joining an URNU

Discussion in 'SCC and URNU' started by IB08, Oct 1, 2009.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. 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? :)
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    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
  3. Cheers. If I dont get in this year, Ill just continue with the TA and apply next year.
  4. I'd say go for it, one of the best decisions you'll make. Good luck.
  5. 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?
  6. 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).
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. Good luck! Keep us posted, and perhaps see you around some time.
  12. 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....
  13. Sounds like a good summary of the situation to me.

    The URNU/OTC issue is spot on for the unit I was at. OTC had no problem recruiting, and everyone knew about it. On the other hand most undergraduates (and university staff) had no idea there was such a thing as a 'University Royal Naval Unit'. I would add though that the Oxbridge URNUs also suffer a little due to the shorter terms/higher workload - I was a humanities student at both a redbrick and Oxbridge and I had to do two essays a term (semester) at the former versus sixteen at the latter. For humanities students at least the burden is (generally) much less elsewhere; I was producing 4,000 words a semester at redbrick and 48,000 a term at Oxbridge. Not meaning to be a bitch-fest about different systems (I thought both were good), but they are different - whereas the URNU isn't - and that's got to factor in somewhere.

    Clearly the picture is different elsewhere in the country which is good news.
  14. Ninja, having been a student at a certain Oxbridge URNU (albeit after your time) and still keeping a toe in the water, I can say that anecdotally recruitment to URNUs this year is stronger than it has been in recent years, which can only be a good thing.

    Oh, and saying that P2000s are under-utilised tends not to win any friends. Things have changed and they are much more active these days than a few years ago.

    Which, given their age, carries one or two issues.
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    :lol: The phrase "cluttered with under-utilised P2000s" eminated from a source much higher-up the food chain- at a level which there are about 40 similar ranked individuals who don't worry too much whether their comments endear them to people of whom the majority don't join the service anyway.

    As a former Coxswain, I'm aware that the P2000's are at sea during the weekends/ main leave periods & TOIL is taken usually during the early part of the week creating the outward impression that they aren't doing much on a Monday & Tuesday/Wednesday.

    Good to hear that URNU applicants are still outnumbering places available. My earlier observation was that I'd guess if it weren't, they would cease to justify their existance.
  16. I believe that there are a few who train it from Exeter every thursday night- tbh if I was them Id have just joined Exeter UOTC.
  17. Update: was called yesterday and told I have an associate membership of the URNU. I can mention it at AIB I guess as well as being unit potential officer at my TA unit.
  18. Congrats, and don't be disheartened by the "associate" part... I started as an associate member at my URNU, then became a full member in rather short order (as did the other associate member). Assuming that they use a similar system, the associate members tended to be used to fill in if people failed the medical... or if people decided they didn't want the commitment with all their degree work or whatever. In 3 years in the URNU, I don't think we had any students staying an associate for mor than about 6 weeks (with 1 exception, but that was a complicated situation as he was an OTC member with an interest in the Royal Marines so didn't intend to become a full member)
  19. I actually think that being an associate member may suit me. Im in the TA and will be training with my unit and the local UOTC this year, Ive got an application in to join the FAA as a pilot or observer. If however the FAA say no, I will still have the option of the army route. I dont fancy going to main board as a member of the URNU, I doubt my chances would be very strong. For whatever reason, there are many instances of TA/OTC people joining the Navy or RAF, but Ive never heard of any URNU middies who go onto join the army or RAF.
  20. Well I have heard of such, so there (certainly a number have gone into the Army). But anecdotal experience aside, and this is purely a personal POV and not a criticism, but if you're in the TA already, and planning to train with the OTC as well, it seems like you're spreading yourself a bit thin also taking on an URNU involvement (even as an associate).

    That said, if the OTC is being hit as hard as the rest of the TA and downshifting to C1 training it may well mean that your TA/OTC involvements are at best nominal for the next few months, so it may be a good thing you've signed up with the URNU (depending on whether that gets cut also).

    In any event, good luck with it all.

Share This Page