Niece applying for Navy Officer - edited for privacy


Book Reviewer
Scouse_Castaway said:
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

Being harsh here, maybe it would be best to allow her to attend the sift interview with her current mindset and receive the wake-up call that she obviously needs. Once someone outside her immediate family has delivered the news that out in the real world employers are not falling over themselves to offer her a job, then maybe she'll take this on board and change her attitude. If she doesn't, then I'd question whether she's right for the RN, but of course there's always the huge range of highly paid and rewarding engineering opportunities offered in the UK.... or not, as the case may be!

EurIng FlagWagger CEng MIET MSaRS
I will be positive but I have always thought that anyone wishing to be an Officer in the Armed Forces should not need to be motivated.

Thanks everyone for the posts.


War Hero
It's probably worth pointing out that Officer candidates are usually briefed by qualified careers advisers if they make an initial enquiry as an officer,which clarifies the selection process from the outset.

The "front desk" or "reception" at an AFCO is usually manned by "loan ratings" who are due harmony time with their families, occasionally on compassionate grounds or sometimes because they are medically downgraded through operational injury (sadly not uncommon for young Royal Marines).

The young guys and girls manning the AFCO reception only undergo very basic, locally trained, recruiting procedures due to the fact they may only be there for a few short weeks. The reason we employ them in this role is because they have first hand, recent experience of the service, often speak the "local lingo" & are of a similar age group to those wishing to join the service (unlike, in most cases, the full time Careers Advisers & ACLOs).

In the ideal world any query regarding eligibility, such as qualifications, age, residency, nationality, criminality, financial status, Officer queries, etc., should be confirmed with a Careers Adviser however if the AFCO is visibly busy, you can bet the back office is even busier fielding telephone queries simultaneously & bespoke careers advice is not always instantly available on tap.

My guess in this instance is the individual made a "walk-in" enquiry, was given a cursory eligibility check by the front desk staff, given the option to undergo a presentation (where everything is fully explained) but opted to submit an application to sit the recruiting test. The guys on reception will have correctly identified that Engineering Officer is a shortage trade, however "crying out" for engineers does not accurately describe the need nor the standards required.

At this point the process automatically shifts into gear, invites them to attend a recruiting test, assuming they pass a plethora of paperwork is issued, after which they undergo a routine eye test and a medical examination. After being passed medically fit, they must complete a pre-joining fitness test (2.4Km treadmill run) before being called forward for interview. The reason the selection process is conducted in this order is that statistically it makes financial sense to medically examine & assess the fitness of someone before interview as more people fail these elements than initial interview.

As FlagWagger correctly states above, it's probably best to let her find out herself at Sift interview rather than, with the best intentions, try to deliver the 'wake-up' call as it can often cause rifts if not delivered in a sensitive manner. We find that no matter what families & teachers correctly tell those under their auspices, it's not until they find out for themselves that a radical "re-think" occurs. The difficult bit is not saying "told you" after the event - it's far better to be supportive than critical.

Whilst it's not good to be knocked-back initially at interview for insufficient knowledge/research, it is something that can be retrospectively addressed & made good without necessarily jeopardising the job.
Excellent advice above - many thanks.

I will give her a heads up but will not push to hard as I think she really needs to find out for herself.

If she is still keen, assuming she does not get through, I will offer as much advice and support as is possible.

Just reading what the training involves makes me wish i had gone the Navy route sometimes. Only sometimes though :)


War Hero

It might be worthwhile picking up a copy of Navy News for her in W H Smith's. You could say you just happened to see it and thought it looked interesting etc ...........

If she has got what it takes, she'll browse through it and realise that she needs to work on building up her knowledge of the RN.