Officers in RNR


Can I check - is the RNR different to the TA and the RAuxAF in that it doesn't really do direct entry recruits for Officer posts?

Not all of us are 'young 20-something kids...barely out of nappies'. Some of us have experience, qualifications and skills that would be useful. I do appreciate that the thought of 17/18 yr olds being able to become officers is quite strange; but I was referring to the RNR and the fact that it would seem that, unlike the other reserve services, they do not allow the same entry process to become an officer as they do for their regulars.


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
There are an awful lot of Officer wannabees join the RNR.

A lot are unsuitable (IMHO) as they want to be an officer for the wrong reasons, they want the kudos that they think comes with the uniform, they are trying to make up for status anxiety or they just like the idea of their own self importance.

If you want to be an officer in the RNR then you will be given plenty of opportunity to declare your ambitions as you go throught new entry training and more importantly plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that you have the personal raw materials.

You will have a much better idea if you really want to be an officer once you are in, but I would always advise to think hard about why you have this ambtion to make sure that it is for the right reasons.
Thanks for the information and the advice. I am not looking at it from the perspective of any form of kudos. I am already a Pilot Officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserves but it doesn't give me as much challenge as I would like and have always been interested in a role within the RN or RNR.

I just believe that my skills and abilities are potentially suited to being an officer and was just wondering what the opportunities were; please don't take my original post as some delusion of grandeur as it wasn't meant like that.

I did go along to the open evening at HMS President towards the end of last year and it was very interesting but the chance to speak to people already in was a little limited as the number of people who visited was quite high.

Therefore, running the risk of being given links to elsewhere, could anyone give me an idea of what it is really like to be a recruit in the RNR?

I am the Head of Operations of a training company and my experiences have been in training, logistics and Personnel/Admin - what sort of opportunities would be suitable, or would it be good (and possible) to look at a different specialism - if so, what would people recommend?

There used to be a PONE (Potential officer new entry) course which was 3 weeks, split between HMS Raleigh (as a NE rating) and Dartmouth for officer training.

At Raleigh they assess your suitability for promotion to officer and indeed any higher rate. You can then have a breather and join a CW class to prepare you for the AIB and so on. At this point you'll have a much broader knowledge than a direct entry candidate, no matter what your background; you'll know much of the procedures required from day to day in an establishment, have experience of what is required of you physically and mentally, not to mention being fully acquainted with the RN's leadership principles. Personally I think that is a much better basis for officer selection. But that's just my 2 cents.

If you hold a commission in the RAF Auxiliary there might be a difference - talk to the NE Training Officer in your nearest RNR. And good luck!
SeanP82 said:
Thanks for this information. Can anyone confirm whether this PONE process still occurs?
It stopped in 2006, then direct entry was introduced, which itself has been suspended - so whatever the current system is, it is quite a new arrangement. Ask at your local unit for what the latest is.
I am not looking at it from the perspective of any form of kudos. I am already a Pilot Officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserves but it doesn't give me as much challenge as I would like and have always been interested in a role within the RN or RNR.
Are you commissioned in the sense that you are an adult member of the RAFVR(T) ie ATC or are you a member of the RAuxAF in a Squadron with a call out liability etc?

The two things are quite different (OASC for example and the ROIT for Auggies is completely different to what the RAFVR(T) officers do). From my understanding it would be possible to go to the RNR from the RAuxAF (and indeed the TA) whilst hanging on to your Commission. However it does depend what branch you're coming from, where you're going to, experience, vacancies etc etc. To give you an example myself and my OC enquired about transferring to the RNR; no problem for me as I'm not commissioned but no space for the boss!

I agree with the posts on here; I think it would be more beneficial to enter on the non-commissioned route (if you aren't already commissioned). You can then get a feel for military life and see if its for you. This will also give you the opportunity to impress your superiors and demonstrate your potential. I think it would be a much nicer experience all round if someone suggested to you that you were officer material and suggested commissioning. It makes all the difference in the world to have the backing of your management chain.

I know a lot of people who joined the reserves this way with a view to commissioning at a later date (myself included). 10 years later I'm still an NCO and would rather stick cocktail sticks in my eyes than commission! I find the opportunities for promotion, deployment and courses are far greater as an NCO and the work is certainly more interesting and rewarding as it's more 'hands on'.

One other thing, and I'm sure a lot of people will agree with me here; there are a lot of highly qualified people in the reserves who don't commission. Some of them don't want to, some of them just aren't capable...........
FlagWagger said:
rebusraver said: can then get a feel for military life ...
Surely this is unnecessary given the OP's background...

SeanP82 said:
I am already a Pilot Officer in the RAF ...
Belay that, military life experience definitely required :p

As a Crab myself I can see your point! One of our guys is happy to describe himself as a 'civvie in uniform' and he states ' I only come here for the food'.

Incidentally, the RAuxAF do have a direct officer entry route for certain squadrons and branches. It's not widely publicised and doesn't happen often.


Lantern Swinger
How does commissioning in the RNR work? What happens when you want to go regular?

The reason I ask is because I'm currently saving up for British citizenship before going 'back to school' to get a couple of A-levels via correspondence study for BRNC.

Is it possible to be recommended for a commission whilst in the RNR and go to BRNC without A-levels? I'm not trying to find a back door as such, but it has just occurred to me that time spent doing A-levels from home might be better spent as an RNR rating, if progression to a regular commission within a similar time frame is possible and realistic.
British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens may join the RNR although some career paths are only open to British citizens.

RNR Joining Info

Although I can't provide a reference I think you need 180 or more UCAS points to apply as an officer, same as full time.

However you're correct in thinking you can be recommended for promotion (and officer selection) whilst an RNR rating. Your report from attending the basic training at Raleigh will spell this out; you'll have an interview with a course senior rate during the two weeks where you can tell them your ambitions for officer and they'll assess your performance with regard to that ambition.

Good luck.

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