Joining as Officer but undecided, need helping choosing

I have applied to the RN as an Officer but am still trying to decide which branch to go into. I am 29M and have a degree in architecture but am looking for a career change due to the dire situation in the jobs market for it, after having been made redundant last November, and it all looks set to get worse because of COVID-19. I have already sat the RT and had the triage medical, so should that pass I will need to make a decision for the face-to-face medical. I have high-functioning autism if that helps, in case you know what roles suit someone with that, though will need to see how the medical pans out first.

There are six officer choices available once I get my British passport (currently being processed), and also have Irish citizenship. Surface options are Air Traffic, Logistics, Warfare, TMO. Submariner options are Logistics and Warfare, though I would need to renounce my Irish citizenship for boats.

The questions are:

1. While I have had a look on this forum, spoken to the AFCO and a mate who has served for 10 years and currently officer training, can anyone here give a quick rundown on each of these roles and the pros and cons of each, including how much time they spend at sea?

2. Can you comment which roles have the highest need for recruitment, so where a lower AIB pass would suffice? I am not going to make a choice on that basis alone of course, clearly there is no point committing to a role that I am not passionate just to get into service, but it would be interesting to know.

3. Can people who applied for a surface roles be offered the submarine equivalent if their AIB score was not high enough for the surface role? I have read other posts here where surface Warfare Officers being offered a submariner role after AIB, presumably due to a lower number of applicants for submariner positions, or is this on a discretionary case-by-case basis?

The field that interests me the most is surface Logistics, but it is one of the most popular and needs a high AIB score so would be good to know as much as I can about the roles so I can make an informed choice. I have not ruled out submarines but it does require giving up my Irish passport for a role I have no idea what is going to be like until I have tried it, from what I have read it is possible to switch to submarines while in service but switching from submarines to surface fleet is near-impossible if anyone can confirm this? However living in Faslane is not an issue location-wise as family are in Cumbria, so it is the nearest to home though I have not heard effusive reports about the base!

Any responses would be helpful and i look forward to hearing them.
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Choose the career option that most interests you.
It is a long time to regret making the wrong choice just to join earlier.

Just because some branches are short does not mean the required standards will be lowered. You will either make the required grade or not.


Have a look at the RN website and have a search through the threads.
 

soleil

War Hero
LF

Does this role appeal to you? You might like this one.

 
LF

Does this role appeal to you? You might like this one.

Yes that's the one I have been looking at.
 
An Irish unemployed architect with autism!
Is the RN so desperately short of manpower?
I was born and grew up in Britain, never actually lived in Ireland but always had the passport as my father is Irish. My RN application made me apply for British, won't actually need it for Surface Logistics but keeps other options open until I decide.

Clearly cannot comment on it being short on manpower, can you comment on people with high-functioning ASD being in the RN? Ultimately will be for the medical to decide if it rules me out or not it seems.
 

soleil

War Hero
LF

I'm pretty sure that your case will go to the SMO(SE), Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry).
 
Last edited:

Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
There are six officer choices available once I get my British passport (currently being processed), and also have Irish citizenship. Surface options are Air Traffic, Logistics, Warfare, TMO. Submariner options are Logistics and Warfare, though I would need to renounce my Irish citizenship for boats.

The questions are:

1. can anyone here give a quick rundown on each of these roles and the pros and cons of each, including how much time they spend at sea?
Can't really comment on sea time as it does vary by role/platform but as a starter for ten:

Air Traffic - Only really at sea on bigger platforms (Carriers, LPH and T45s as "Fighter Controller") For this role you are expected to complete a Bridge Watch keeping Certificate and be a competent Officer of the Watch (Essentially managing the navigation/running of the ship from the bridge) under the direction of the Captain/Navigating Officer. This takes lots of patience, there are lots of rules to learn and being an OOW was once described to me as having to stare out of your living room window for four hours a day and having to phone your dad every time a car drove past. At Air Stations you're essentially the same a civil air traffic controller. Shoreside jobs are available at multiple locations in the UK, not just RN air bases.

Logistics - Very sought after at AIB and when I did mine had the highest amount of applications. They essentially manage the logistics (and the medical sub-department when no medical officer onboard) so being good with numbers is an advantage. I think Wrecker posted the RNs run-down of an LO above me. Have a read.

Warfare - Advantage to sub-specialise in Underwater, Above Water or Sneaky stuff. See the bit about being an ATCO; it's much the same.

TMO - School teachers. Used to be called schoolies; they teach RN Officers and Ratings in anything a civi teacher either can't teach or won't teach. Mainly found in shore bases, also get smaller jollies at sea visiting ships and talking about education within the RN as a whole.

2. Can you comment which roles have the highest need for recruitment, so where a lower AIB pass would suffice? I am not going to make a choice on that basis alone of course, clearly there is no point committing to a role that I am not passionate just to get into service, but it would be interesting to know.
At my AIB, I was told that the Logistics branch had the most demand, followed by Warfare. Engineering (ME and MESM) were the lowest demand.
 
Warfare - Advantage to sub-specialise in Underwater, Above Water or Sneaky stuff. See the bit about being an ATCO; it's much the same.
What do you mean by that? Don't you have to specialise anyway, as I would have to choose surface or submarines as part of the application? Thanks for the other info, that helps.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
TMO - School teachers. Used to be called schoolies; they teach RN Officers and Ratings in anything a civi teacher either can't teach or won't teach. Mainly found in shore bases, also get smaller jollies at sea visiting ships and talking about education within the RN as a whole.
With that, schoolies don't really teach anymore. About 10 months ago there was only one TMO teaching billet left in the RN. Nowadays they tend to deal with the coaching and mentoring side, which is going and talking about education and career management type stuff, or training design and evaluation.

It's a varied branch with a lot of quality assurance, contracts and finance, procurement and a lot of other stuff. There's a good run down of the branch if you feel like searching it out on here.
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Even the surface fleet has to know how to fight against a submarine threat.
Below water warfare does not necessarily mean you are a submarine, just you know how to fight against a submarine.
 
Air Traffic is not as described as above; but Fighter Controllers are.

ATCO are fully civilian qualified ATCs, who either work in air stations, Swanwick Military ATC or on ships. For the first group, they work either in the tower (like civvies) or in the air station radar room doing closer in control. On ships, their role is analogous, with the added bonus your airfield moves in three dimensions.
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Air Traffic is not as described as above; but Fighter Controllers are.

ATCO are fully civilian qualified ATCs, who either work in air stations, Swanwick Military ATC or on ships. For the first group, they work either in the tower (like civvies) or in the air station radar room doing closer in control. On ships, their role is analogous, with the added bonus your airfield moves in three dimensions.
Was never civvy recognised when I was in. 12 years ago.
JATCC isn't recognised by NATS.
Otherwise, all matelots would leave for higher pay.

I could be wrong though, but that was what the 'score was' when I served. As stated, I could be well out of date.
 
Was never civvy recognised when I was in. 12 years ago.
JATCC isn't recognised by NATS.
Otherwise, all matelots would leave for higher pay.

I could be wrong though, but that was what the 'score was' when I served. As stated, I could be well out of date.
Did not know that - my presumption was that as they controlled traffic in mixed airspace, they were just as qual’d as the civvies...
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Did not know that - my presumption was that as they controlled traffic in mixed airspace, they were just as qual’d as the civvies...
They do.
But NATS wouldn't recognise JATCC.
As I said I maybe wrong. But, they never did due to the amount of sailors that would leave once trained as the money is better.

This was when I was serving as a controller anyway. I'll stand corrected otherwise.
 
Because in an era where ALARP and SQEP, in particular in aviation, to not train our people to a civilian standard just seems... odd.

If there were to be a incident directly attributable to ATC c*ck-up, I wonder if it would stand scrutiny by the Defence Safety Regulator.
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Because in an era where ALARP and SQEP, in particular in aviation, to not train our people to a civilian standard just seems... odd.

If there were to be a incident directly attributable to ATC c*ck-up, I wonder if it would stand scrutiny by the Defence Safety Regulator.
Fair enough. As stated. Was never civvy recognised when I was in. Pretty sure it's same now too.
You must know a bit more than me then.
We had ATCO'a leave the mob, but had to pay to become civvy ATC.
Same as AC's.
This was at VL and CU towers.
 
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