Hi My husband is on the Navy and I am really thinking of joining. I have always had a passion for the armed forces but been to unfit (still am)

I am going to be training as a ODP in September, It takes 2 years and would give me more then enough time to lose a few stone and work on my fitness and judge how life would be with us both in the service.

anyway to the point. I see from the sites you can join the army and RAF as a quilifed ODP (or student), although in the Navy it seems people go in as a MA and train much later as a ODP (at one of the colleges I applied the guy was a ODP in the Navy although I am not going there now so cant ask) I was wondering if it was possible to join as a quailified ODP?

Also does anyone know if there are ODPs based in Faslane? as my husband is on a V boat?

Oh he also just passed him SMQ exam, oral board and walk through :) He goes out to sea in 4 weeks so proud of him.

Thank You


War Hero
You would be advised to join as an MA & go for ODA/ODP after joining as you'll be getting paid a wage whilst you train as opposed to incurring a debt for two years. (ie: £200+ per week income rather than student loans & EMA (£30 per week max, if you qualify).

You need to be aware that even if you join with the ODP qualification, you may not be drafted in that role & either way you will still be liable for sea service as an MA first & foremost.

To serve as an ODP in Faslane would be unusual, unfortunately as you would normarily be based in a hospital.

Waiting time from passing the recruiting test for MA is currently around 10 months- ample time to get yourself fit.

Good luck, whichever you choose.
Thanks for your help, I am currently doing Scottish Highers in human biology, chemistry, english and extra microbiology modules to improve my skills as I did my A Levels 7 years ago (I am 24 now) and they are not in science subjetcs and it would update my knowledge and impove my skills. So will complete them as it shows commitment and drive anyway.

I have experience as a student nurse (I did that for 1 year but had to leave as my appendix bust and restart the year which I couldnt afford to do + then hubbie joined the RN so I moved back to my parents as there was no point staying in London on my own) I had experience in theatres and was going to start the ODP diploma last year as I enjoyed my time in theatres but decided against it as I knew we would be moving to Helensburgh before I could finish the 1st year.

I think I will work on my fitness while doing the highers and make a choice around easter time. I have a hard choice as I really want to join the RN but we have a daughter and would really need to be in the same place as my husband, I wonder how it would work. But as my husband says I shouldnt just pick a job so I have a good chance of being in Faslane which is right, but he also says after 5 years or so he could transfere to ships.

Do you get MAs on mine sweepers? as I cant see myself getting posted to Faslane otherwise as I cant go on a boat which is a shame. I may do the ODP diploma and join as a MA as it has to help my chances of getting to ODP surely?

If I was young free and single if would be an easy choice but I have to consider my family. But I really want to join up. We have a very stong marriage and if we didnt have a daughter being in different ports wouldnt be a problem. But with her it wouldnt be fair as she is so young.

I think I will decide around Easter as we should have a better idea of his day to day life and would be fit enough to walk into the AFCO and be confident in passing the PJFT

I have to be careful as I know the needs of the service come first and foremost and if I am needed in Portsmouth then I will go there regardless of where my husband is, but it would better to enhance the chances of us being drafted to the same place. (IE me being in Faslane)

I think I will leave it until Easter and get fit and equire at the AFCO

If anyone has a partner in the RN and they are in the RN it would be great to hear any advice of how your life works.

You don't get MA's on any of the really small ships like minesweepers. The coxswain and s & s branch were the main first aiders on board. Well this was the case when I was in up until 2003 I can't see it changing too soon.


Lantern Swinger
Hmmm... MA's don't serve on Minesweepers as far as I know. There is one on HMS Clyde though, but that's based down here. MA's spend loads of time ashore compared to a lot of branches though (although they do get pinged for Afghanistan more then most) so there'd be plenty of oppotuninty to work in Faslane sickbay after training. As far as seatime goes the best hope would be to get one of the carriers that's in refit, based in Rosyth. I'm sure there's someone on here that can give a better breakdown of MCM III squadron.


War Hero
Hello again Sharon,

You could be drafted to Faslane as an MA in a shore billet, however the minor war vessels don't usually carry MA's.

If parents are both serving, every effort is made to try & alternate sea/shore jobs, but I'm afraid, as you say, the needs of the Service come first & childcare, should you both be drafted to sea, is the responsibility of the parents, not the Service.

Your best bet would be for hubby to get drafted off V Boats to a Devonport based boat. That way you are more likely to both get the sea/shore billets as an MA & subsequently as an ODP. If you join with the ODP qualification, you will only be drafted into an ODP billet if there is one available at that time.
Thanks everyone I think I will review the idea in spring, or perhaps go for it when my husband has done his time on V boats (if he wants to leave them)

I can see advartages of doing the ODP dipoma first, even if I have to start as a MA.

We shall see I will keep you posted!

OH is out to sea for his first patrol next month so when he comes back we shall know more.

Thanks, just gonna stick with my course at the moment to improve my skills, knowledge and education.
An idea for the future might be for your other half to get himself onto Traf class boats in Devonport, as MA(ODP)s work at MDHU Derriford in Plymouth.

There is absolutely zero chance of working as an ODP in Scotland within the RN - it's Guzz (Derriford), Pompey (Queen Alexanders) or a CPOs job at the school in Birmingham (apart from deploying on carriers & field hospitals of course).

You could take a general service billet (as many do/have to at some point) but what's the point of undertaking the long theatre training just to go back to gens?
"An idea for the future might be for your other half to get himself onto Traf class boats in Devonport, as MA(ODP)s work at MDHU Derriford in Plymouth."
Or else get himself onto the next refitting bomber - that will be in Guzz for ages (from late 08). :thumright:
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