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Joining reserves

Im starting a uni in Liverpool in September, im wondering weather to join the RNR or TA(AR).
1) Past all the recruiting mumbo jumbo of it being fab and all shiny whats life really like in the RNR?
2) Do you ever get deployed or just once every 10 years?
3) Whats the best branch to join? im looking at Seaman or Information Operations.
I have no A-levels but iv been told theirs a good chance my educational equivalent is suitable as an equivalent. 4) Whats officer training like and how long does it take?
5) Is it possible to commission from the ranks? and what qualifications do you need? and how far in training or rank do you need to achieve?


War Hero
You are better off joining Liverpool URNU - it is geared toward university students, you get paid, you get an annual bounty, you go to sea regularly at weekends and mini-deployments during your hols to Northern Europe & UK, you can earn RYA qualifications, it enhances your CV and the medical and educational standards for entry are far more relaxed.

University training | Royal Navy
Phone EAGLET and ask to pop in, they will give you good and honest answers.
URNU is ok, but it's not the Royal Navy, it's main focus is to give the industry leaders of tomorrow a taste of what the RN is. As for £s, with the greatest of respect to NJ, who is very well informed, you will earn more in the RNR than in the URNU, you will also gain courses etc that are exactly the same as the regulars.
If you take a commission from the ranks, and many do, it will set you up well for joining the regulars as an officer. Equally, if you don't, it won't stop you from gaining a commission for the regulars, and will also set you up exceptionally well for joining as a rating, in fact, it now not uncommon, for ex RNR to proceed direct to part 2 training if they join the regulars.

To sum, you'll have a cracking time, though EAGLET is where you should get your most accurate info

good luck


War Hero
The good news is Eaglet & Liverpool URNU are co-located, so if in the area, it's worth talking to each (Students at the URNU and Recruits at Eaglet) to see what each offers in view of your particular aims.

Both give an insight into the RN. For RNR Ratings, it'll take around five years to reached "trained status" & during that time, you are not operationally deployable but will attend a couple of marinisation & militarisation weekends at HMS Raleigh before undergoing two weeks RNR initial training, at Raleigh - usually within twelve months of joining - on average most RNR recruits get to Raleigh at about the six month stage. After this, you're then streamed into branch training. Conversely, you can achieve trained status in the RMR within about 14-18 months as a fully trained Commando.

The URNU are "List 7 Reservists" and classed as Officer cadets. They cannot be mobilised, but you can do a couple of weeks here and there on ships at sea after completing a training weekend at Dartmouth, students can undertake paid courses in UK & abroad. For example, when I was Coxswain at Oxford URNU we had students spend a fortnight flying in the backseat of FRADU Hawks & getting paid, others went to Dhekelia (Cyprus) for two weeks advance dive training funded by the service and got paid, another went on a free-fall parachute course in California, and again funded by the service and getting paid. Some students took part in shooting competitions and many went on (paid) acquaint courses at BRNC, RNAS Culdrose, RAF Cranwell, HMS Sultan, HMS Collingwood, CTC Lympstone, etc. A large number of URNU students attend the RN Ski Championships in France or this last year they organised their own URNU ski tournament, they usually attend the RN/Army Rugby at Twickenham, an annual inter-URNU sports weekend in Portsmouth and each unit has a P2000 patrol boat which accommodates 11 students and gets out to sea about two or three times a month over weekends during term time and for about a month overseas at Easter and Summer.

The URNU Mission Statement is:

"to educate a wide spectrum of high calibre undergraduates who show potential as society's future leaders and opinion formers in order to better inform them of the need for and the role in the future of the Royal Navy and to develop an awareness of the career opportunities"

RNR New Entry daily rate of pay (gross) £39.70
URNU New Entry daily rate of pay (gross) £37.10

The URNU is usually over-subscribed, the RNR isn't but, to be fair to each, it's horses for courses and they offer quite different lifestyle experiences.
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