Questions on joining

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by shaunthesheep, Apr 2, 2012.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Dear all

    First time poster here. I have been passively thinking about joining the Reserve Forces, and specifically the RNR, for at least 5 years. I want to do something about it now and I'd like to get as many details as possible so that I don't waste time when it comes to the formal process.

    Background: 27 years old. My day job requires me to be numerical and analytical (dealing with large volumes of data), looking at patterns and devising strategies for clients to adopt. So lots of modelling, presentations and reports etc. I realise that’s a bit vague, but people’s eyes generally roll back when I tell them my job title!

    From the homework I’ve been doing on this site, the RN website (which btw contains less information on the Reserves than it used to a few years ago) and other web forums, I think I’d be a good fit for CIS, perhaps Intelligence. Although Submarine Operations also interests me. I’d be looking to eventually go for commission and with adequate preparation I think I’d pass the required tests (I passed OASC at RAF Cranwell in 2004 while in a UAS but didn’t take it further). That said, I do want to understand naval fundamentals and am happy to go in as a Rating.

    What do I want to get out of it? Trade-specific knowledge, the opportunity for deployment, exposure to work with other branches (RAF and Army), great team-working and leadership skills.

    What am I bringing? Analytical (civilian) skills, enthusiasm, interest in the forces, commitment, willingness to learn!

    If you could answer a few questions, I’d really appreciate it (I’ve tried not to replicate any questions that have come up in other threads, but there may be a couple):
    1. Fitness. I’m of average fitness meaning I can run 10Ks a couple of times a week and my 2.4Km time is around 10.5 minutes. I am however, a not very good swimmer, so this needs work. What does the swim test entail?
    2. I’ve seen the task books referred to a lot but what do these entail exactly? I’m sure it’s a syllabus of proficiencies that someone would have to meet and I guess it’s to do learn tasks such as protocol, fire fighting, AWFP etc, but can anyone give me a bit more detail please?
    3. I understand that getting into Intelligence generally requires you to move in from another trade and getting into Submarine Operations requires you to be commissioned. Could I therefore join CIS as a rating, and then after some time move ‘upwards and across’ into either Intelligence or Submarine Operations?
    4. Aside from the specialist route, there are two main methods of Officer training – Upper Yardman and DE. How long would someone spend as a Rating going through the Upper Yardman process until they earned commission? Under what circumstances would a candidate be selected for DE Officer training rather than spending time as a Rating?
    5. I understand that training to deployment strength takes about 4 years (2 years of core + 2 years of branch). Is there anyway to speed this up and perhaps halve that time to 2 years? I wouldn’t mind using my own annual leave time from my civilian job to speed up my training so I can get out on deployment.
    6. Can you check my timeline? 2-3 months to process application and another 2-3 months waiting for a course at RALEIGH (during which time I’d be attending NE training). Two weeks at RALEIGH.

    • [*=1]Then if going for commission I’d raise that there, spend another few (3?) months waiting for a slot at AIB. 3 days for AIB, 8 months to complete Junior Officer task book, 2 weeks at BRNC, some months (6?) waiting for a 2-week slot on one of HM warships, then Fleet Board.
      [*=1]Otherwise, if I were to be a Rating, I’d return to unit after RALEIGH and begin branch training (another 24-36 months) there?

    Sorry for the long post, and thank you in advance.​
  2. Have you thought about going to an AFCO and/or speaking to your local unit. BTW, which is your local unit.

    Good luck
  3. Thanks for your response.

    Have thought about doing each of those things, but wanted to get the feel on here before I bother the guys there. My local unit is PRESIDENT.

  4. Thought about joining the real navy???:D
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Clearly a lot of research has already been undertaken to an exquisite level of detail, worthy of a Norbert Colon award, but if it's taken 5 years to get this far, then it begs the question why an individual has not taken the plunge or whether they're just an "enthusiast" who enjoys asking questions.

    All the queries asked here are usually best answered by your local RNR unit training staff & they should be regarded as the authoritative source on "in service" training beyond initial RNR selection & there is little doubt they already have been asked more than once. A random unofficial forum does not offer definitive advice.

    Be aware the Future Reserves 2020 Review involves many radical changes to the tri-service Reserves, which may very much alter your perceived career pattern. It's certainly worth reading:

    The AFCO simply recruits all RNR Recruits as generic "RNR" Rating or Officer.

    Step off a diving board wearing overalls, swim 50 metres, tread water for 3 minutes, extract yourself from the pool unaided.
    Task book training is required to reach trained standard in your chosen branch, the tasks within it relate to the job itself & often include restricted elements of training, particularly in relation to Warfare & Communications.
    In theory yes, but again this is an "in service" query, best answered by your local RNR unit - if eligible with regard nationality, age & academic qualifications.
    Generally those singled out as having directly transferable skills such as Doctors, Clerics, Oceangoing Master Mariners etc.
    This is an "in service" query, best answered by your local RNR unit.
    That's about correct if the individual pulls their finger out & completes everything when requested. Beyond that it's best answered by your local training staff.

    Best of luck.
  6. Give them a call:

    London - HMS President | Royal Navy
  7. Hi Shaun

    As someone who has recently started my INT (Initial Navy Training) with the RNR, I hope I can offer a few answers as to how things *can* work out. Firstly, the RNR is an incredible thing to become involved with. I'm a very similar age to you and am involved in a similarly office-based analysis role, so the Navy is a brilliant change from the work I do day-to-day.

    It's good to have goals around your branch specialization, but it's important to remember that there's an awful lot of preparation and training before you get to that point, during which time you'll be exposed to rates and officers from a range of branches. That said, sounds like your day job might make you a good fit for something like CIS. As long as you keep an open mind and a willingness to learn you're guaranteed to find somewhere you want to be.

    With regard to your questions(answers are only in my experience of the process to date and from what I've been told at my unit):

    1. If your fitness is sufficient to pass the Pre-Joining Fitness Test then you can work on the rest. There is a lot of opportunity for Physical Training and you'll sooon find yourself getting up to speed. You've already been given the answer about the swim test, I've heard it's tough but do-able and you'll get opportunities to practice.

    2. The current INT is modular, and you work through it with a class of other new entries at your unit, you need to complete all of the competencies and there's plenty of time to get through it all. I've not seen a 'task book' in my training, it' might be a unit-based thing, but your progress is tracked by your TOs.

    3. The RN website says that you generally have to be an Officer in another branch before transferring to CIS after an suitability test. Things do change but that's the information I've also been given thus far. Having a background in another branch is certainly a good thing before applying for something like CIS.

    4. Again, only from my experience, you have two routes to officer; Direct Entry and from Rating. Although you can apply to DE officer during your INT, pretty much everyone I've met in the RNR suggests that your best plan is to finish HMR Raleigh as a rating, get in some branch time and get used to being in the Navy before applying for Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) to become an officer. Your chances of selection at AIB (so I'm told) will be much greater if you've some solid RNR experience behind you. This is something you'd discuss with the officers at your unit.

    5. In a unit with good TOs and a good attendance record, you can go from inital applicant to completing Raleigh in around a year to come out as an AB. The length of branch/specialty training time required to be at deployment strength varies depending on your particular branch assignment but a year to two years seems reasonable. There really isn't a rush to get mobilised, you'll find the time flies whilst you're training and there is so much to learn.

    6. Your in-unit and weekend training for INT will be a minimum of around 8 months from 'first night' to 'Raleigh ready', based on the people I've encountered from a number of units across the country. It all depends on how the pre-Raleigh weekends and Raleigh two-week dates fall. You need to be very well prepared for the final two-week Raleigh course!

    Depending on where in London you're based you should also come and meet the guys and girls up at HMS Wildfire in Northwood. There are quite a few of us from South of the river who head up to Northwood each week to attend our unit. Both President and Wildfire are very well-run units with excellent reputations but they are very different in their styles and cultures so it's definitely worth checking out both before you make a decision. A night in the combined (yes, combined) Mess at Wildfire talking to the ship's company made it an easy choice for me but then that's just me.

    Hope that's of some help to you.

Share This Page