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Question for Royal Naval Reservists


Lantern Swinger
Cmd keen - i have heard some surprisingly senior rn types informally float the idea of seeing naval service headcount inc reserves as their ceiling, then when (if) rnr fails to meet its ceiling, it gives space for an uplift to rn manpower...

Would those be the same seniors who thought we would get 12 45s? :p

I can believe that is what they think, but the political cost of any administration going with "the RN can't do reservists" is going to be pretty high, I'd argue too high for it to happen. Especially a continuation of the current administration who went with the reservists for the win approach.

We could down the Canadian route and reservify maritime patrol. Buy a few patrol craft and let the RNR have a seagoing role again. Recruiting and retention go through the roof. The RNR have a role when the RN aren't going through times of stretch. Sea(Res) get seamanship experience. If the RNR doesn't produce the COs you've doubled the number of RN Lt command appointments, and these are "operational" which means the old "your own command within eight(?) years" posters can come back for the RN.

On the Sea(Res) mobilisation doo-dah. There's a thread not too far below this one with phots from a mobilisation. The number of posters having a go at the posters is a sight to behold. Sometimes there is no way to win...


War Hero
PT, I think you're edit is a bit OTT. I'm familiar with OPSEC and can't see where the issue is. I posted nothing that isn't available in the navy news every month.


War Hero
Call me old fashioned, but I take a very very strong line on any discussion of fp because I have seen what happens when little bits of 'but this can't hurt' combine together.

Pm me if you wish to discuss further.


War Hero
Nothing to do with being old fashioned. I too have seen bad examples of OPSEC but when the information is available on the RN website and printed in the NN every month I'm struggling to see what the issue is. If i'd posted the current location of a unit then I could maybe understand.

L&G's, if you want in on the little secret then look on pg2 of any issue of NN for locations of units and November's issue for the news that P sqn has handed over FP to 45cdo.


War Hero
Meanwhile the Army:


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New contributor!

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (or 'Things never change')

I am saddened, but in no way surprised, to see that little has changed since I was retired twenty-plus years ago after a longer than usual spell driving an RNR Division. I was known for being an outspoken and opinionated Officer (for example bearding the Head of the RNR Medical Branch and a four-ring RN Fang-farrier about the Stupidity of firing my LtCdr (SurgD) along with the rest of his Branch, since his day-job happened to be Consultant Oro-Maxilliary Surgeon (the guy who rebuilds your face when you put your head through the windscreen) covering a huge geographic bit of North Britain and he was of some possible use in time of need).

I joined many moons ago, recruited and trained by men with WW2 campaign medals. Then the Sea-going RNR trained for one one primary task: to man and fight minesweepers. In those far-off days, it was deemed sufficient to have spent a couple of hundred hours on the bridge of a sweeper, some day, some night, some close company, some with the gear down, to be awarded a Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate. And so on up to Sea Command. And the Sea Command Qualification was in the gift of the Division's CO! Fortnights Courses in the RN Schools fequently commented that RNRs applied themselves better and learned quicker than their RN contemporaries because they were better motivated and were avid to mop up information. That RNR attitude is noticeable in several post in this thread.

The world has changed. HMS FITTLETON, SOLAS, and the H&S fascists have made BWKs and Sea Command much more formal and the requirements much more rigid. Minewarfare has moved on from OO, ADs, AHs, and PNMs (and even DATS!). However, I used to say that up to the 1980s-90s I, and the crews I trained, could safely live in, sail, and fight an MCMV; in a Frigate I could do the Midshipman's Bridge Safety Number job while the Ops Room ran the Ship and the war.

A contemporary, who has RN, RNR, and civilian ship running experience and qualifications, produced a SOLAS-compliant training scheme which would qualify RNR Officers for a full RN Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate. It was mainly aimed at RUMs (Reserve Undergraduate Midshipmen - the scheme that grew out of a proposal for RNR-parented URNUs) and did involve them in spending 12 months continuous to get the required Bridge time in. The RN didn't want it.

I have just spent about an hour reading through this thread. Quiberon and the reasoned discussions which he has provoked have raised serious doubts about what the RN heirarchy wants from it's Reserve (or indeed does it even wants a Reserve). There is a history here. The RN has almost always doubted the use of the RNR, that is those of the RN who knew of its existance. Someone once pointed out that the running cost of the 10th MCM was the same as half a Frigate; I did ask if he wanted the front half or the stern half to take to sea.

The elephant in the room is the present Government's plan to cut (should that be gut?) the Regular Forces and make up the difference with Reserves. (I don't have the Naval figures to hand, but can someone explain to me (or the Government) how 102k Regular soldiers with 19,000 TA is equivalent to 82k Full-Time Pongos + 30,000 Army Reservists?). I see the present management chaos as a means for the RN to prove that this political strategy can't work, and then using the disbandment of the RNR as the quid pro quo for more MQuids for the RN. This will be sad for the Bar-flies and Barrack Stanchions of the RNR but a grave dis-service to the country, the real interests of the Navy, and a gross betrayal of the effective Reservists who have put up with all the administrative hassle and personal inconvenience to fulfill their side of the bargain.

"Break Break"

The Mods may now stop the lamp swinging about in such an unruly manner.
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War Hero

Some thoughts if I may?

After much time and effort I've finally managed to sort out most of my snags with the RNR. I've now been promoted to the correct rate which matches my skills and experience, I'm finally on JPA and am expecting my first pay cheque (plus 3 months arrears) on Monday.

Still haven't got the correct rig, I'm divvy 4s shirts, a beret, rank slides, 1s, ovies, combat highs and shoes. Luckily I've got some of this stuff lying around from when I was in the RN, although much of it is ill fitting and in a poor state of repair.

Now I'm actually into the swing of things and doing branch training, I'm encountering my next batch of problems and snags.

Firstly all the courses I want to do and require to progress in my branch are fully booked for at least the next year. I have got literally nothing to do for a year.

I currently have some time off work and could be filling this time with RNR stuff. I have about 6 weeks at my disposal where I could be smashing out courses or even banging in a short deployment.

I've informed everyone at my unit but apparently there are no courses and I can't get on a ship without ISSC. So that's that plan out of the window. Literally there is not a single course or weekend that I can get on in the next 6 weeks. Not even something bonk like DITs or helping out as staff on a phase 1 weekend. I can't get my head round this. At my former TA unit there was shit going on at least every other weekend. If you had the time, the unit would find shit for you to do. Usually there was so much going on that they'd be begging for volunteers to drive vehicles and whatnot.

ISSC is of course my priority here, it's currently all that is standing in the way of me deploying.

Now I'm reliably informed that most Monday mornings at Whale Island, involve a fair portion of no shows to BSSC and ISSCs (at least 5 most weeks). A close friend of mine who is a DEPCO on a T45 told me that he sends his lads down to Whale Island just to get in the dropout queue for ISSC. Most end up getting a course that day, others maybe have to wait until the following week, but they all get on courses eventually.

On suggesting this idea to my unit it was met with an absolute and firm no. Using my own initiative to get on the courses I need is not allowed.

The same oppo of mine has offered me a spot on his ship at sea with them, his department is heavily gapped and I actually have the skills to fill these gaps, but because I can't book an ISSC and am not allowed to attempt to get on a cancellation ISSC, I'm sat twiddling my thumbs and my oppo is a man down.

But even if I was in date for ISSC, I'd still not be allowed to go to sea because it wasn't booked through the right channels. An opportunity is here for the taking, but because I've circumnavigated the official booking system for sea time, I can't go. Again, this use of initiative and taking charge of your own career development is frowned upon. "You just can't go around doing stuff like that."

Why not?

Now surely the whole point of the RNR is to fill spots in the RN during times of need? We are the 'reserve' element of the RN, therefore it would seem only natural to me that if an RN billet is gapped, they would trawl the RNR list for someone who is suitably qualified to fill that position, right?


My oppo, who runs the entire warfare department on a Type 45 Destroyer is completely unaware of what the RNR does. When I informed him that there is an entire branch of ratings in the RNR who can do upper deck guns crews and seamanship, he had no idea. He does not have the means in place or processes available to him to bid for RNR ratings to join his department, he doesn't even know that this is a capability that the RNR could fill for him.

Why is this?

There is absolutely no reason why he shouldn't be able to phone up the RNR and say "I've got OST coming up, can I have four Sea Res ABs please for 8 weeks, starting in a month."

Then the ball should start rolling and volunteers should be sought to do these jobs.

I'd volunteer for it, loads of people would. It benefits me, I get sea time which I need to progress in my branch, I gain experience and I get paid.

RNR lads then join the ship doing their core role of gunnery and seamanship, releasing higher trained RN (WS) ratings to fill the gapped billets in the ops room and whatnot.

Just a thought.
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War Hero
Book Reviewer
Of course it won't work 2dd, far too much common sense. Long gone are the days of "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions"

Sent from my HTC Desire using Navy Net - Rum Ration mobile app


War Hero
It does my head in. I went in last week saying "I've got a load of time off and I've managed to jack up a trip working gunners party on a T45. All I need is to get on the next ISSC and for you to sort out a rail warrant to Pompey and a flight home after the trip. There you go I've done your job for you."

"Computer says no."


War Hero
The RNR seem to sit in the galley spinning shit dits about when they were POs why chief RNRs are in the JRs is beyond me.
They seem to be very excited all the time. I wish I was able to be half as excited as your average reservist and it might make this job worth getting out of bed in a morning for.

Seriously just seems like its an adventure for them and they are just playing at it. Only my opinion not trying to cause offence to anyone.


War Hero
2DD, just a thought - if the T45 WMO were to formally offer RNR billets as you suggest, then hopefully that would create the place you wish to take-up. Maybe your oppo on a T45 could start the ball rolling by suggesting just that to the WMO. If it becomes "official" then it hopefully works for the RNR & the RN.


War Hero
2DD, just a thought - if the T45 WMO were to formally offer RNR billets as you suggest, then hopefully that would create the place you wish to take-up. Maybe your oppo on a T45 could start the ball rolling by suggesting just that to the WMO. If it becomes "official" then it hopefully works for the RNR & the RN.

Yep, that does appear to be the way forward. I'll speak to him later in the week.

So I've now single handedly sorted out the recruiting process and the employment of ex regulars in the RNR, hopefully I'll get this cracked too.

Anyone got any other RNR snags they want AB 2_Deck to fix?


War Hero
2DD - I feel your pain. The problem is that too many empires are threatened by Reservists using their initiative and trying to find something to do which would add value to the Naval Service and not just be a week of 'turn to, stand easy, lunch, stand easy, secure'.


Lantern Swinger
We had a list of short notice places on RN courses posted in the unit recently - I think there was at least one of the sea survival courses on it. That said I've never seen such a list before, and wouldn't be surprised if it was just one unit that has it up.

On the six weeks notice that should only be out of unit activities - there's normally plenty of opportunities for in unit stuff that doesn't require CMR booking (thus 6 weeks). Though whether you'd want to do recruitment...


Lantern Swinger
2DD, just a thought - if the T45 WMO were to formally offer RNR billets as you suggest, then hopefully that would create the place you wish to take-up. Maybe your oppo on a T45 could start the ball rolling by suggesting just that to the WMO. If it becomes "official" then it hopefully works for the RNR & the RN.

Worked for me when I needed to do my Fleet time, on an unofficial basis - though later endorsed by the then-CMR as good drills. I had the unfair advantage of having just briefed CO Desigs, though, and as we were securing I sneaked in the request of 'by the way, sir, do you have any space for a reserve YO in your schedule?' which short-circuited a lot of the obstructions.

It can be done but you have to work around a lot of 'too difficult, too much effort, not the procedure, you didn't apply through the right person on the correct form in the required font...' If there's a clear pull from the ships, though, then suddenly it becomes harder to obstruct and you can play the 'What have YOU done for the front line today?' card.

(That slogan's on a big sign by the exit at the Maritime Warfare Centre. A bit chad in some ways, but a good reminder in others)
The problem with producing a billet for the RNR from the WMO is that, in many ways, 2DD is quite unique - he's an ex-matelot, with the appropriate training, able to go to sea for a bit. That isn't (at the moment) the structure of the RNR. For better, or for worse, the RNR replicates very little training the RN does. Creating a T45 (RNR) billet or billets would be quite a cool way to break the RNR.
Currently, (though with a change in legislation scheduled for later this year) it would be difficult for a "dedicated RNR Slot(s)" in T45 or other fleet units as mobilisation is prohibited for "just helping out the manning crisis". MTDs are not a good option, as the T&Cs have some pretty awful down-sides, which only come apparent when things go wrong. FTRS is an option, and it is currently being used for an AB1 from north of the border, and an AB1 from south of the border is about to get an FTRS for another "gapped" billet. When the legislation changes, it will be much easier, as currently, we can only use those who are unemployed/self employed or in a gash job, once we can mobilise, full employment protection will kick in.
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