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Parents of newbies!


Hi there, I've had a good look through many of the posts on this forum, and I'm very impressed with the information provided, and just as importantly with the way it's given.

I'm in the situation where my son is trying to join the Navy, he's just under 18, and will be taking his fitness test on Saturday. I expect he'll pass that fairly easily, as he's a racing snake - which caused a delay in his process as we had to get him to gain 5 kg to improve his BMI!

I thought I'd just stick my head above the parapet, and ask other people (parents) in a similar situation - i.e. son joining up, or even better - successfully joined, and see if there is anything I should know as a parent etc. You know, the sort of stuff you wish someone had told you.

As it stands I'm just making it up as I go along, brought him books on the Navy, and a video on it's history. Paid a fortune to fatten him up, and reactivated muscles I retired long since at the gym with him. I just want to make sure that I give him every opportunity, and that I have a good understanding of the whole process myself, especially as it sounds that the recruiting part is the shortest bit, with enormous delays to him actually starting training?

Regards to all on this great website.


War Hero
Sounds like you're on the right track. When he eventually joins, be prepared for him to bring strange mates back to your house for weekenders, these friends will usually be from the rougher estates in Liverpool. If you have a daughter, the mate will probably try to give her one even if she is only 15. Your son and him will spend the weekend getting smashed, breaking things in your house and eating the entire contents of your fridge. Don't worry though, you will have the opportunity to get your own back during families day, when you can regale your son's mess mates about how he used to wet the bed until he was 12.

Seriously though best of luck. ;)


War Hero
Welcome to Rum Ration

Parents are always welcome to attend the AFCO with their offspring and are encouraged to ask as many questions as they like. This can be a bit embarrasing for the individual but you will get the answer first hand and not a watered down version that your son might chose to give you. I t will show that you are supportive of his application and may just boost his enthusiasm if he becomes a bit disenchanted with the long waiting time. You can always remind him of the postives that you heard whilst talking to the AFCO staff. Attend the gym with him, you don't have to compete with him, just give him any support that he might need. Encourage him to be a fit as he can when he joins as a poor level of fitness has an overall affect on an individuals ability to cope with everything that is expected during phase 1. If he is keen to join then he will keep up the entusiasm. However, the real support that he will need may just come after he has joined up, particularly during the early stages when some don't adapt to the naval environment as it is not always what they had expected.

I hope this helps.


War Hero
Make him do his own washing and ironing. Make sure he studies for the RT test and researches the navy in general aswell as the trade he is applying for. You also need to research the navy in general and his trade so you can both talk about it and know what will happen in the early stages of his career. When he is in write him letters and don't let him quit when the going gets tough.


Thanks for the replies.
As an ex squaddie (boo hiss) I am well up to speed with the idea of what weekends will bring etc, and will be delighted to teach him ironing and washing. It's a great point about the fitness, as I found that the fitter I was, the more of my brain I could devote to thinking things other than where the next breath is coming from.
To be honest the process so far is making me slightly jealous.

One specific question (fingers crossed I am not jumping the gun):
The notice about the fitness test gives me the impression that he will be allocated a joining date once passed. Is this an administrative thing designed to make sure that people are on the waiting list as soon as possible, or just the way in its which its worded? "As you are aware the next stage of the selection process to join the Royal Navy is the Pre Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which you must pass before you can be allocated a joining date"

To be honest, I'll probably be the proudest parent on earth if he gets in, but I am dreading a long wait, as I'd be very concerned about cutbacks etc meaning that the offer could be withdrawn, I think he'd be crushed.


War Hero
The AFCO can start bidding for a place for him once passed PJFT although the wait date is from when he passes his RT (Navy equivalent of barb test).


War Hero
dave8999 said:
... To be honest, I'll probably be the proudest parent on earth if he gets in, but I am dreading a long wait, as I'd be very concerned about cutbacks etc meaning that the offer could be withdrawn, I think he'd be crushed.

You may have seen the 'Approximate waiting times per branch' thread, which is a sticky on the Newbies forum, but as you are a Pongo, I'll make it easier for you. This link will take you to a post where the May waiting times were given, along with, in the following post, an explanation of some of the less easily understood abbreviations. Note that these waiting time lists are updated monthly, so June's should be being posted any time now.

On the point you make about cutbacks, I think that until the SDR, no changes to recruitment will be made on that basis.


It's a long time since I was a pongo, but I always remember great hospitality with HMS Nelson on the Glorious 1st June, and being about as drunk as I have ever been on HMS Scylla docked in Gib. Happy days.
Thanks for the link, very helpful. I won't tell anyone you helped a pongo.
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