Niece applying for Navy Officer - edited for privacy

Hi all,

My niece has applied to join the Navy as an Engineering Officer.

She has passed her physical and is waiting for a date for the next stage (AIB I think)

I have been trying to impress on her how she needs to bone up on Navy/Marine deployments,equipments,capabilities etc.

But she seems to think that the Careers Office is providing her a 'booklet' that will tell her all she needs to know about the Navy.

She has done nothing as far as I can see to show any leadership qualities and when I mentioned that she may wish to go on some kind of Adventure Training or look into how she can improve her chances for selection she said (and here I quote) "I don't need to do any of that as the guy at the Careers Office said they are crying out for Engineering Officers"

I am not one to put a young person off of going for it but I really cannot believe she stands a chance of selection.

Or is the Careers Officer right - they need Eng Officers so she may be able to blag it.

BTW She has a degree in Mechanical Eng.

I have told her to come on here and look through the various threads but I think she really believes what she is being told by the Careers Office.

To be frank I am really surprised she has even been considered.

Anyone got any opinions ?


War Hero
Re: Niece applying for Navy Officer

Hi Lucky Jim!

Welcome to Rum Ration!

Has she had her Sift Interview with the Area Careers Liaison Officer (ACLO) yet?
I will check with her but I don't think so. So far it has all been mediacl stuff.

What is the Sift interview ? I guess that is where they sift out the undesirables :)

Strange thing is they seem to have spent a lot of time with her on the medical thing. There was an issue with her eyesight and they sent her for all sorts of tests for the day.

Surprised they spent that much time on her if they havnt already sifted her.

She has gone on holiday so cant speak to her at moment but she didnt mention any sort of interview.

It's this whole 'Dont worry we are short of Eng Officers so you dont need to be a military expert' thing that has me worried. I hoenstly believe she thinks that is true.


War Hero
The Sift Interview with an ACLO is the gateway to the AIB. Pass it and your papers are forwarded to the AIB at HMS Sultan who then offer you an AIB date.

Preparing for the Sift means genning up on the Royal Navy in all its guises, its ships, aircraft, submarines, personnel, operations, roles eg anti-narcotics, anti-piracy, fisheries, humanitarian etc etc. She will need to know her training pipeline and be able to give examples of when she has demonstrated leadership ability and the capacity to use her initiative.

I have a feeling she may be in for a shock!

Part of what she is saying is true - there is a need for Engineering Officers - but this does not mean in any way that the application process is made any easier for potential EOs.


War Hero
I'd agree that your concerns voiced thus far appear well founded.

There is no book provided by the AFCO that holds all the answers. There are several publications that may help, but the simple fact is that those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

The condensed AIB thread in the Newbies FAQ sticky section will hopefully deliver the wake-up call before it's too late.
Thanks all - I prepped for Aircrew selection many moons ago and I had the good fortune of being a cabbage.

I do recall that a few chaps at Biggin who seemed to think that all they had to do was be a fast runner would get them through. They too got a shock.

I am going to sit her down and explain the facts of life when she gets back from holiday.

I mean I asked her one question - roles of SSN as opposed to SSBN and she looked at me as if I was talking Martian.


Lantern Swinger
I have secured a role as a weapons engineering officer at BRNC. I am most likely older then your niece and have a physics degree instead of an engineering degree.
I can assure you that the SIFT and AIB were not a piece of cake and the standards are not dropped if there is a need for a particular branch. I put in quite a lot of work into learning about the Royal Navy through this website and copious google searches. There was no booklet I was given.

My AIB didn't have any real questions about engineering (except for my career pipeline and hopeful progression), it was all leadership examples/putting it into practise and how I got on with my team to solve problems. All of which echos the above, an officer/leader first, specialisation second.

I wish your niece luck, but I think during her SIFT she is going to get a bit of a surprise.
Get her working at it right now and keep her motivated. Sounds like a lack of motivation and a naive mind. Some positivity from you might also help her out a bit. The linkys provided by the resident guru's will definately help


I hope for the sake of the RN and the country that there aren't too many people that are selected who couldn't give the balls of a brass monkey about the organisation in which they serve.