joining an URNU

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but I could do with a sharpish answer. Im currently in the TA, have just started uni a couple of years later than most people. Ive looked into the possibility of combining TA and OTC at uni through the TASO scheme, but my TA unit wont sponsor me and if I transfer over to the OTC, I know I wont be paid for the next year as JPA hasnt paid me since June. What are my chances of getting into my local URNU (Bristol). I intend to go to the introductory drill night, fill out the forms and take it from there. I have an ongoing application to the RN as an aircrew/warfare officer, should I mention this at interview and would it increase/decrease my chances of getting into the URNU? :)
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
The URNUs generally recruit around 17 students per year at each of the 14 URNUs across UK & certainly the Oxbridge one I was Coxswain at, were over-subscribed by around 5:1 applicants per place.

The URNUs are not supposed to be there for recruiting purposes however it goes without saying that potential future officers may well be preferred over a tree-hugger with strong anti-military beliefs. Then again, we certainly had both in my unit & happy times were had by all, even if we did seem to have more Admiral's offspring than the national average.

The URNU experience will certainly give a good insight for potential future officers into the workings of the Royal Navy - the only problem is that life tends to be viewed through rose-tinted contacts as the day to day reality tends to be overlooked amidst the whirl of university social life, cocktail parties, black tie dinners, weekend jollies & mini overseas "deployments" lasting all of two weeks. Oh yeah, and the degree thing.

Good luck
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Cheers mate, Ill let you know how I get on! Im hoping that the TA thing will go in my favour? Previous mil experience/interest and all that?
 

Grumbler

Midshipman
Ninja_Stoker said:
The URNUs generally recruit around 17 students per year at each of the 14 URNUs across UK & certainly the Oxbridge one I was Coxswain at, were over-subscribed by around 5:1 applicants per place.

The URNUs are not supposed to be there for recruiting purposes however it goes without saying that potential future officers may well be preferred over a tree-hugger with strong anti-military beliefs. Then again, we certainly had both in my unit & happy times were had by all, even if we did seem to have more Admiral's offspring than the national average.

The URNU experience will certainly give a good insight for potential future officers into the workings of the Royal Navy - the only problem is that life tends to be viewed through rose-tinted contacts as the day to day reality tends to be overlooked amidst the whirl of university social life, cocktail parties, black tie dinners, weekend jollies & mini overseas "deployments" lasting all of two weeks. Oh yeah, and the degree thing.

Good luck

Ninja, I was at an Oxbridge URNU fairly recently and the oversubscription thing had gone by the wayside there at least. For a couple of years my unit was undersubscribed; it improved a little last year, but it's still nothing like 5:1 - more like 1:1 or slightly better.

I think it depends where you are, but certainly at the university I was at the URNU wasn't an especially popular choice for the students of the several universities it represented - I think this was a fairly recent decline, and I don't know how common this is throughout the system (other URNUs seemed to have no problem recruiting at all).
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
There were always question marks as to whether URNUs should be established in Oxford & Cambridge as traditionally we witness fewer Naval Officer recruits from red brick & Oxbridge inland universities in relation to coastal universities. The Oxbridge URNUs were the last to be established & were up against the long standing OTCs which boasted 300+ years history & a unit strength around 200 & the UAS's which were only a couple of years younger than the RAF. The list of famous & infamous Alumni for the OTC & UAS read like a Who's who of the great & the not so good on their capacious honours boards. My URNU's only claim to fame was that one of the Alumni went to work for NBC News & caught Anthrax in the wave of post 9/11 postal terrorism in the U.S. (My boss wouldn't let me put the name on the empty Honours board).

The URNU organisation, in relation to the underfunded SCC organisation has always been at pains to emphasise it is not there to recruit & therefore justifies it's existence & cost tenuously at best. The Sea Cadets alternatively are a fertile source of influencing & fostering an aspiration to join the Naval Service at all ranks & at a fraction of the cost.

My guess is that if other URNUs are witnessing similar drops in popularity & the "Admiralty" continue to witness Portsmouth's 2 Basin cluttered with under-utilised P2000s, then their days could be numbered.
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Ive got to say when I spoke to the URNU peeps at the freshers fair, they didnt seem overly busy. They seem like a friendly bunch though, gave me a leaflet about the inter URNU ski trip in December (organised by Bristol URNU themselves, apparently), and had a good chat. Id say the UAS is the most oversbscribed, some UAS dont even go to freshers fairs, particularly if they are ones with loads of bursars. OTCs are popular, but they have lots of room. Usually if you have two arms and legs and are not a complete moron youll get in. The URNU had a stand next to the OTC, maybe that was done intentionally to ward off any people who were not genuinely interested in joining (i.e. bump off all the wannabe rambos/walts to the UOTC). Im sending a pm your way ninja re admin issues.
 

AntC

Lantern Swinger
I can only talk from my experience of one of the more northern URNUs. Last year there were around 5 applicants per place, and from what I've heard similar successes in terms of recruiting this year. We obviously have less spaces than the OTC but in terms of applicants I think are very similar in popularity.

With regards to the comment made about business, I believe that iis down purely to the individual. The URNU, just like the RNR is an organisation where you get out of it what you put into it. If you want to do the minimum then you won't be very busy, but if you want to get the most out of it (I certainly tried) you'll find yourself with a huge selection of sea weekends, 5 choices of 2 week deployments at sea, 2 week flying camps flying in grops, aquaint visits flying with various squadrons in helicopters, parades, socials, OTC/UAS weekends (often places are swapped so that people can get a taster of the other services) plus sports, sports weekend, AT weekend, all the AT courses available through the year, plus the option to gain RYA quals.

If you want to be busy then you definitely can be - I'll vouch first-hand for that!
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Hey ant, went to the introduction evening last night, have been called for interview on Friday. It sounds brilliant tbh, esp the AT and sea deployments! I would quite like to get some scuba diving lessons/quals, so will def look into that if I get in. Definitely lots of opprtunities, and the guys and gals seemed to be a lot nicer and down to earth than the OTC bunch!
 

AntC

Lantern Swinger
IB08 said:
Hey ant, went to the introduction evening last night, have been called for interview on Friday. It sounds brilliant tbh, esp the AT and sea deployments! I would quite like to get some scuba diving lessons/quals, so will def look into that if I get in. Definitely lots of opprtunities, and the guys and gals seemed to be a lot nicer and down to earth than the OTC bunch!
Good luck! Keep us posted, and perhaps see you around some time.
 
Bristol URNU must still be doing something right then - I drove up to it from Exeter every Wednesday night for 3 years in a hire car (and trashed the unit travel budget into the bargain). Don't think they let you do that these days....
 

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