Questions re BRNC

Dr. Sue

Hello, everyone. I'm new to the forum. I am a Royal Navy widow living in the USA. I have been watching on You Tube a 4-part series on BRNC. It was excellent. I have two questions, though. 1. Are Officer Cadet & Midshipman the same rank? 2. Why do some pass out with the rank of Sublieutenant & some with the rank of Midshipman? Thanks. I couldn't seem to find the answers anywhere else on the Internet.


War Hero
Hi Sue,

It's a long time since I was at BRNC but, until corrected otherwise, I believe:

1. Officer Cadets become Midshipmen once they have passed out of Dartmouth. OCs didn't exist when I went through and we were considered Midshipmen, but not really. I think the OC title better defines the actual status of the individual and Midshipman actually means something once you've completed BRNC.

2. Until very recently, those with a degree were given 3(?) years of seniority (to reflect the typical length of a degree course) and this gave them enough 'time in' to achieve the rank of Sub Lieutenant over Midshipman and so they passed out as Subbies. It used to be 2 years Snotty to Subby and then a further 3 to Lt but I'm sure that has changed. I understand that system of giving graduates seniority has now ceased (since the documentary was made) and everyone passes out as a Midshipman but I expect Ninja will tell you if I'm wrong on this count. There are usually some waifs and strays that will be given more seniority, who may well end up with one gold ring (or two) instead of the bird poo on their shoulders. Doctors and dentists MIGHT still get that, I don't know, but those who have come through the ranks e.g. SD officers will no doubt have their previous service in the RN recognised (and rightly so).

I'll wait with bated breath to see how much I got wrong :)