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Info on Intel branch - Army or RNR?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to read and help out with this question.

I am interested in joining the reserves as an officer (as I had no life during A-levels and managed to get decent grades) but I am having a hard time differentiating between the Army reserve or the RNR (unfortunately RAF is out based on location).

I am interested in the intelligence branch (as it is closely related to my day job and I would have more to offer). I know certain things cannot be disclosed, but what are the pros and cons of either Army Reserve or RNR intelligence, or are they roughly the same thing?

I guess I am looking at various things like overall experience, deployment chances, ease of progression/promotions, job opportunities after leaving the force.

If anyone can shed any light I would be grateful. I went to my local recruitment night, but unfortunately the night was cut short so didn't manage to drill down into the details.


War Hero
Hand on heart, all else being equal, I would recommend going Army Reserve rather than RNR. Not an Intel (or "Int" as AtG likes to insist we call it) thing; when asked honestly by people, I generally say this, unless there is a specific branch or other such reason drawing them to the RNR, that the AR doesn't have.

Whilst both do have Intel branches (or "Int" as AtG likes to insist we call it), the Army Reserve is simply a larger organisation with more resources, and I also seem to recall that they have a nice line in signing bonuses at the moment; 300 quid when they take you on, and another grand after phases one and phase two.


War Hero
Army Reserve are also dolling out golden handshakes left right and centre. This includes direct entry officers.

Financially you'll be better off as a ditch rating.


War Hero
My own thoughts, go TA all the way. They offer a far more compelling offer for Officer employment which sees Officers play a valuable role throughout their careers. In the RNR, the Officer is more of a managerial figure to enable others to do the practical work.

Based on what I've seen / heard of the two, there is arguably far more opportunity for promotion, far more opportunity for credible employment and far more for an individual wanting to be an officer to get by going 3MI / 5MI over the RNR equivalent. Thats not to knock the RNR, but the TA MI have been thrown resources in a huge way and they are throwing an awful lot into getting this right. You may also want to look at the RAuxAF too as they have similar opportunities.

What I would say is it comes a lot down to your preferred service over anything else though - no matter how good the Army may be professionally, if you cannot see yourself in that lifestyle then do not do it.
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War Hero
Also, it is 'Int' not 'Intel'. Intel is the Americanism for the word, while 'Int' is the UK version.

Its like going around calling MTO NCS, and saying 've must convoy' in a Germanic tone a lot - nothing wrong with it, but it can produce a fierce reaction from some quarters ;-)
Thanks for the information. Definitely some things to think about. I perhaps had some misguided notion that the Royal Navy was somehow more prestigious than the Army. But you guys are swaying me towards the Army Reserve, so thanks for the honesty.

Also, as much as I want to serve and deploy it seemed the Army deployed more often which would be difficult to accommodate with work life. Any other differences between AR and RNR in general that could make a difference?
32 and an in-house legal counsel for a large company. It sounds fancy, but you are generally analysing large quantities of information in a short amount of time to advise the company on the best course of action to take on certain activities. It seemed a good fit with Int.
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