Is it worthwhile ..., joining that is?


Lantern Swinger
I left the Navy after 35 years of service during which time I watched the Navy diminish to such an extent that many ships couldn't man full crews. The Government solution was to demolish the Navy to such an extent that there weren't enough ships to man.
Hence, no manpower problems.

I remember far forgotten Government promises, such as, we will never reduce below 35 frigates and destroyers, at which time I was somewhat concerned because we had 26 frigates in the Leander class, not to mention the Counties, Rothesays, Eastbourne, Cat, Cathedral, Tribal, Blackwood, Darings, CA's, and Battle class, Type 16 and Type 15 conversions. I do believe that, back then, we had more classes of fighting ships than we now have fighting ships in total.

The Navy has recently obtained two new carriers, but call me a pessimist if you will, carriers have always depended upon a defensive screen. Inner and outer, ASW and AAW. Question ..., just how will 19 frigates and destroyers (if you can get them all at sea at the same time) protect one carrier, let alone two? Particularly when we have worldwide commitments. You can't and as a consequence I do believe that the two carriers won't be with us for very long. Why, lack of escorts. Ha! I hear you say, when will we ever go to war? Exactly, think like a politician.

52 years ago, I remember an old Chief telling me that Britain was an island colony, which depended upon it's sea lanes as a life line during a time of war. He said that the only people who ever forgot the importance of that situation were politicians.

The Navy I joined was far different than today's modern Service, but I enjoyed the experience of something which probably seems archaic by todays standards. However, I do believe that we had enough ships to call it a Navy back then and given the defence cuts which seem to be never ending, I would imagine that todays Navy will soon end up as a Coastal Defence Force, if its lucky.
@Dabs -

Is it worthwhile ..., joining that is?


On balance, and with no hesitation, I'd say Yes - for at least some of the similar reasons* to those which caused the RN to seem attractive to us innocent younker's back in/around the '60s'

Undoubtedly, as you seem to suggest, a lot of what the RN was like when we joined 'went downhill' - Yet somehow it kept some of us busy, off the streets and up for full and rewarding career/pension

But surely even you would, or should, have noticed that back then the times they were a'changing and will continue to do so long after us lot are obliged to Exit stage left...

*Still Worthwhile ? Aye, try just few of the PROs:

1. The prospect of 'adventure' and a new life-style away from the hearth will always attract decent co-workers.
2. Unlike the lengthy commitment we had to make today's new joiners average only six years of service.
3. Fuller & better Information on what lies ahead plus improved in service FE opportunities trump our experiences.
4. Never lip service but Core Values still drummed & hoisted in with a healthy seasoning of the RN's unique S of H.


Unacceptably high workloads due to reduced manning/gapped billets/unwillingness of 'grown-ups' to protest etc.

I'll leave you to Insert the rest at your leisure...


War Hero
[email protected] - Is it worthwhile ..., joining that is?

Whilst I agree with you about the number of ships/classes (I had 2 leanders/2 Rothesays/Type 14/CAT Class) they were basically useless against the Akulas etc that could go faster underwater than we could on the surface/seacat (laughable) (limbos) + the russian cruisers etc that had enough firepower on one to overwhelm an American Carrier Group (allegedly)

At least today the ships/subs/aircraft are at the cutting edge of technology and we stand a chance in a fight ??

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