Officer Promotion System

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by littleshinydemon, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. Hi I have been looking around the RN website and this forum for oh at least three minutes now, and still can't find a decent explanation of how the promotion system works in the RN.

    Basically what I was wanting to know is, if you join as an officer, and assuming you pass through the training etc. without a hitch, then you enter in as a Lt. I believe.

    How then do you progress to Lt. Commander, and Commodore etc.?

    I work for the police just now, and there are 'promotion boards' which are held a few times a year. Is it similar to this? I mean do you simply put yourself forward, sit lots of exams and interviews and so on, or does promotion occur solely on merit, or a mixture?

    My apologies to those who already know the answers and probably see this as a rather premature question, but since it is going to be my chosen career it would be good to know a little of how the system works!

  2. Right, in a quick and dirty way:

    You are promoted to Lt RN automatically - exactly when is dependent upon your educational status on entering BRNC, and in some cases your specialisation. As a graduate, you will pick up your second stripe 2 years after entering the RN.

    Promotion from that point onwards is selective. Every year after you finish training you are reported on using the Officer's Joint Appraisal Report; this is completed by your 1st reporting officer and 2nd reporting officer. Typically for your first job this will be your Head of Department and Commanding Officer. You will be graded on several areas, with a grade of 'B' being the norm.

    After 5 years as a Lt RN these reports are placed before a board of Cdrs and Captains who are drawn from both your source branch and from another branch (for your initial promotions you only compete against your branch peers). These board members will graded each report individually, with no discussion between members. After this initial grading is complete, all Officers before the board will be placed in an Order of Merit (OoM) to select those who are worth a second look at. At this point the board will confirm those Officers it wishes to promote, or it may alter slightly the OoM. The OoM is then compared against the number that need to be promoted, and the top 25/30/whatever are selected for promotion.

    This system remains broadly applicable as you go up the ranks, but differences start appear, especially when promoting Cdrs to be Capt RN. There are several threads in the Fleet Forum that deal with the promotion system, and these may give you a wider view of how we all feel about the process.

    Hope this helps....

  3. Thanks Al,

    certainly helps thanks, I don't think I need much more in-depth knowledge seeing as I am not even in the service yet.

    Does it generally fall on ability, or is it a fairly politicised process with the likes of 'who you know' helping? Just curious as that certainly seems the way it is in my current job.

    Thanks for the info though, maybe I will scale down from aspirations of Admiral of the fleet, to simply Rear Admiral:)
  4. At the lower levels (i.e. below Lt Cdr) frankly there are too many people and too many possible board members for personal knowledge to have much effect. Your Reporting Officers signature may or may not carry weight for certain board members, but you'll have zero influence over that.

    As you get higher up the scale, your acceptance by senior members of the RN, specifically the First Sea Lord is of vital importance: he signs off on all promotions past Capt RN, and chooses the CO's of the Capital Ships. There have been many, many officers (including several more high profile Admirals) whose careers have come to a sudden halt due to a personal dislike by 1SL.... I wouldn't worry about it just yet mind!
  5. just good to know what sort of you are getting yourself in for from the off....:)

    Thanks for the insight though, doesn't surprise me re:personal slights etc., its funny there isn't anything on the RN website about the whole process though. (Or maybe I am just being blind and can't find it). The whole officer side of things seems to be geared towards reassuring parents/guardians that their child isn't going to be getting a daily beating and shipped off straight onto the front line.
  6. I don't know why not - I was in the Gulf 5 months after joining as a 18 yo Middie. I lived the dream and pusser gave me a medal, what more would you want?!

    Anyway, and without being brutal, as a 25 yo, you're pushing it to get to Capt RN already (and if you do make it as a WAFU I suggest Cdr might be the limit). Sorry to put a brake on your dreams of getting a thick stripe, but better than getting your hopes up...
  7. Just read about a guy on the Eagle. 50/60 ish SD List. Quote " His single sub-Lietenants stripe represented 30 years in the service" :roll: :roll:
  8. "Anyway, and without being brutal, as a 25 yo, you're pushing it to get to Capt"

    You're alright, no dreams were crushed :lol: though not entirely sure how you knew I was 25!? (well near enough anyway).

    I'm not joining to get stuck behind a desk for 20 years of my life, maybe just the latter half of it to be fair, but would much rather be 'involved' and not anything too fancy...
  9. Mentioned it somewhere else perchance?

    *licks window*
  10. About 23 is the upper threshold really to make Captain, assuming average selection to Lt Cdr and Cdr.
  11. And if you're 'average' the likelihood of Capt are becoming increasingly remote.....
  12. So what, that means that because I'll be joining (fingers crossed!) at the age of 25, I won't be able to make captain? Gutted! :cry: :wink:
  13. At 25 I'd say that since you won't be able to make Captain then the brass hat comes at the thanks for coming stage.
  14. On reflection, even the good aren't picking up either half stripes or third stripes particularly quickly, that leads to an increasingly rarefied pool to draw from.

    It would be interesting to correlate the outflow rates with the corresponding peer ranking and profile at various ranks and seniorities, to get an appreciation of who is going and assess potential motivations. It would also be interesting to compare that with the peer ranking of those who have remained and what their profile has looked like.

    The step outside is risky, but the vast majority seem to do pretty well, as long as the BAE Systems Business Development black hole is avoided.
  15. Pretty much. Like I said, it's a brutal truth, but unless you join at 18 (non-grad) or 21 (grad) you quickly limit your chances on reaching the highest rank. There will always be exceptions, especially if your the top of your generation (like the current 2SL), but for us mere mortals time is always slipping away from us.....
  16. Alfred I would like to tap into your knowledge and hope that you can help me.

    I have been pestering my ACLO for a few weeks now to identify my career path as an SUY. As a 35 year old submariner I am intending the AIB in July and hope to follow the Comms Specialist route. I am having trouble identifying the time I will be required to spend at BRNC and on completion additional training that I will be required to take.

    I understand that I will join BRNC as an X(SM) and should discuss my career path with the appointer on completion of the AIB(If I am successful) however I feel it would be prudent to know what will be required of me at the AIB.

    Many thanks in advance.

  17. My word, somebody thinks I'm useful!!

    Anyway, I'm not sure what you quite mean as a 'comms specialist' as a SM. I know that the EW side of life for skimmers means you don't get your ticket, but go onto do deep specialist jobs, primarily within the N2 world.

    As an X(SM) you'll go through the route of SFT(X), IWO and then onto your first complement appointment, which I would presume to be on a SM for you. I'll be honest, I've never met a (X)SM SUY so I wouldn't like to give specifics, but in the skimmer world it is not unusual for SUYs to go from their first complement appointment to PWO course: I don't know if you would go straight to AWC....

    Unfortunately, your appointer would be the best person to confirm this. I've had reason to speak to him (on completely different business!) and he seems nice enough, so give him a call!!!
  18. Clearly I don't know all of the details of your case, but I do know a lot of general about the comms branch. I would have thought that as you say that you are hoping to follow the comms specialist route that you would be going as an SUY(C) who happens to be an SM?? (I think you need to get this straight ASAP because, as ATG alludes to above) I suspect that there will be a big difference between becoming a specialist 'C' and a more general X(SM). I cannot think of a single SUY(C) 'specialist' job at sea in the surface world unless the person in particular gives up the deep specialist bit and opts to go for PWO, when naturally all of the doors that that qualification opens up will open up, so I doubt there would be much difference in the SM service. If this is the case you will do your Dartmouth bit and then go out into the comms world and do any number of the Lt's jobs out there for Lt SUY(C)s. Your SM experience is likely to become just that, experience, which will probably influence your choice of assignments but won't be the be all and end all. (I could of course be totally wrong).

    Questions: Do you want to be a Communicator or a Submarine Warfare Officer - get that straight in your mind and then I think Alfred's bottom line is the best advice - get hold of the CM.

    PS - I have seen more than a few of Alfred's posts and I would also value them highly.
  19. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I am a little confused, if you are a serving 35 year old submariner (highly likely to be a Senior Rate) what are you doing talking to an ACLO about career paths?

    Equally if you are serving why haven't you asked/made contact with the WO1(CSM) who is about to attend BRNC in two weeks time. You are in such a small pool of people you must know him or know of him?

    As an SUY (CSM) you will find your career pretty much mapped out from day one. There is a small pool of specialist appointments for communicators with SM experience mainly in NATO, Fleet HQ and Northwood/COMOPS.

    I can tell you from the latest experience of said WO1(CSM) you will be drilled very differently to Joe Bloggs at the AIB, not for you the "how many T23s and what do they do" line, the board expect you to have a view on how the Navy operates, what its wider roles are and how you feel you can contribute.
  20. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    I think he is great as well.

    SUY are now doing a 7 week course at BRNC - geared towards policy updates, revision of Staff Work and general introduction to officer life. Plenty of visits to get the latest news from various HQ's.

    Within Warfare only CIS/EW can now deep specialise, all others having to go down the IWO then PWO route. The BR is useful and worth a read.

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