Joining the RNR: Questions


Am also in the URNU; it is generally a very positive experience and extremely useful in various ways. Insofar as it is geared towards recruitment (not its *official* mission), it would indeed be useful to you.

If you were to join the RNR while at university you will be exempted from mobilisation as you are in FT education, and if you were to leave on graduation to join the RN it would effectively be a waste of their time. In agreement with Ant here - the URNU is well set up for people who are thinking about joining the RN itself.

Also - more generally about the URNU - Ant is right about getting in. It's a case of applying as soon as you get there in Fresher's week; to my knowledge they cannot recruit full members after the end of October, so the onus is on you to sort it fast when you arrive.

Good luck and hope everything works out.


War Hero
URNU is not actually a recruiting organisation - its mission statement is to inform people of the RN and not actually recruit (and that is said as an ex URNU member and URNU TO). URNU is great if you want to turn up, dress up in uniform, get a bit of seagoing and sort of be in the the Naval Service without doing anything remotely operational (List 7 - SCC / URNU). The chance of an URNU mid going anywhere dangerous are zero.

The RNR is great if you want to develop a 2nd career, with the consquent frustrations and challenges that apply to any career, play the long game of training and courses and the like, and want to be part of the Naval Service and have something operational to do.

The RNR is a VERY busy organisation - we have people constantly on Ops all over the world, and consequently, when people join, the expectation is we will use them.

URNU is fundamentally about being a paid sea cadet in terms of it being about training, but no operational role.


War Hero
Touche! Although Brumistan had its moments to be fair ;-)

Always remember being an URNU mid on a ship on standby to go somewhere 'interesting' and being told that no I couldnt go, and stand by to be offloaded if they deployed. Very annoying!


Book Reviewer
_Tim_ said:
So, what you're saying is I shouldn't join the RNR?

The only person who can make that decision is you. 20+ years ago I joined the RNR while a student. I had looked at the OTC and the University Air Squadron while in my 1st year, but was unable at that point to make the commitment - two years later (during my 2nd second year) I joined the RNR. The RNR, for me, proved to be the break from university that I needed (different social group, different outlook) while both OTC and UAS were full of the students I was trying to escape from!

Do you want to join URNU as a stepping stone to a regular commission post university?

Do you want to join the RNR to gain wider experience of life in the naval service (you'll start in the JRs mess most likely)? NB this may also influence you ultimate post-univesity career choice.

Are you looking for a life outside your university?

Answers to these, and other, questions will lead you to the decision on URNU, RNR or something else completely.

Good luck!

PS For what its worth, even if URNU existed 20+ years ago, the RNR was the right decision for me. In 1982 I intended to join the RN as an engineering officer - by 1987, I was married, working as a professional engineer in the automotive industry and a part-time communicator in the RNR with no commission. I stayed on the lower-deck for the whole of my 22 years in the RNR - this provided a valuable counterpoint to my professional engineering career. I'd still be in the RNR today had I not emigrated 2.5 years ago.


Either way, I'd like to join the RN with a commission. However, the URNU units are few and small.

The RNR, though, would give me some valuable life experience along with the opportunity to learn some new skills. Hell, it might even make me realise I don't want a commission to start with.

I think I stated this already: I could still go for the AIB later on with the RNR right? Would that pass carry over to the RN?

If I join the RNR and find that it's not really what I'm looking for, I can always leave at a later date. At least I would have tried it for myself.


_Tim_ said:
I think I stated this already: I could still go for the AIB later on with the RNR right? Would that pass carry over to the RN?

An AIB pass for the RNR (i.e. if you apply to be an RNR Officer) does NOT count for regular RN entry. You'd have to sit another one for your chosen entry method/branch.

But if you pass a regular RN AIB your unit may let you be an RNR Officer in the meantime depending on how long you have to wait until a full time Dartmouth date. But that really would be up to your unit/CMR.