Hi all,

I applied for Pilot in the FAA last year and have been stuck waiting for a date for AIB as my recruiter tells me that recruitment is paused at the moment (for Pilot). While this is frustrating, it has also given me time to finish my degree and consider some other options. I have recently finish a Bachelors in Electrical/ Electronic Engineering and have been considering either WEO or MEO.

An workmate (ex-ME, rating, surface) told me if they were to do it again that weapons engineer is the more interesting option. I'm also struggling to decide on Surface Fleet or Submarines. Submarines do seem more interesting to me - as an MEO maintaining a nuclear reactor and working on life support etc. would probably be as close to being in space as I will ever be. My main reservations against Submarines is the lifestyle it brings. Not being able to exercise properly, not seeing the sun (including when you return to port in Scotland!) and not seeing much of the world (as opposed to Surface Fleet) are the main things that put me off. However, plenty of submariners do it so these problems can't be that bad, and I'm the type of person that could live with these uncomfortable aspects if I thought the job was worth it.

I've spoken to a lot of ex-surface fleet personnel who say that travelling the world was one of the best parts of the job. How much time would I spend at sea as a WEO or MEO? As far as I understand it, a WEO will spend their first couple years on ship, next 4 on shore, then return to ship. I'm not sure about MEO. Is this similar for submariners?

I've emailed my recruiter to get some more info but he hasn't got back to me yet, hoping to speak to him soon so I can better make a decision on what to do. Also, as these are 'high priority' roles, what sort of time (ballpark) would I be starting BRNC? Assuming I'm successful in the AIB of course.

Thanks and I probably haven't articulated my questions well as I've just crawled out of bed so sorry in advance.


War Hero
My advice(an old submariner) is if you have any doubts about being a submariner don't do it. They are fascinating machines but they do have their drawbacks many of which you have already outlined. Remember it is easier to go from surface ship to boat than go in the other direction.


Thanks for your answers. With regards to going AEO I thought about it but in the end I'm decided on either MEO or WEO. Strange I know as originally was going for pilot!

Fishhead, that's exactly what I thought too. I'm already trying to justify the drawbacks to myself and that's probably not the best way to go into a job.

I'm pretty certain after a bit of thought that Surface Fleet is the way to go for me, and as you said I could potentially transfer at some point in the future. At the moment, I'm leaning more towards WEO, going to call my recruiter soon and have a chat through it all with him.