Need advice please

#1
My son went to Raleigh on Sunday with no problems.... looking forward to it, very excited, he had worked so hard on his fitness all the way through... sailed through rosyth but he is texting me this evening saying he hates it and wants to come home.... not like he thought it would be! He said a few have already had a personal voluntary release!
I'm not sure what to say to him???? I know if he leaves he will regret it, it's taken 2 years for him to get here?? He's 17 and the navy is all he's ever wanted to do!
 
#2
Say exactly that. If he leaves he will regret it.

HMS Raleigh is a strange place. There aren't many places these days that throw 30+ people of all ages and genders together and expect them to bond immediately. The INT team at raleigh do a fantastic job of making them bond. Tell him he has worked really hard to get to where he is and to stick it out. Don't concentrate on quitting, concentrate on getting the job done, getting to the end and standing on the parade ground with his family and friends being immensly proud of him.

I joined the RN when I was 18 and I remembered being absolutely terrified. If he has genuine concerns then there is his Divisional Officer or Instructor who he can have a "closed door" chat with to hopefully alleviate some of his worries. Failing that, there is always the chaplain as a point of contact to release a bit of his anxiety.
 
#4
My son went to Raleigh on Sunday with no problems.... looking forward to it, very excited, he had worked so hard on his fitness all the way through... sailed through rosyth but he is texting me this evening saying he hates it and wants to come home.... not like he thought it would be! He said a few have already had a personal voluntary release!
I'm not sure what to say to him???? I know if he leaves he will regret it, it's taken 2 years for him to get here?? He's 17 and the navy is all he's ever wanted to do!
I really sympathise. I have experienced something similar and it is so difficult as a parent. But he will regret not giving it a bit longer. Try to get him to take it one day at a time. Get through the next day, then to the weekend. He can leave without too much difficulty for the first 6 months. Better to keep getting paid and really to be sure of what he is going to be doing. Also talk to his div officer? They are used to homesick young people. Every day is different and he will adjust and make friends. Are you far away? Coming back for a weekend can make it seem you are not so cut off. Fingers crossed for you.
 
#5
Many thanks for your kind replies, I have said to talk to the officers as they must experience these feelings frequently, I've also said to talk to the other lads in his group but he says he's the youngest in his group which he is also finding hard, I'm hoping it's the first week wobbles mixed with tiredness and he will settle down as it seems a real shame to throw it all away after a very long 2 year wait with many ups and downs along the way
 
#6
My son went to Raleigh on Sunday with no problems.... looking forward to it, very excited, he had worked so hard on his fitness all the way through... sailed through rosyth but he is texting me this evening saying he hates it and wants to come home.... not like he thought it would be! He said a few have already had a personal voluntary release!
I'm not sure what to say to him???? I know if he leaves he will regret it, it's taken 2 years for him to get here?? He's 17 and the navy is all he's ever wanted to do!
Nobody gets the opportunity for "Premature Voluntary Release" until they have served for 28 days. Some may have been discharged on medical grounds in the first week (quite common) but they didn't leave of their own choice. It does get better depending on how he much he wants it and has the ability to apply himself. The "shock of capture" is very common in the early stages.
 

BigD1980

Lantern Swinger
#8
Many thanks for your kind replies, I have said to talk to the officers as they must experience these feelings frequently, I've also said to talk to the other lads in his group but he says he's the youngest in his group which he is also finding hard, I'm hoping it's the first week wobbles mixed with tiredness and he will settle down as it seems a real shame to throw it all away after a very long 2 year wait with many ups and downs along the way
I Joined at 17 a few years back now mind and i absolutley hated Raleigh for the first few weeks. It is a culture shock to most not just young 17 year olds. Having to run about like a idiot taking orders being shouted at its not nice but you just get used to it you really do. Most of the real Navy is nothing like Raleigh just keep encouraging him as much as you can as others have said he will very much regret leaving at this point.
 

Branch-Hopper

Lantern Swinger
#9
More of the same from me, I am afraid....
@Lynds - Your concerns have been expressed on this forum on countless occasions in the past. The VITAL thing to re-iterate is that Raleigh is not the RN. Phase One training (in any uniform) is designed to sort the men from the boys, in old parlance. Have a look at the threads from recent joiners, they all list how much they struggled in weeks one and two, followed by how much they enjoyed the nautical and military stuff that follows in the subsequent weeks.

I really hope that Lynds Minor sees through his initial doubts, after all he has only been there four days. As I type this he has almost completed a week - that's 10% of basic training already over, As has been said, get him to focus on passing out, not passing over.

@Ninja_Stoker will shortly be on here telling you the statistics of re-joiners who have worked out that quitting was a huge mistake and have promptly gone back to the AFCO with a " Chief, I made a stupid decision, can I re-apply, please"

Fingers crossed for you - the fleet he is headed for is amongst the most exciting in thirty years IMHO.
BH
 
#10
As has been said, he’s not the only one to hate it at first. It’s a massive culture shock to most and it takes a couple of weeks to adjust.

I went through Raleigh 26 years ago and it was the same then. My son passed out 3 weeks ago and he felt the same. He hated the first 3 weeks and talked about PVR’ing, but after a chat with the Padre (and his Mother & I) decided to stick with it. When he came home on leave after week 7 he was bored after about two days and couldn’t wait to go back. When he passed out he was a different lad, couldn’t wait to meet up with his mates again and crack on with his phase 2 training.

Remind him that sticking it out doesn’t actually commit him for life. It does get better. Once the ‘shock of capture’ has passed and his Division start to bond together as a team he will start to enjoy it.

I have been serving back at Raleigh for the last couple of years and one of my duties has been to act as an inspecting Officer for the non-passing out classes on Divisions, and once they get to week 4 & 5 they pretty much universally tell me how much they’re enjoying it.

Remind him that Raleigh isn’t the Royal Navy either. It’s Basic Training, a means to an end. If life in the Fleet was like Raleigh I wouldn’t still be in the job after 26 years.

When you’re 17 then 10 weeks seems like a lifetime, but it’s not. It will soon fly by and be a distant memory. Almost all those that leave in the first few weeks regret their decision and are soon back at the AFCO.

Get him to talk to the Padre and his Divisional staff. They see this week in, week out and will be able to help put things in perspective for him.

And tell him to trust an old sailor - it gets better.
 
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Traminator

Lantern Swinger
#12
Email him copies of all these responses so he can read them and reflect, rather than just hearing it from his mum.

As above, he will definitely regret leaving if he does.
 
#13
Get him to look at Rum Ration and have a look through the threads, I'd be surprised if there isn't someone in his entry who hasn't either posted or looked.
 
#14
Tell him you've rented his room out and any food in the kitchen is pay as you dine if he comes home.

I joined at just 17, OK it was tough but you just have to get on with it, the alternative was a recession hit town in N Wales!!! no thank you.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#15
I wanted to bail out during my New Entry and Part 1. I'm glad I didn't because although I had a love / hate relationship with the Navy in my early days, with guidance and exposure to good times, I landed on 'love'. However, even the bad times had and continue to have merit.

It would have been the second biggest mistake of my life if I'd bailed out early - had I been allowed to.
 

Zeb

Lantern Swinger
#16
Tell him these 10 weeks are nothing like phase 2 according to my son. He went out and bought a massive tv and an Xbox to put in his room that he shared with 6 I think it was then. Also they get to come home most weekends if not on duty. I was pleased my son never wanted to leave and I gave a sigh of relief when the dates passed. I do think he’ll leave after his 4 years are up but we’ll see. Good luck
 
#17
Having been through raleigh in the summer, I can see where he’s coming from because the first two weeks are crap for younger people it’s brief after brief and you’re new so you have to be escorted everywhere which means you get 5minutes at a push to eat which ever meal you’re having, for some theres the adjustment of getting up at 5:45 6days a week and 7 on the other, getting used to hand washing clothes, a4 folding every night and only ever wearing uniform apart from when you’re sleeping.
I throughly enjoyed the whole experience but then I’m 28 with a lot of experience of being outside so kinda treated it like a summer camp, you could see some of the younger lads getting stressed with it but as everyone says Raleigh is NOT the navy it’s just 10weeks to get you up to speed enough to start phase 2 which is a lot more self managed but it’s still a bit bone compared to being in the fleet.
 

ratsroden

Lantern Swinger
#18
Say exactly that. If he leaves he will regret it.

HMS Raleigh is a strange place. There aren't many places these days that throw 30+ people of all ages and genders together and expect them to bond immediately. The INT team at raleigh do a fantastic job of making them bond. Tell him he has worked really hard to get to where he is and to stick it out. Don't concentrate on quitting, concentrate on getting the job done, getting to the end and standing on the parade ground with his family and friends being immensly proud of him.

I joined the RN when I was 18 and I remembered being absolutely terrified. If he has genuine concerns then there is his Divisional Officer or Instructor who he can have a "closed door" chat with to hopefully alleviate some of his worries. Failing that, there is always the chaplain as a point of contact to release a bit of his anxiety.
It was a strange place in the 40's.

HMS Raleigh was commissioned on 9 January 1940 as a training establishment for Ordinary Seamen following the Military Training Act which required that all males aged 20 and 21 years old were called up for six months full-time military training, and then transferred to the reserve.


During the Second World War, 44 sailors and 21 Royal Engineers were killed when a German bomb hit the air-raid shelter they were in at Raleigh on 28 April 1941. In 1944, the United States Navy took over the base to use as an embarkation center prior to the Invasion of Normandy. Raleigh was transferred back to the Royal Navy in July 1944 to continue training seamen. Ealy in 1950 the base became the new entry and engineering training establishment for stoker mechanics. The cruiser Newfoundland being used for "onboard training, boiler room, auxiliary machinery, ships boats etc". The base was modernised through the 1970s, and in the early 1980s, Raleigh took on the Part I training for the Women's Royal Naval Service, and Artificer Apprentices as well as adding the Royal Naval Supply School. These had previously taken place at HMS Dauntless, HMS Fisgard and HMS Pembroke respectively. In 1990, the training of male and female recruits was merged, and over the following ten years the base absorbed the Cookery School (from the Army Catering Corps headquarters) and the Submarine School from HMS Dolphin
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#19
The reason recruits are kept busy is simply to minimise the effects of home-sickness.

Those at home can be the make or break of a career and, difficult though it is, the advice is "tough love". Tell him he's only been there a few days and you've spent longer on one wave crossing the channel on a ferry. Oh, and say you've rented-out his room.

On average, those bailing out in the first four weeks bitterly regret it, but no matter what they think they heard, they can be assured re-entry is not an automatic right, approval to re-enter can add several months to the joining process, there's no opt-out option upon re-entry - meaning minimum service would be about 4.5 years if he rejoins. Most re-entrants must wait a year or two until permitted to re-enter.

Don't give up, don't let him emotionally blackmail you & do not suggest for a nano-second that it's OK, he can return home.

Best o'luck.
 
#20
So many thanks for you kind replies of which I've actually relaid to my son.... I've spoken to him tonight and he does appear to be more upbeat than previous phone calls!
From what he has said in previous calls the moral is quite low! He said 4 have already gone and quite a few have made it very clear they are off after 4 weeks and have no interest being there!
I've told him time and again how proud I am of him and so confident he can do this, how he's waited 2 long years to be where he is! Just keep my fingers crossed he remains upbeat
 

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