Just been to AFCO

Hi all!
I've just came back from the AFCO today with a list of suggested "improvements" for my "portfolio" as it were, and i thought i should just make a thread on here to say hi to everyone as I'll no doubt be pestering you all with questions soon enough and thought it polite to warn you in advance ;)

My main worry at the moment (among hundreds of others) is my school grades, i am sitting my exams this month and although i am sure i will get the 140 UCAS points neccesary for application, i was wondering how big the impact these grades will have on my attempts to join, as im not certain they will be very impressive :(

Thanks in advance everyone :)


War Hero
Jeez, must've been a long walk home!

The AFCO closed over 6 hours ago! (You don't want to be a Navigator do you?)

First things first- welcome to the site. Don't expect much sober comment at this time!

Second- don't get too hung-up about your A Level grades, assuming you have got 5 GCSE's (inc Maths & English) grade C or better you could join the RN as a rating & go for AIB from within the service. (You don't need A levels if you're actually serving)

Third- Don't be a snob & think that Officer is the only way forward, it isn't. (Although it is a good goal eventually).

By joining as a Rating you gain a lot of all round experience first. The thing to remember is that an engineering officer, for example, doesn't do "hands on" engineering- he simply manages those that do. Similarly a Logistics Officer, doesn't organise the minutiae of providing the right thing at the right time (pay, food, stores, accounts, etc), he supervises those that do the job.

It's debatable of course, but many people respect those that have actually done your job first, before they tell you how they think you should be doing it.

Think about it.
Hehe thanks for the reply, and nah i just got back from work and school (last day today 8) )

And i hope i haven't given the wrong impression because im definetly not trying to be a snob lol, i plan to join as a rating should i fail as an officer, however i would like to attempt to join as an officer initially :)

I was just hoping that my less than excellent results at A-level wouldn't stop me from joining as an officer to begin with.


War Hero

I know of an officer who scraped through his A levels (or whatever they bloody well were back in his day :D ) and went to Uni.

He didn't last the first year before getting kicked out.

Oh, said officer is now a Rear Admiral.....

the_matelot said:

I know of an officer who scraped through his A levels (or whatever they bloody well were back in his day :D ) and went to Uni.

He didn't last the first year before getting kicked out.

Oh, said officer is now a Rear Admiral.....

O levels?

As for entering as an officer, it has it's good points and bad points but taking into fact that you would most probably join up as a midshipman, well, erm.............yeah.

Joining as a rating and moving up has it's advantages, you know the score and I am sure you will gain respect a lot quicker this way. As long as you hit the high marks with your trade exams and keep up the good work, you could be put forward by your D.O. to go CT training.

But forget the lucide dream about having high marks to be an officer, you should see some of them serving 8O

Depending on the branch, of course.

Oh and good luck!
personally i wold recomend joining as a rating. For one if your young do you really want to sit in the wardroom with people who are probably in the main older than you and very proper.
Or would you rather do 4 years down the mess getting lashed (on your 3 tins of course). Having mess brawls and getting naked quite a lot.
Your A levels will always be there. and the navy are very keen on having ratings change over. Why not have a laugh for a bit first.
Well I think I should my opinion in on this, give the guy both sides of the coin.

Whilst I am sure that the Ratings do have a huge laugh, don't have the impression that the Wardroom sits there reading the Telegraph and sipping tea all day! I have spoken to several officers and that cannot be further from the truth!

If you want any hints of tips for the AIB, there are a couple of people on here who have just passed the test so we should be able to give you as much advice as you need, best of luck, and have a search through the forums you should find heaps of stuff.

Oh and it was my last day yesterday too, nursing having serveral too many beers this morning.
Keep trying for a commision. It is easier to join as an officer from outside of the RN than from within. If you can't make it through officer selection only then consider joining as a Rating.
Best of luck with whichever path you do decide to take.
Thanks alot guys, ill keep trying as an officer to begin with, but should that fail im more than happy to join as a rating anyway...

now i jsut have to build up my "portfolio" to impress, and i was told by my AFCO that an expedition type thing would be a good idea, so think i might go for a kilimanjaro trek or possibly a trek through the sahara :)


Lantern Swinger
I wanted to join as an officer, however my A-Levels prevent me from doing so. Unfortunately they don't reflect my academic abilities due to various events happening at the same time of my life, I wont bore you with the details. I'm hoping to retake them from within the RN and apply for commission internally. I know I could retake them outside the Navy and then apply to join as an officer, but I wouldn't be able to wait that long to join, so I'm content with joining as a rating. :wink:

In your case, I'd definitely try to join as an officer, it's much easier apparently. But like some here have already said, you might be respected more if you've worked your way up.

Good luck with whatever you decide, it's got to be a fantastic life either way.
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