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Questions from a prospective applicant


Hello Guys

Iv been thinking of joining up with the RNR for the last 10 years on and off with college and uni both happening at the same time and i'm now in a good place in my life i feel if i'm going to do it, nows the best time.

iv got a few questions though if thats ok.

Getting to the proper fitness required to get is there any advice? i'm not exactly the strongest, iv got really good body strength up to my waste and thats about it, so i need to get a bit more in shape. iv seen the fitness guide on the RNs site and i plan on following it but i'm at the stage a little before that so i just want to know what i need to do now to do it.

also are there any recommendations on diets at all which i need to be doing. i'm just over the healthy BMI (around 8/8/5 stone) and iv been trying for years to bulk my self up but to no avail.

Swimming. now this is the biggie for me, i'm not the worlds strongest swimmer. i can swim for gold backstroke but front stroke i struggle a little, its a combination of my body mass (which is a tiny winnie bit on the healthy side... just) makes me sink slightly which at the same time i panic and thats it game over. i can swim front stroke ever so slightly but i use soooo much energy doing so i just again sink a little. now i'm not scared of the water, in fact i love the stuff (and my wanting to be in the navy is reflective of that) but i really need to know exactly what i need to be doing to improve. iv reached out to get "swimming lessons" just to improve my stride, but are there any recommendations you guys have to get through this? i'm based in south wales if any one knows of a good company etc.

i went to a little "trade" show that was based in my office last week, met with a RNR guy and a normal RN recruiter and they were fantastic and answered some of my other questions, and i'll be honest id love to rush in and get it done but with the above issues i want to make sure i get in first time and not fail any tests as failing might wane my enthusiasm.

So apologies for my questions, and thanks in advance for any help and advice it is really appreciated :) i hope this might help start a side career for me that might as they say make me.

2 bits of advice for you.
1. Get out running, and make sure you can pass the pre-joining fitness test
2. Get down to the AFCO/recruiting office THIS WEEK.
Reason bring, it can take a little while to get in, so any work now on your PJFT, will help you pass it in ?3 months? Time. Thereafter, you can concentrate on swimming, but remember, by then, you will be a probationary recruit, who will be attending the unit every week, and getting first hand advice from those who have just passed out of basic training (like 20 did on Friday)

Good luck, but don't delay, there's plenty of that in the system!

PS which unit will you join?


Hello SR thanks for replying to my message :) apologies for the delay in replying.

the one and half ish miles dosen't bother me to be honest, but will there be any other physical activity with the test around the same time, like will you be jumping from swimming to running or will there be a gap. reason i ask i can keep going on and on and on (much like the energiser bunny) providing i have say 5 - 10 min gap in between.

i might fill in the application this evening, will i be able to say give me 12 weeks to get ready for it or will they decide when i do the test?

my closest is HMS Cambria but where i live is closest to sully, where where i work is closest to Tawe division.

i do have an odd question though. i am dyslexic, well more specifically dysgraphic and slight dysbraxic (i can read perfectly fine, its just my hand writing skills and spelling (is very slow and at times extremely painful, typing i'm very fast) and slight speech (the odd word gets muddled and i do have to concentrate a little sometimes to make sure i'm saying it correctly)

Also iv got 3 A Levels, a certificate in Higher ed (for computer networks) about 11 GCSE's as well as recently passed a government apprenticeship so would that also help in my favour for anything specific or would it be better to go in for the basic level and go from there? as i notice theres two different types of going into the reserves.

Thanks again :)

Gareth, to get into the reserves you have to run 1.5 mikes on a tred mill in a certain time based on age etc - I'm sure you won't have an issue with that.
As soon as you have completed the first couple of application steps (? Interview and selection test?) you can attest (actually join as a Probationary Recruit, and get paid) then you have to complete your medical, the run, and get your security clearance and you are then allocated into the recruits, where they prepare you for RALEIGH. so plenty of time to get to grips with exactly what you have to do on the phys front - but meanwhile, get out there pounding the pavement and get that application in.

Also, a call to HMS CAMBRIA, wouldn't go amiss.


War Hero
Top tip - don't bother with your AFCO - follow this link and file and expression of interest. That is all the AFCO will tell you to do as they can no longer accept paper applications.

You will then be sent a link which you use to complete the application forms online - patience is the key as this systems can throw a wobbler at various stages. Don't us Chrome - just internet explorer.

You will then be invited to an Initial Maritime Reserves Presentation at your nearest unit and the AFCO will contact you to arrange for you to do your RT test.

Unfortunately the online system is, (cough!!), temperamental shall we say and I know many people who have issues with it. I've passed this up the chain but apparently there's no way of avoiding it. The AFCO are instructed to direct all applicants there.

Good luck, and like SR says - train hard and make sure you pass everything first time. Look on line for the pre-joining fitness program which will help.
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