Ratings Joining Advice - 25 Year Old Grad

Thank you for the responses.

Being a graduate engineer Phase 2 ET(ME) training will be like going back to the start and really basic (and boring) for you, however you can be fast tracked, have a look through these threads:

Thanks Wrecker, this is what I was looking for although looking at some of the other responses there is a good chance this wouldn't happen and potentially I could end up being stuck studying for qualifications I've had for almost 10 years now.

Listen to your Uncle Wrecker.
However if you are looking at getting your hands dirty then the lower deck is for you.
However life as an officer is a lot more comfortable.
One consolation as a Rating is that you will find the engineering part of the course easier than most so will have more time for other things.
It used to be possible to join as a direct entry Petty Officer if that is still an option go for it.
Up to you enjoy your life in the RN
Thanks Slim, I believe the Petty Officer direct entry was cancelled around 12-18 months ago, as I'm sure I haven't seen it on the Navy's website recently. A lot of what you said justifies my fears, as I want the course to be challenging and further my engineering knowledge rather than be able to glide through over topics I've already studied.

I'd highly recommend you go for officer. Being a rating is alright but as mentioned, you'll likely get very bored very quickly and should you decide to go for a commission afterwards the hoops to jump through get much more numerous.

As far as managing people goes, the higher up you get the more important that becomes. I'd argue that most people management is done by the POs and CPOs rather than the officers.
Thanks Zoidberg, this is very similar to what the AFCO said unless as others have mentioned I did the UGAS scheme and therefore had the option to do AIB at the end. The worry I do have about joining straight as an officer is the idea I am getting further away from I am actually passionate about, which is engineering.
I'd suggest, providing you're not adverse to serving in a submarine - and why would you be, it's great - that you look at the UGAS scheme. I fully get where your coming from; though I approached this in a different way, binning a mechanical engineering apprenticeship at 18 to join the RN as a mechanic - and now nearly 30 years later being an Engineer Officer. And you're right, it is a managerial role rather than a hands-on one. But even with the possibility of being fast-tracked, as an ETME (or ETMESM) I think your knowledge and experience would lead you to being very bored, very quickly. It wouldn't guarantee you rapid advancement either.

The UGAS scheme however will, and will give you the option to sit the AIB and move into the Officer Cadre if you wish (and you pass the AIB). It doesn't commit you to that though - if after 8 years you are happy in your role as a Senior Rate you can stay there.
Thanks Pompeyexpat, that is really good advice. As in the original post, I'm not adverse to servicing in submarine, as the idea of maintaining a nuclear reactor coupled with weapon systems/life support systems etc. would be fascinating. UGAS does seem like my only option really, though it is a shame they no longer do it for the surface fleet as I would certainly be more comfortable starting there then making a more informed decision on which way to go.

Does anyone know the wait times regarding UGAS? I believe the AFCO mentioned it could be as early as September this year if I applied straight away (and was successful).

Cheers, I appreciate all your input.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
Thanks Zoidberg, this is very similar to what the AFCO said unless as others have mentioned I did the UGAS scheme and therefore had the option to do AIB at the end. The worry I do have about joining straight as an officer is the idea I am getting further away from I am actually passionate about, which is engineering.

Again, the further you go up the chain, the less away from the hands on aspect you go. It's a decision only you can make and usually that progression away is a natural progression based on qualifications, experience and just a general desire to stop getting into cramped spaces and hurt yourself as you get older. Plus the money when you get promoted is always nice.

I can't speak for submarines, but in my world POs don't do that much engineering anyway. It's a lot of co-ordinating maintenance and the occasional fault diagnosis. It's comparatively rare to see a PO out on the tools.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I can't speak for submarines, but in my world POs don't do that much engineering anyway. It's a lot of co-ordinating maintenance and the occasional fault diagnosis. It's comparatively rare to see a PO out on the tools.
On a boat we don't have the numbers so CPOs and POs are very much hands on in the ME world.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
They do indeed. I was one.

I was a Chief for 17 years, no ambition beyond that because even as a Charge Chief I would have had to put my tools down and drive a desk.
Not for me :)
Same reason a PO i once knew spent 20 years as a PO. I also remember a chief who would not sit in the AMCO and used to chin off the WCPO duties to the M1 and get his overalls on.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
They do indeed. I was one.

I was a Chief for 17 years, no ambition beyond that because even as a Charge Chief I would have had to put my tools down and drive a desk.
Not for me :)
Same reason I never went charge, just to blackcat I picked my buttons up in 1986 and happily stayed at that rate until I went outside in 2007, and I wasn't the only one, in fact one bloke I know who's still serving has been a CPO WEA for over 30 years. I can name at least 6 others who had their buttons longer than me!
 

Taztiff

War Hero
I can't speak for submarines, but in my world POs don't do that much engineering anyway. It's a lot of co-ordinating maintenance and the occasional fault diagnosis. It's comparatively rare to see a PO out on the tools.
How things change.
When they brought OMs in, the WE Dept went to being Senior Rate only (excepting WEO and DWEO) with all the lads taken away to do dabber duties.
Luckily as a Chief on Seawolf I had the back aft Tracker maintainer PO straight of Mechs course to carry my toolbox for me!! :D ;)
 

slim

War Hero
I was a POAEM(R) (Wafu) and would have loved my chiefs rate for the pension and hated it as most B13 CPOs were given administrator jobs like Stores Liaison, Chief Section regulator, Duty officer main gate and other jobs which were mind numbing boring.
pension would have been nice though :(
 

pompeyexpat

War Hero
How things change.
When they brought OMs in, the WE Dept went to being Senior Rate only (excepting WEO and DWEO) with all the lads taken away to do dabber duties.
Luckily as a Chief on Seawolf I had the back aft Tracker maintainer PO straight of Mechs course to carry my toolbox for me!! :D ;)
Yea, after 10 years of being the shitty jobs bosun, I became a POWEA....and was still the shitty jobs bosun.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
They do indeed. I was one.

I was a Chief for 17 years, no ambition beyond that because even as a Charge Chief I would have had to put my tools down and drive a desk.
Not for me :)
Me too! Plus, at the time, the financial incentive was I think 50p a day and no pension differential. They actually had to virtually beg people to do it - not this c/s.
 

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