Joining the RFA?

Discussion in 'RFA' started by ianmickey, Aug 18, 2010.

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  1. I am 38 and an ex-Weapon Engineer Officer. Am I too old to join the RFA? Is there a role for me? Cheers
  2. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    I served on RFAs for 2 years, in an RN capacity.

    It rocked. You can join up until 55 as far as I know, your best bet would be to join as a Systems Officer, it's basically the same as WE.

    Benefits include, better cash, tax free salary if abroad, awesome scran (fillet steak on steak night!) Cheapest bar you'll ever find, single en suite cabins, more time off than the skipper's 8s.

    Downsides include, no pension, lack of discipline from an RN point of view, possibility of being based at a fuelling jetty in Scotland for 3 months solid.
  3. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    no problem, join as a systems engineering officer, theyre short of them.
    check out
    click on forums and theres a forum on SE officer
    also check the RN website, theres an RFA link there

    edit to say there is a pension, the civil service pension, plus you can transfer your RN pension if you wish but thats up to you. its 4 months on an 19 days leave earned per month. you can end up in Glen mallen for 4 months but then youj could also be in the caribbean for 4 months swings and roundabouts
  4. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    Thanks shippers! Basically, I really miss the RN and this looks like a close alternative. Got the paperwork. Was looking at Bridge Officer but would mean starting from rock bottom i think. Cheers for the advice. Mac
  5. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    if you join as a bridge officer and you have all the RN ADQuals you'll be flying up that ladder theyre really short of qualified Deck Officers. plus you'll get to wear your dolphins, in fact at dartmouth they insist you put them on
  6. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    Oh i REALLY have to do Dartmouth again! I was a Lt Cdr when I left the RN.... how embarrassing! lol lol

    Thanks to everyone for the advice :)
  7. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    I'm afraid so, but only for 7 weeks and the PTI's generally give up on us within a week and just let us get on with it. at least you'll get youre own room and you'll be allowed to sample the local delights!! every night. mind you'll end up as class leader as you'll be the only one who knows his left from right and wont be tick tocking all fun....
  8. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    We know full well that non-war faerie Occifers tick-tock. Especially WE's.

    In fact our whole branch seem to suffer with the problem
  9. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    You can join up until 65. Remember, there are ageism laws for civilians nowadays.

    Downsides - You say there's no pension? There is a pension. All RFA personell go automatically onto the Gov't Civil Service pension scheme.

    That scheme is right up there with the armed forces pension's.

    There's plenty of discipline from an RFA perspective. Especially if matey there is going to apply for an S.E Officers post. A lot of our Captain's and Ch'off's are very strict people. And never mind random drug testing either, we have random alcohol testing as well. Can you imagine that in the Navy of a weekend at sea on a deployment or alongside in Barbados after the thursday night all you can drink for a fiver nights in the harbour lights etc? You'd lose about 75% of your people in one go, ha.

    The Scottish jetty issues really only affects the Fort Boats. And to be honest, I'd rather do that than be stuck alongside in Pompey for the same period.
  10. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    Do you really want to...? Funny story.mate of mine,MN Captain.from Dublin.common as muck accent.on his ship.tanker in Aruba.sunday afternoon,hes in a singlet,shorts and flip flops in the seamens mess,cause their mostly Indian and he likes the food.reading his Herald thing this plummy voiced herbert turns up and says..'Im the new 2nd engineer bags are on the dock,bring them aboard,and then take me to the old man'.Adrian (my mate) tells him to f**k off. theres no skivveys aboard this ship, and to bring his own bags aboard.herbert throws a right wendy,and demands he be taken to the Captain,with the miscreant in tow.So Adrian takes him to the 'Captains' cabin.your man knocks a few times on the door. no answer.Adrian then takes out his keys, opens the door and says 'come in' reads herbert the riot act,reinforces the 'no skivveys' rule and tells him to 'GET OUT.' reckons he was ex RFA,or in his words an RN reject.
  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Re: Thinking of Joining RFA amongst the Indian crew, wearing singlet and shorts because he likes the food. Good one.

    A WE officer of my casual acquaintance was recently accepted into the RFA as an Systems Engineer Officer. AIB already done, BRNC already done but I seem to recall had there not been a pressing need for SE officers he would have been required to do the RFA BRNC course. Looks as if they are recruiting now, unless the website is out of date.

    RFA Recruitment Website
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    For those interested in joining the Royal Fleet Auxilliary, the following extract may be of interest to those currently in the Royal Navy and civilians considering a career at sea working alongside the Royal Navy as a civilian:

    The RFA recruits something like 180-200 personnel annually in all branches. To put it into perspective the RN recruits anything between 1,500 to 2,700, so competition is very high and merit based selection applies. There are no waiting lists as such (yippeee!) although the recruitment process usually takes 6-9 months from application submission to course start. :cry: Many courses run alongside their RN equivalent.

    Shortage trades:

    Cadet Marine Engineers (3 year cadetship) - GCSE/St. Grade B’s in Maths, English and Physics/Dual Science and two others at grade C required. The RN Recruiting Test must also be passed and a pass at AIB is required.

    Motormen - no official qualifications, Recruiting Test pass required.

    Qualified Deck Ratings - Efficient Deckhand and Proficiency in Survival Craft cert and Deck Officers (Certificate of Competancy Officer Of Watch)

    Qualified Systems Engineers – Minimum HND in Electrical and Electronic, or Electronic and Communication Engineering. So an ex-WEO may well be of interest.

    All candidates Must have British citizenship (ie: hold a British passport) and have been resident in the UK for four of the last five years.

    There is no upper age limit for entry

    Medical standards for entry differ markedly from RN medical standards, where conditions such as asthma or short sight are treated on a case by case basis.

    Candidates with visible tattoos are not disregarded as long as the design is not offensive.

    RFA Recruiting Test score requirements are different for each branch. Be aware they are not necessarily lower than the RN level for equivalent trades. If personnel phone the RFA Recruitment Office after taking the Recruiting Test at their local AFCO, the RFA will advise which branches candidates you are eligible to apply for.

    RFA applicants must submit separate applications to those wishing to join the RN, but dual applications are permitted. Applications and queries in the first instance should be submitted through CNR RFA Recruitment: 02392 7 (9380) 25371/25923/25244, [email protected]

    The RFA offers a very different lifestyle to the RN and personnel should be aware that their career will follow a pattern of working for 4 months on a ship then taking 84 days leave (Officers) or 77 days leave (Ratings) before returning to any ship in the flotilla for another four months.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Re: Thinking of Joining RFA

    Candidates expressing an interest in the RFA should visit the RFA website or contact 0845 60 40 520 for an application pack.

    It is worth noting though that RFA Medicals are not carried out until post Interview & Job offer has been made, so any health queries should be passed to the RFA Occupational Heath Team ASAP after any application has been submitted. (I you PM me I can give you their number).
  14. Conducted by the RFA's own medical services?

    There isn't one! Perhaps a couple of civvies but the RNR medical branch was dissolved years ago. From a medical officer point of view, that is - I know Med Techs still exist. They shouldn't be doing medicals tho!
  15. AngryDoc let me put your mind at rest. They don't ! :)

    Being Merchant Seaman and the ships being owned by the MoD there is a requirement for new entrants to pass an ENG1 medical carried out by Maratime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved Doctors.

    In addition because of the unique role of the RFA serving in conflicts etc. The RFA need to satisfy themselves that New Entrants are fit for see and do in fact have a Chief Medical Officer who is a fully qualified Doctor.

    The below link will give you some further information.

    Everything is very professional, ethical and above board. I hope that reassures you.
  16. I'm fairly sure there's a surgeon commander attached to the RFA, though that probably isn't his full time role.
  17. Seems to be the case, Megalopteron. Pls see Page 6 of this issue of Gunline:
  18. Sol - the Primary Casualty Receiving Facility within ARGUS is manned when required by RN and RNR medical personnel. The Ship's own medical organisation is run by an RN Surg Lt and an RN LMA - no RFA medical staff on board.

    There used to be a (singular) Surgeon Chief Officer who is now in the RN but likely provides advice to the RFA. I doubt if he oversees every medical!

    I just think it is a bit misleading to say that the RFA performs medicals with its own staff - I presume it is to differentiate it from the various civvy GPs who do ENG1 medicals (and I've seen lots of God-awful ENG1s).
  19. RFA Med Techs do not do new entry Medicals for RFA candidates.

    The Medical process during the recruitment process is 2 fold.

    Candidates fill in a Health Questionnaire which is forwarded to the RFA Occupational Health team in Portsmouth and scrutinised by a Surg Cdr if that candidate is offered a position with the RFA. If at that point there is any doubt over anything the candidate has written about his medical fitness for RFA service then they are seen in-house by an RN Surg either in Portsmouth/Guzz or Faslane. These guys are authorised by the MCA to carry out ENG1 Medical Examinations. The RFA Medical team may also write to their GP/Medical Officer/Specialist for further info, or refer them for a specialist report prior to any such ENG1.
    If the Surg Cdr is happy, then the candidate can contact his local MCA approved Doc for an ENG1.
    In the current climate it is Value For Money to use the naval base Surg Cdr's as the RFA does not pay for these appointments (not directly anyway), whereas some private MCA docs can charge in excess of £100.
    The RFA did used to have a Surg Chief Officer who then went RNR and is now an RN Cdr, he used to be SMO Service Entry but think he has moved on. While I worked in the RFA Recruitment cell he had no input on the Medical side, i'm sure he was busy enough with referrals from AFCOs!!!!

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