It sounds as if he needs some time to think things through, reflect on what has happened and just grow up a bit more. As you say, a gentle bit of encouragement to focus on everything he has achieved and learned from this, a bit of time to consider his next steps, but definitely find out how long and what conditions he would have to meet for a reapplication. A bit of time in discussing this could help him further down the line, before he actually leaves. Being young and homesick, or indeed, saluting incorrectly, does not equate to a mental health problem. Try to give him the confidence to see that, because his confidence is probably zero right now!Progress report, or rather lack of progress....No dice with the RNR idea. Unfortunately an ill-timed bollocking from a junior officer not much older than him (he failed to salute smartly enough as he took too long trying to make out the rank insignia from a distance) has confirmed for him that he does not have the right temperament for the armed forces, not thick skinned enough! He has no problem with the actual work, it's all the other stuff that goes along with it...
He has also decided that he would like to try and get some therapy/treatment for his problems with concentration and his ability to cope with a busy social environment as he feels they have been holding him back, so I guess he will probably be barred from re-entry on mental health grounds. However, if his disappointment at the RN career idea not working out has made him finally realize that he has to sort himself out, it has definitely not been a waste of time. ultimately the decision is up to him.
I do wonder about the AFCO though, from what my son says his interview was a bit perfunctory, also I had struggled to get him properly engaged with researching the RN, he really did the minimum ( which did ring a tiny alarm bell in my head even though he worked hard on fitness and RT revision). I suppose it's very hard to judge with youngsters how genuinely keen and realistic they are and there comes a point when if a potential recruit ticks all the boxes you have to take a punt on them rather than tell them to come back in a year when they've had more time to think about it...
@Ninja_Stoker, I liked the RNR idea, if I wasn't rapidly approaching 50 I'd seriously think about joining myself and putting my new found naval knowledge to use!
Being young and homesick, or indeed, saluting incorrectly, does not equate to a mental health problem. Try to give him the confidence to see that, because his confidence is probably zero right now!
I found something i liked and never looked back until i left after 20 years due to medical discharge and all ive wanted to do since is join back up and get back to sea. Best job said:@BigD1980 you're not helping me feel better! Although I don't really have a choice but to accept his decision, i would have preferred it if he had stayed another month or two to be certain, but he was convinced it was just putting off the inevitable.
@24681012 I don't know what they could change, he did a PRNC, which went OK. I think at the AFCO they weren't necessarily unrealistic, its just that they failed to detect that his application was born more out of a lack of any other ideas than real enthusiasm. Of course they aren't mind readers but maybe applicants who don't have family members in the armed forces, who haven't spent a decent amount of time in uniformed youth organisations and can't demonstrate convincing background knowledge or excitement about the RN should face a tougher grilling.
He says Raleigh was OK, and he didn't hate every single minute of it, but it felt seperate from the rest of a naval career to him, there was a distinct challenge every week and you felt relief to have got through it each time, you also had no time to stop and think and were well looked after by experienced senior rates. As my son put it, "when I got to Collingwood the smoke cleared" he could see years of being around other people 24/7 and couldn't face it.
In an ideal world a taste of life at sea earlier in Phase 2 might be helpful for waverers, a couple of weeks in a ship or something, but I could see that that would be a logistical and health and safety nightmare!