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Joining the reserves at uni.


Hey guys,

I am currently a student in Liverpool and im looking at joining the RNR while at uni. I have experience of what the army reserves are like via an UOTC. Now don't get me wrong I do enjoy the UOTC and would transfer into the reserves but most roles all seem the same pace on exercises. Infantry, cavalry all tab round, dig in and shoot etc, artillery stand at a gun and load and signals sit on a radio. On the plus there are lots of opportunities in the army reserves for adventure training skiing etc. or getting qualifications e.g. driving licenses, apprenticeships. And yes I know about the army giving money when you join up but im not after the money; anyway all reserves are paid on the same scales. I'm after improving my qualifications, my self and my confidence and serving my country.

1. Does the RNR offer more variety on weekends obviously after basic training?
2. What qualifications can you get in the RNR?
3. Is there opportunities for adventure training?
4. When do you pick your branch?
5. If I decided to go regular RN after university either rating or officer would the RNR mind or is there a process to follow?


Lantern Swinger
1. The RNR probably offers more options in that there are no geographic specialisations, i.e. you may be part of HMS Eaglet but you travel across the country to train with others of your specialisation.
In terms of variety on weekends your mileage may vary. I'd suggest many of our specialisations are about depth not breadth, we aim to do a specific job as well (if not better) than regulars rather than produce an infantry soldier.
As a Junior Officer I have a huge variety in my weekends. I have my general officer broadening courses. I'm involved in helping train Officer Cadets in unit. My specialisation has a large number of weekends across the country. My unit is involved in ceremonial and representational events across the region, I'm a divisional officer so there's admin time. Add on recruiting and employer engagement and there is plenty to be doing. That said the AR will be doing much of the same.
Depending which unit you join Junior Officers have opportunities to organise activities if they don't think there is sufficient variety available - suggestions will be received with a "good idea, crack on".

2. Depends on what you do, rating or officer and branch. The Chartered Management Institute have mapped ranks and rates to their scales with freshly minted officers going in as Associated - which is achievable fairly quickly if you're a student and doesn't hurt the old CV. Ratings tend to have the opportunities for more practical things like driving licences. Sabre tend to have up to date figures for the value of leadership and management training to wow potentially employers with.

3. Tri-service AT is available to the RNR exactly the same way as the AR. There are things like the Ulysses Trust and RFCAs to help fund. Most units will organise some form of AT annually and the more pro-active people will do all sorts from climbing in Austria to sailing around the Caribbean.

4. You pick your specialisation just before finishing initial training (circa 6 months as a rating or 20 months as an officer). I like this approach as it gives you a chance to chat to people and see what things are like, certainly officers get a chance to go on acquaint weekends.

5. Plenty of people go from the RNR to RN, we get people coming from the regulars to join us as well. There are slowly evolving mechanisms for more experienced RNR personnel to skip initial parts of regular training, though no guarantees exist.
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