Logistics, Warfare, and Legal Training

Hi, i have never posted on here but i need some advice, and Rum Ration seems to be full of it, so here goes.

I'm seriously considering joining the RN as an officer, however my dilemma is whether to apply into the warfare or logistics branches. I have finished my undergraduate degree, and am currently halfway through a law conversion, which, admittedly, i'm enjoying purely for academic reasons, with a lessening intention to practice.

I am therefore drawn towards logistics, as i contains legal components, however i believe i would enjoy warfare more, mainly or the freshness of the challenge. That said, i understand that legal training is only available to logistics officers after 4/5 years? Or is it not?

Going on to become a naval barrister is not my main reason for joining the RN, it is more of a potential bonus if i did manage to get in. However until that point, my main quandary is which branch i would a) enjoy, and b) be better at.


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I'm only an applicant myself so I don't profess to know the best branch however I'd always be inclined to advise people to do go for what they enjoy over anything else. Life's too short not too.
I have no idea which you would enjoy - I suggest you get yourself onto an acquaint for both branches via the AFCO. Same same for being better at - I think there are commonalities between the two, but there are so many different directions you could go in for both Branches, it is rather pointless trying to work it out now. Again, go for an acquaint to see for yourself.

You used to be able to become a Legal Adviser as a Warfare Officer, but I can't find any references to allow this to happen nowadays. I certainly wouldn't join as a Warfare Officer expecting it to happen!
You used to be able to become a Legal Adviser as a Warfare Officer, but I can't find any references to allow this to happen nowadays. I certainly wouldn't join as a Warfare Officer expecting it to happen!
A mate of mine is currently converting to naval barristrator from XSM after 8-9 years. However, as you say, don't join expecting it.


It is available to all branches, but it logistics officers who run the selection and it aligns itself with the logistics officer career path. As a warfare officer you would need to negotiate with your appointer. You could look to apply for Naval Barrister training at any stage, but you need approval from your CO and they take only a handful each year. Bear in mind your GDL will have expired.
If you were to do it as a Warfare Officer, I would suggest doing it post-PWO, which is about 12 years after starting BRNC. Be prepared for a fight with the Career Manager though; PWOs have lots of their own jobs to fill.
^ This is the other thing i'm concerned about, the expiry period of the GDL. I was under the impression that only the vocational stage (BPTC) has an expiry period? Hmm...

bon mot


Just to add some context on your initial post. As tin tin says, the logs branch are the 'custodians' of barrister selection within the RN. What this means in practice is that, whilst any branch can apply, in practice your prospects are much better if you are already a logs officer. This is because other branches will have the additional hurdle of having to get career management approval (ie to move 'out of specialisation') to apply in the first place. Often this can be easier said than done in what is increasingly an era of tight manning constraints.

For logs officers, you would be looking at getting selected as a mid-seniority Lt, with enough experience of the navy (and a good set of appraisals to back you up) to be a credible candidate, but not so 'old' or senior that the navy wouldnt subsequently get a decent return on its investment.

Whilst I should add that Im not a lawyer myself, I wouldnt worry too much about GDL expiry - the navy system is geared to take graduates (not necessarily with a law background) and so presumably will tailor entry into legal training on an individual basis.

Best advice is dont join the loggy branch with an expectation of going barrister. We only need a very small number each year so you would need an element of luck in gaining a place. If you join any branch other than logs, then the potential to go barrister still exists, but makes the liklihood that much more remote. As Alfred the Great suggests, if you go warfare officer the career template for that particular branch is pretty regimented, is almost exclusively 'at sea' and is ultimately geared towards growing a PWO. Finding time to train as a barrister in that context is always going to be tricky.
Thanks for all the replies - it appears that the likelihood of selection for legal training is itself quite slim, and i would have to ask myself very seriously whether i would want to spend over 5 years as a logistics officer, with the hope of being a naval barrister, only to never have the chance. Consequently i'm thinking far more about warfare as the viable option: i would be joining for the right reasons and actually enjoying it at the same time. (the amount of time spent at sea, and the prospects of PWO are, personally, far more enticing).


I'm in a similar situation to you Red Rooster. I've just been successful at AIB for Warfare and already have a good law degree and the LPC under my belt. I'd like the chance to join fleet legal at some point in my career, but as you said, the chances are fairly slim. Warfare seemed to be the more enticing career path, and there's still a chance, even if it is a bit more remote than if I had gone down the Loggie route.