Merchant Navy to Royal Navy

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Navtaff, Jul 28, 2016.

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  1. Hello everyone,
    I'd like to apologize in advance as this post may turn out to be a tad lengthy.

    Firstly I'd like to explain my situation; I am currently studying a course that will qualify me as an officer in the Merchant Navy (3rd/2nd mate) and have been for the last 2 years. However after much thinking and consideration (and various reasons) I have decided that I feel I would be better suited to the Royal Navy. Regardless of these thoughts I still intend on completing my course.

    I applied for the Royal Navy earlier in life when I was 16 (I am now 21) and passed the basic seamans test however decided to withdraw my applicaction as I felt at the time I wasn't ready to go to sea.After this I continued to work in various dead end jobs. I currently only have GCSE qualifications, and have at least C's in 8 subjects including Maths, Science and English; I also have maritime related certificates such as STCWs, ENGs etc. Upon completing my training I will possess a HNC Nautical Science and CoC:Unlimited.

    I want to join the Royal Navy because I want to challenge myself further both mentally and physically; and at the same time I want to gain skills that transfer well to shore side jobs. I know now , after working at sea that I am suited to a seagoing occupation and and ready for life at sea. I understand that it is usually the other way round, Royal Navy transferring to the merchant navy.

    This leaves me with some questions...

    Is there any transfer type service from merchant navy to royal navy ?( I couldn't find anything.)

    As I don't have any UCAS points or A levels, would I be right in saying I can't apply for an officers position? This would be a shame on a personal level as I Will have spent 3 years studying and working on ships and it would be a shame to see that disregarded.

    If the officer option isn't open I'd happily join as a rating however , but will this go against me in any way ? Going from qualified MN officer to rating, will it change the AFCOs view of me ?

    Ideally I would like to enter into some form of engineering technician however I don't have any background in engineering, is this a problem?

    Note:- I want to join the submarine service as I believe this would bewas perfectly suited challenge and working environment.

    I'm currently at sea but due home soon, is it worth paying a visit to the AFCO and getting the ball rolling then ? I will not be able to do anything as I am bound by contract to finish my course (ending 2017) and will be returning to sea soon after returning home. Perhaps it's better to wait until 2017?

    And lastly, will my previous application affect my new application in any way ?

    Thanks for your time guys, :)
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  2. There is no transfer process.
    Apply like all of the rest and do your best. Pay a visit to your local AFCO next time you are back alongside. You will not be committing to anything by just walking in and asking the questions that you have in your original post. Your previious application should not hinder you in any way.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thank you kindly for your swift response and guidance. When I arrive home I'll pay the AFCO a visit and clear some questions up, I'm happy to hear that the application process would be the same regardless.
  4. You might want to do your A levels whilst in the merch and then apply to join as an officer. The qualifications and life experience will help
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I've been considering this option and it's definitely a good way to go ; as current it would be impossible for me to sit A-Levels as the Officer Cadet programme in the MN requires you to study a HNC and various other MCA qualifcstions , as such I'm very busy. 9-5 everyday study when I'm back home (and studying at sea) as there is a lot to learn. The way that would appear to be the best would be to complete my cadetship then sit A-Levels, despite taking 2 years I feel like it would put me in a favourable position. Thank you for your response and feedback I will indefinitely take this on-board.
  6. You'll thank me forever :)
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    On completion of the Oral Exam you will have an OOW Certificate of Competency which is very limited in the big scheme of things. Yes you can be 2nd Mate but that's not likely early on unless the ship is only has 3 deck officers including the old man.

    Why not apply to the RFA once qualified?
  8. I'm regards to A-Levels I would intend on sitting English Literature, Physics, Maths and history ; instead of history is it worth taking an additional science ? I want my application to be as strong as possible and really only want to take A-Levels relevant to the Engineering Technician job role. For instance instead of History, Chemistry.
  9. Totally agree with you and yes you are right, I have no issues with the RFA however my preferred job role would be as a submariner and in an engineering role. The reasoning behind this is whilst being at sea and looking at your qualifications and qualifications you will gain, you realize how limited you are in the grand scheme of things, when will they need a keeper of a navigational watch shoreside? Granted, the skills learnt whilst training are invaluable especially in regards to life at sea. But upon looking at the bigger picture there is only so long you can stay on/under the sea, and it's good to have a trade you can take with you when leave. I would plan on staying in the RN until retirement though, but would at some point in my life like to start a family.

    The reasoning for the submariner role - I would like experience in the nuclear field of engineering and I understand that submarines are equipped with a reactor.
  10. Love that line :) Yes, you understand correctly, the RN only has nuclear submarines, all nuclear powered and Tridents have nuclear weapons as well.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. What company are you training with? Isn't a HNC so many ucas points as it's a level 4 compared to A level which level 3. If you do the HND extra it's level 5.....which is 2nd year of university
  12. I'd prefer not to disclose however in regards to the HNC , yes your correct normally holds UCAS points. But I've checked the UCAS website and because HNC Nautical Science is such a niche they don't give any UCAS points, I can't find the course by searching the website which is a real shame. And yes, it's completely possible to do the HND top up as long as I can afford it, accommodation is pretty hefty in Warsash unfortunately but I would like to complete a HND.
  13. Will your company not pay for HND?
  14. Negative, companies only really take on cadets for tonnage tax advantages. Especially my company in particular , as a result, no they will not pay for a HND and I've signed a contract stating that it would be a HNC. No huge deal, i'm just bummed bout the lack of UCAS points associated.
  15. Is it definitely no UCAS or just doesn't seem to be on their site
  16. Doesn't appear to be on their site, when I get back on terra firma I will ring UCAS to confirm.
  17. If you want to be an engineer, on submarines, working on nuclear reactors I don't think you would have to wait long between walking into an AFCO and arriving at Raleigh as an ET(MESM). There are plenty of opportunities to accelerate progress as an ET - Google Fast Track and NUGAS.

    If you want to join as an officer then without the UCAS points and a degree in engineering can't see you achieving this as an engineer.

    What about Warfare (SM) officer? Has in recent times been a vastly under subscribed branch, often taking those who failed to gain entry in a different preference branch. It wouldn't surprise me if a keen and willing X(SM) volunteer without all the necessary entry requirements was able to get some sort of waiver, particularly if he had other qualifications relevant to the role.

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Very helpful post, thank you.It's good go hear that perhaps the process will be a quick one ! When I am alongside with better signal next time I'll be sure to Google the stated.

    I honestly don't mind entering as a rating as opposed to an officer , and I can see what your saying that it would be difficult without the qualifications. But determination, hard work and professional respect for your job and others can get you a long way.

    Warfare is another route I will consider as when I was 16 this is the branch I initially wanted to enter; the warfare branch is also more relatable to my experience than any engineering role as I do not have engineering experience. My only concern would be the transferabiliy of qualifications; on the flip side I would intend on being in the mob until I retire so perhaps its not as big of an issue, thoughts ?
  19. Thought warfare officer was now short

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