Joining the RNR with Merchant Navy experience

Afternoon all,

I have done a quick seach but didn't find anything that really answered my question, so please forgive me if this is a perennial topic and my search keywords were inadequate.

I am a Merchant Navy Deck Cadet in my final training phase, and I will be sitting my MCA oral examination in the coming weeks. Once I have my ticket I will continue working for my sponsor.

My last ship was commanded by an RNR officer, and this has got me thinking about perhaps joining the RNR. I was wondering if anybody might be able to provide some guidance or information.

I understand that the RNR recognise MN officers as being eligible for officer positions. In practice, how much experience does one need for this to be an option - should I clock up a few years' seatime, or maybe wait until I have my Chief Mate's ticket? Or would I be able to get in with my OOW ticket, HND and seatime to date?

Either way - joining as an officer or rating - is the RNR quite flexible when it comes to the amount of time you can give? I tend to work three months for a leave period of two months.

I would be very grateful for any information you might be able to provide.



Thank you very much for the link - I'm slightly ashamed that I did not find it myself.

It makes for interesting reading, particularly since Merchant Navy cadets with nine months seatime may apply for the Amphibious Warfare branch.

I might get in touch with my local unit to see how things might work.

Thanks again,


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