If you show that you have the aptitude, leadership qualities and intelligence required you will be encouraged to apply for a commission. Even if you are not encouraged keep trying. If you do not have the educational requirements then the service will help you to acquire them. Take part in team sports, being a member of the ships football, rugby, boxing team helps develop team spirit and character.
Best of luck in your pursuit.


Lantern Swinger
A fair proportion of RN officers originally joined up as ratings.
Selection/promotion of suitable ratings is an important means of maintaining the right number of officers.
Opportunities to become an officer continue until you become quite senior, can't remember when the cutoff occurs and you become too old (someone'll know).
mate of mine & probably higs,roofrat and Fido is currently serving as a Commander in Naples. He was a PO Chockhead when he transferred to officer.
A gentleman I served with started as a Probationary Medical Technician and he is now a Commodore. The RN has changed;if you have the talent and the drive the sky's the limit.


War Hero
Forty six it is for 'Senior Upper Yardman" silverfox. One former WO of my acquaintance says he had more influence in high places when he was a WO than he has now as a 'grey' Lieutenant. There is something to be said for making the move early.

Thriller, there is a pretty big window of opportunity for a capable, driven 'youngster' to become an Officer. Nothing is handed to you on a plate though and you'll need much more than a well kept kit, like Slim said.


War Hero
just get your head down and meake your feelings known to your DO.
Sir/M'am....I love you? 8O

Seriously, by all means make your ambitions known early on but I'd suggest you make a big impression first (but never at the expense of your class/shipmates) then if you haven't been pinged as Officer material, then let your DO know that you are keen.

Be well read, well informed and articulate. Aim to finish at the top of your class in everything (not necessarily smalll arms and PT) but help out the less able, always. In civvies, dress like a grown up without turning into a young fogey. No tweed.
If you wish to be a officer why don't you just go direct, as once you're in uniform as a rating you will be constantly scrutinized if you try to go the CW route. The direct route/ application will only look at you as a civilian if selected for interview at the AIB, whereas once you're signed-up you will be looked at from numeerous angles for at least 18 months -2 yrs for suitability when the pressure will be on you to prove yourself. Good luck!
The official conversion statistics, as of 2005, are: one in four ratings.

The Directorate of Naval Recruiting and information as issued by the Royal Navy Presentation Team (RNPT)

Useful source


I have also heard this figure from friend (Commander working in Navy Recruitment & Racial Equality Policies) advising my son which route to take because of slight dyslexia - but personally still find it a very high number!

Just taking my anorak off now.... :wink:
Hey, i've just gone through Dartmouth. i wouldn't say it is one in four but there is a fair proportion of ex ratings. Mostly SUY though.
Marina said:
The official conversion statistics, as of 2005, are: one in four ratings.
What??? 25% of ratings become officers or 25% of officers were ratings?? Either of which I find extremely hard to believe.

Have you got a link which goes direct to this source???

I have to agree with Darkershadeofblu, if you've got the qualifications to become an officer then go straight for it - if you don't get accepted as an officer then consider being a rating.

As a CW (in service) candidate you have to continuously show the required aptitude and attitude from the day you raise your papers until you're finally selected after an AIB pass. You may also find yourself with the $hitty little jobs that no one else in the Wardroom wants to do as it's "good experience" especially if you haven't got any CFT YOs onboard (This didn't happen to me luckily)
copenhagencup said:
Plus having your papers raised = better RORRS 3 (writeup) and thus a better chance of promotion as a rating.
Bollocks!!!!!! Or at least not in my case! Perhaps they thought no point making him a CPO as he'll be going to BRNC soon (hopefully)
I think I have got the qualities to become a officer (school prefect, school football team captain ect) its just that I lack the educational background needed *crys* I past all my GCSE and I’ve got a GVNQ in Information Communications Technology but no a-levels or degrees!!! Looks like I’m going to have to be a rating and try and work my way up, nothing’s ever easy!!!!

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