Merchant seafarer to RNR


I’ve been interested in the reserves for a long time but now finally bitten the the bullet and applied. During the application i realised i don’t have the academic qualifications for officer so, i’ll press ahead and join as rating.
I sail as chief mate and have a masters unlimited MCA ticket so i can still bring a lot to the party.
Are there any other merchant navy officers sailing as rating? What branch have you gone down? I’m a little gutted since the door to amphibious warfare has slammed shut for me.


War Hero
Hello - Thanks for the ping @Sumo.

I have to confess that academic qual's for officer are outside my sphere of knowledge. But I'd be surprised if @Mopatop 's MCA and ticket did not count for something. To answer the question - No, I am not aware of any individual with a MN ticket being RNR Lower Deck.

In the light that the RNR are very likely to become a sea-going entity once again I would have thought that we would have torn your arm off. Have you visited an AFCO and talked this over? In the past I would have referred that element up to the Guru of All Recruiting - @Ninja_Stoker but he's less active in that zone now.

As you surmise AW is officer only. However you experience would be invaluable to MTO or, if you end up as a rating, you are going to make the RNR look very good indeed in the WarSea Branch (also now undergoing greater focus on the Sea rather than the War bit).

My advice is pretty much standard - engage with the unit you would wish to join. Get the recruiters there to ask some questions for you, and see what rocks they can turn over. Do you know which RNR unit you are intending to join - commissioned or otherwise?

Feel free to ping me back.


Thanks for the reply @Branch-Hopper! I’ve talked through all my experience and tickets through with AFCO. I even spoke about my experience as ERO during my time on military support ships (not RFA) but they weren’t interested in the slightest. I had a quick induction at my unit last week (Dalriada) but i’ve yet to meet the unit commanding officer. I’m about to head back to sea (merchant) imminently so, i’ll try to push things along when I get back but, i’ve found the recruitment process so far quite restrictive.


I’m a Deck Officer - Our requirement to carry explosives (for training) is part of the ships operation, which falls on the deck department.
In a nutshell engineers in the merch purely deal with the engine room & machinery.

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