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Join as a Rating or Officer?

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Hello ,

I was hoping to gather some opinion and input from this forum regarding my situation. It is as follows:

I am currently halfway through my A-Levels , my ambition is to join the Royal Navy and achieve the rank of Officer , then to go as far as possible.

The nature of my situation rests between whether to join as a Rating and work my way up to the role of Officer or join after A-Levels as an Officer. Also I am debating whether to continue my A-Levels , if joining as a Rating and working through the ranks. All opinions would be appreciated.

Finally , some other questions I would be grateful for an answer in:
  • The Royal Navy website and booklets say you can apply to be a commissioned Officer from a Rating "At any point in your career". How true is this?
  • If I continued my A-Levels but still joined as a rating , would I gain an advantage over my peers without A-Levels to become an Officer faster?
  • I have heard of the Upper Yardman Scheme , is this still a viable option?
  • Is there a stigma for Officers who were Ratings?
  • Truly , how progressive is the Royal Navy?
  • I have been told a Rating who becomes an Officer can only go as far as Commander. Is there any truth in this?
I understand I have written a lot , for my first thread too!, but I would be sincerely grateful for any advice and opinion.

Many thanks ,

ProudToServe
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
If you want to be an officer, join as one. The navy isn't going anywhere, just stay in education, get quals and do that.
You can still get to the wardroom from the lower deck if you want, but why??
If officer is your aim, apply for officer one you have the relevant education.
This is entirely my opinion anyway.
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Joining as a rating if you want to be an officer doesn't seem the most efficient way of getting to where you want to be.
You would have many things to distract you on the way and those who joined as officers at the same time as you joined as a rating would then have possibly years more seniority over you. This may prevent you from getting as high up the ladder as them.

If you want to be an officer and climb as far and fast as you can you need to join as an officer.
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Also, one of your questions, never known stigma attached to UY. Not in my time , or the ships I served in anyway. If anything, most of the lads liked them as they had been lower deck.
 

Paxman_Valenta

Lantern Swinger
Finally , some other questions I would be grateful for an answer in:
The Royal Navy website and booklets say you can apply to be a commissioned Officer from a Rating "At any point in your career". How true is this?
Very true. Providing you have the potential and gain a recommendation from the people who you work for (normally the CO of your unit) you'll be forwarded to conduct the AIB just like a direct entry officer.

if I continued my A-Levels but still joined as a rating , would I gain an advantage over my peers without A-Levels to become an Officer faster?
I've known ratings who have degrees, I also know ratings who have no GCSE's. The individuals personal qualities are what matters when sh*t hits the fan, not who can do complex equations or can recite the periodic table. Certain branches academic training (particularly the engineering cadre) is difficult for someone without a higher education, but not impossible. Would you gain an advantage over your peers? I don't think so.

I have heard of the Upper Yardman Scheme , is this still a viable option?
This is the administrative process for applying for a commission from being a Junior Rate. For those that apply as a Senior Rate (PO and above) the process is called "Senior Upper Yardsman"

Is there a stigma for Officers who were Ratings?
Yes and No. Depends who you ask and the individuals reasons why they want a commission. If you want to be called sir and get saluted by everyone and be a pain then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. If you genuinely want the thrill of leadership and big decision-making, then it is the right decision.

Truly , how progressive is the Royal Navy?
Very progressive. If you work hard and want to be at sea, it's easy to be promoted. I've been promoted to Senior Rate level in less than eight years. But I have been fortunate (or not!) to have a huge amount of sea time on a busy platform and had to work bloody hard.

I have been told a Rating who becomes an Officer can only go as far as Commander. Is there any truth in this?
Depends on many things: your age at accepting commission, your branch, the needs of the service. If you want to be a senior officer (commander and above) then you'll have to do it early, work bloody hard and have something special about you. Although with a change happening in NCHQ at the moment and the reduction of senior officers in non-functioning jobs perhaps there is some truth in this statement.
 

Paxman_Valenta

Lantern Swinger
Furthermore, If you're put off by sh*t jobs, join directly as an officer. If you don't like the idea of being a junior rate (free, impartial advice is available from me on what it's like! :p) and having to clean flats, sit on the floor, only allowed a drink between certain hours and overall get the gash jobs, then join as an officer.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
I have been told a Rating who becomes an Officer can only go as far as Commander. Is there any truth in this
When I joined as an apprentice, the 6 divisions in HMS Figard were named after apprentices who had achieved the rank of Admiral. It's hard, but not impossible.
 

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Which subjects are your A Levels in and which Officer role appeals to you?
I am doing History, English Literature , Sociology and an EPQ next year (worth half an A-Level) I’m getting grades from A-B/C so far
I am interested in the roles of Logistics Officer and Warfare Officer.
Thank you
 

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Furthermore, If you're put off by sh*t jobs, join directly as an officer. If you don't like the idea of being a junior rate (free, impartial advice is available from me on what it's like! :p) and having to clean flats, sit on the floor, only allowed a drink between certain hours and overall get the gash jobs, then join as an officer.
Ok thank you , did your experience taint your expectation of the Royal Navy?
 

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Furthermore, If you're put off by sh*t jobs, join directly as an officer. If you don't like the idea of being a junior rate (free, impartial advice is available from me on what it's like! :p) and having to clean flats, sit on the floor, only allowed a drink between certain hours and overall get the gash jobs, then join as an officer.
Ok thank you , did your experience taint your expectation of the Royal Navy?
 

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Thank you for all the replies , I am going to be reading each one through and through.
First on the agenda, watch Boris talk on BBC1 then it’s straight back to this
 
If you want to be an Officer, be an Officer.

Ratings have different jobs to Officers, and whilst there is some crossover in skill sets, there's not as much as you think - especially for Warfare Officers.
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
You have a selection of both serving SRs and officers here telling you pretty much the same thing.
The job difference between officer and rating for the two specialisations you mention is pretty large and loggy officer can cover a wide spectrum of jobs.

I don't know too much about warfare officer as the bridge and ops room are two places I have rarely had a reason to visit.
There are quite a few threads on here with large amounts of information, all worth a look.
Ask questions and people will help but they will not spoon feed you.
I think Alfred the Great has put a lot of good info out there and he may be a warfairy type. Whatever he says is worth paying attention to.
 

ProudToServe

Midshipman
Thank you for the replies , I am going to finish off A-Levels first , I am edging more towards the Officer entry. I am also going to recommend this community to my friend. I have felt very welcomed and leave with ten-fold the amount of information.

Thank you ,

ProudToServe
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Thank you for the replies , I am going to finish off A-Levels first , I am edging more towards the Officer entry. I am also going to recommend this community to my friend. I have felt very welcomed and leave with ten-fold the amount of information.

Thank you ,

ProudToServe
Is the friend female?

Just asking......
 
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