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Proccess of becoming an officer?


Hello everyone, this is my first post and I just want to find out a few things! I am 16 years old (just about to do 2 years of A levels, physics maths Spanish and economics) and I intend to become a warfare officer i know the basic stages but I would just like to know the proccess from going to the AFCO to after finishing BRNC! (I intend to go to the AFCO next week) And also would it be better to start the application proccess after A levels or go to uni and get a degree then apply? Thanks in advance! PS: I know some of you might think I'm being naive, I know how hard it is to pass the tests and get in but I am quite fit and I sail a lot at a top level so hopefully I could get in!!


War Hero
Hello Marshmallow

Welcome to Rum Ration!

I will do your questions in reverse order.

As far as the point at which you start the ball rolling is concerned, I would suggest that you do that now, the reason being that there are some scholarships/reserved places available for 6th formers and you may find that you are in with a chance of one. As far as when you actually join is concerned, there is a difference when they start between graduates and non-graduates in terms of their salaries - graduates start on a higher salary and at a different rank. The decision as to whether you join after A Levels or a degree is perhaps something which you will find easier to make once you have begun the application process and made more progress with your A Levels. You will also have the chance at various points to meet people who joined either after A Levels or a degree and you will be able to get different points of view to help you decide.

Once you have made contact with the AFCO, you will be invited to sit the psychometric test; you will need to do well in that to progress with an Officer application but it can be done, especially if you revise well for it. We have a thread with extra tips to help you. The next stage will be a medical and after that a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (2.4km on a treadmill). The next stage would be a Sift Interview with the Area Careers Liaison Officer, who will look at your potential for leadership and ask about your knowledge of the Royal Navy. If you pass your Sift, your papers will be sent to the AIB and you will be asked to attend. You can see what the AIB is like here:

A pass at the AIB will make you eligible for selection (although this isn't guaranteed) for a place at BRNC. BRNC has intakes throughout the year - at the moment in January, April and September, though this may be reviewed. If you are selected, you will be asked to start as one of these intakes. At this point, you will begin your training as an Officer; as you progress, you will be doing the courses which form part of the Warfare Officer training pipeline - I will let someone else fill you in on that.


Thanks! What I want to know is, is it worth spending two years at university when I could be doing two years of training instead? Or do you get promoted quicker if you have a degree? Because i am swaying towards the after A level option! And also do GCSE results affect anything because I received them yesterday and got 7 A*'s and 3 A's? Thanks again, and sorry I have so many questions to ask!
Promotion is best served by either joining at 18 as a non-grad or 21 as a grad; anything else will see you slightly behind the curve, and may result in a compressed career.

Congrats on your GCSEs BTW.


War Hero

I've just seen your GCSE results!

Many Congratulations - that's an excellent achievement!


Thanks, I will probably try joining at 18 after my A levels! So will my GCSE results affect anything? And are there any particular A level subjects that they like you to do?

Talking Baggage

Lantern Swinger
You just need 180 UCAS points (3 Ds) or better at A level, the subject choice doesn't matter unless you want to do a specific degree at Uni. By the way, grade E doesn't count even though it's worth UCAS points. (See the UCAS website, tariff table, for details on UCAS points - other vocational qualifications often also count).
There is also the option of gaining a degree through your training as a Warfare Officer. If you are considering the University option, you may as well try for a Bursary as you have nothing to lose!

If two candidates leave school at the same time (with A levels) and one goes to Uni and joins after 3 years, and the other joins as an Officer straight away, both will be promoted to Lieutenant at the same time 5 years later (give or take any seniority gained in training for doing well). Non-grads often compare themselves to the grads joining at the same time and feel disadvantaged, however this is not a fair comparison.
How do you gain seniority in training? That went out with the introduction of CFT in 2000, AFAIK there is no process that allows for additional seniority any more.


War Hero
Thanks, I will probably try joining at 18 after my A levels! So will my GCSE results affect anything? And are there any particular A level subjects that they like you to do?

Feel free to ask anything which occurs to you, Marshmallow.

You ask whether your GCSE results will affect anything.

They will affect your chances of getting a Scholarship/Reserved Place in a positive way in that you need to have at least 5 GCSE passes at Grade C or above including Maths and English Language to be considered. A calculation of your future potential will also take into account your GCSE results as an indicator as to how good your chances are of being successful at the AIB.

As far as A Levels are concerned, the best A Levels for you are going to be the ones which you enjoy most and which you are most likely to do well in. You've done extremely well at GCSE; it will stand you in good stead if you can maintain this exceptionally high standard at A Level.

As you have just received your GCSE results, you must know which A Level subjects you are going to do. What have you chosen?



War Hero
Thank you, ATG, a object lesson in reading things properly before typing!


I think a large cappuccino may be called for as I am clearly only half awake!


Ok thanks! That's good because I was worried that if you join to be an officer without a degree you won't get very far! I am pretty sure I want to join after A levels as university costs are ridiculous and I don't fancy getting into debt!! Is it a good idea to do any of the stages while I am at sixth form, or wait until after? (as I said earlier, I intend to go to the AFCO ASAP!). Thanks again,


War Hero

With those results under your belt and the chance of a possible scholarship, I would suggest that you get down to the AFCO when it re-opens on Tuesday morning.

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