portsmouth harbour), and it's the Lt MCDO that seems to appear in all the photos, and does all the interviews... Might be worth a look/read.
I definitely will, thanks for the info
 
#14
MCDOs do get to dive but not much in relation to MCD Ratings. You will see MCDOs getting their "qualifying minutes" in at Horsea Lake, but rarely ratings as they generally get sufficient operational dives to qualify for diving pay.

@Chalk_bosun has listed some really good alternatives to consider.

Those currently aspiring to become Royal Marines Medical Assistants (MA) are facing about a three year wait to specialise which has led to Royals switching to the RN to train as RN MA's instead.
What kind of waiting times could I expect in general of joining the RM?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#15
If fully fit and good to go from the outset, assuming there are no delays at medical, three or four months is viable. The "average" applicant takes nearer 8 months, simply because they aren't fit enough.
 
#16
Just spitballing here, but if you want to help people and be hands on, why don't you join as a MA and then do the All Arms Commando Course to earn a green lid? It's a physical job, obviously, and you are definetly helping people.

It would be extremely stressful though, even with the application alone. I've heard that applying to do the AACC is pretty difficult, although you may do good with medical.

Afterward, you could always try and transfer, though someone may want to correct me on what I just said.
 
N

Nippit

Guest
#17
Yeah a warfare officer specialising in mine clearance is currently my top option, if I don't find any other suggestions here that fit me and my abilities it will likely be the role I choose.
Sadly there are few, if any, mines left to clear. The Persian Gulf employs a few Minehunters- or whatever they're called today-- but have not found any mines to sweep.
 

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