PO Signal

type42stoker said:
There's signal now? What happened to the B13 (if I remember rightly), that used to get issued to say you were now a PO?
By selection only from about six years ago. No more by time, in principle.

It was staged in over about four or five years.
Signal for killicks??? Wow things have changed but, has it changed for the better? Maybe someone out there can tell us if it is any better in practise than theory.
As I understand it; best candidates by virtue of their RORRS are selected, as req to be advanced. in theory it should work ...............but....................


Lantern Swinger
See some of the most deserving guys have been left off the signal for Killick AGAIN!!!

It appears that promotion to Leading Hand is not 100% by those most deserving as I personally know two guys who should have been at the top of the list who weren't on it at all.

SHAME ON YOU whoever makes these decisions! You've turned what should be an honour into a farce.

As someone who has been there and done most things I've been lucky enough to rub shoulders with some of the best the RNR has to offer, so why isn't it that those people are the ones on the signal based on a) Being qualified in all respects professionally, B) Having sound and outstanding operational experience and C) Being the most switched on cookies and bloody well deserving of promotion in all other aspects? Surely their units have been doing them justice in their promotion reports?

If promotion is a lottery (as it seems) then let's stop having a board at all and just promote by drawing names from a hat.

It's been shown for years that only certain units have their people promoted to senior rate due to nepotism rather than professional considerations. If we are to be taken seriously as an organisation by the regular service then we have to be able to take ourselves seriously too and not treat the honour of promotion as being almost solely reliant on being part of a clique. This does no-one any good.

In case anyone wonders if I'm a bitter and twisted old git who hasn't been promoted, for the record that's not the case, however it makes my blood boil seeing top people passed over year after year because of the geography of their unit or not being part of some 'good lads club'.

I'm not going to name names but I can personally think of two AB's, two Leading Hands and One PO who should have been promoted and haven't repeatedly in recent years. I'm sure there are folks all round our organisation who can say the same. I fully realise we can have only so many promoted at a time, but let's make sure they're the right ones who put in extremely dedicated and professional service, not just mates of those who have the power to make the decisions. If this carries on for too many years we're going to start losing those who really do run the show and we'll be going back to the bad old days of those who are just in the RNR for the social culture. It has been noted in the statistics that we have been losing a lot of people in the last year or so and apart from those who have been retired on age, there have been quite a few to my personal knowledge that have left and gone to either the TA or RAF reserves due to dissatisfaction of the system in the RNR.

Apologies for hijacking this thread a little, but I felt it was important enough to highlight this. I love the service and wouldn't change much in general in the time I've served, but little things like this are so important to get right. Without that being the case the respect for those higher up is diminished dramatically and that's the last thing we need in this day and age when leadership is critical. Those at the managerial level within branches have the responsibility of the future in their hands, not just the present and by not promoting based on the right criteria all we do is weaken the organisation. I'm sure those responsible would argue that that's what they are doing, but if that's so why is it that so many within the RNR feel so aggrieved by something that not only happens year after year, but is so blatantly obvious in the way it's done too.
Well said H. From my observations the divisional system is gash, not least because the DO's have too little time to know their divisions and know their jobs. RORRS write ups are a postcode lottery. end of rantex. :evil:
This isn't a one-sided process. Everyone "should" have a mid period appraisal followed by a written report on a specific date each year. It's not a shock. If your DO isn't doing the job - either no report or crap report - then kick it up the chain of command and get them to sort it.

Reports won't be considered if they're late, incomplete or unsigned - it doesn't matter how good or deserving the individual is. It's surprising how often the blame lies at the door of the unit for not complying with a simple admin procedure. Might be worth asking the question how many people were qualified in your unit and how many of them had reports sent off.

Another classic is not providing the detail to confirm that the individual is eligible for promotion. Have they done all the courses? How do you know? Is their RNRFT result recorded on JPA and are they in-date? Boards frequently have to check the RNRDB to confirm eligibility because the career matrix is either incomplete or not sent with the report.

It's difficult to do the Divisional thing in the RNR but if you want to get promoted then find out what the rules are, press your DO really hard to write the best report for you and provide the ammunition for this to happen. Take ownership of your career.
I with you on this one HH. I know people who bearly finished the LRCC who are walking around with their hooks while other much more qualified and capable candidates fall by the wayside.

Its unfortunate but it would appear that the phrase "bull sh*t baffles brains" applies to the RNR promotion lottery. You can be the most experienced, qualified, keen and capable egg in a basket of rotten eggs but if the officer who wrote their report has more experience than the one who wrote yours then they will get promoted over you.

Is it worth having a selection weekend? That way those responsible for choosing who wins and who loses get to see the candidates in action.
Having written RORRS reports that led to advancement from AB to Killick, it's pretty clear to me that if I hadn't written these solid reports, the advancement would not have happened, no matter how qualified the AB was.

I hear that some kind of formalised DO training is back on the programme for JOs (since the death of JODMAC back in 2001 or so, it's been covered here and there on weekends, or the occasional in-unit briefing, with patchy results) so maybe we'll see this situation improve.


Lantern Swinger
A selection weekend sounds a good idea in theory with a winner takes all premise behind it, but I doubt it'll ever happen. That being said I'm old enough to remember when we had that process for a leadership cource in the RNR.

I do know at my unit the reporting standard has improved dramatically since our Cox'n read the riot act to the JO's, so can't imagine that still being an issue.

It does seem unfair that high quality people miss out due to the lack of professionalism of others, especially when those 'others' are senior to them in rank. Perhaps there should be a CO's interview with everyone in the unit who are considered fit to be promoted, then that individual CO has a genuine input as someone who knows the candidate is able to make an informed judgement which carries genuine clout with the board.
In many cases i don't think that you could accuse the DO's of a lack of professionalism. I would say they may be guilty of a lack of experience. The promotion board is predominantly RN and they expect the reports to be written to the same standard as they would see from the RN.

People may say that this is quite correct and we should be every bit as good as the RN but as with anything unless you do something regularly it may be unreasonable to expect it to be done as well as someone who does it every day. Are DO's, especially the younger ones given enough guidance when they write the reports? If they're not told how do we expect them to improve?


Lantern Swinger
Couldn't agree more Trehorn! I would never blame the DO's if they've not been told or taught about these things.

Just a throwaway thought, but something which could be added into the system is a personal interview at some level above and beyond the DO to sort the wheat from the chaff prior to the board sitting with a report of this sent along with the main report. This may take too much time and be overegging the pudding I concede but at least the individual would have the chance to live or die by their own sword to a degree.

I'm personally happy to put myself up against anyone at any point in time and if not selected at least I'd have the knowledge that I was surpassed by better men or women for the job. I'm sure most people would feel that way.
hookyh said:
Just a throwaway thought, but something which could be added into the system is a personal interview at some level above and beyond the DO to sort the wheat from the chaff prior to the board sitting with a report of this sent along with the main report.
If in unit management is up to scratch this shouldn't be needed.

In my experience of the RNR, and as a DO, I would agree that divisional care leaves a lot to be desired. However I would also say that it's not just the responsibility of the DO, the role of the individual has already been highlighted but there is also the role of the unit chain of command. COs should be taking personal responsibility for their divisional system, given the advent of branches they've got fcuk all else to do except recruiting and RNIPE anyway.

Lets remember that there is a first and second RO in the system, and in unit processes should be sending out the instructions, and chasing up the returns on a regular basis. There should be in unit management discussion to assure consistency of reporting, to mitigate for the fact that some are better at it than others. If a CO feels the need then he or she can have the report rewritten, or add to it.

My first DOs course was a long time ago, but there were refreshers available to me at various times in my career, and there remain opportunities now in the RNR. I'm not a DO at the moment and not in that food chain in unit, but if I need to I can go and get an update.

All that said, the same issues arise in the regular service, not everyone can get promoted, so inevitably there is dissent about who should, and should not, have got it. That's the nature of a competitive system. My experience in the RN would suggest that it's amplified, and this may come across as a criticism of in unit command being executed. It's up to the reader to determine if that's deserved or not.
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