RFA and merchant navy?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by dave11, May 22, 2014.

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  1. What are these exactly? Are they part of the military?
    If I want to fail to join the navy would this make me exempt from joining either of the 2?

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  2. I'm not sure if you'd want to fail for the navy in all honesty.......

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  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    RFA is Merchant Navy (MN) is manned by civilians acting in full time support of the Royal Navy. The MN is civilian and as the name "Merchant" implies, often carries trade or cargo goods. Part of the RN's job is to protect trade routes.

    The entry standards for RN are different to those for MN and in many respects the RN entry standards are more stringent but a failure to meet RN standards would not necessarily rule out joining the MN (or RFA).
  4. Muppet42, plan for the worst hope for the best :)

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  5. Thanks ninja :)

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  6. However, the RFA makes up part of the Naval Service whereas the Merchant Navy does not. The RFA sits somewhere between the RN and the MN.

    For service in the RFA you need an unrestricted ENG1 (seafarers medical) which means you can sail anywhere in the world whereas in the MN there are jobs that you could do with restrictions on your medical.

    You are not HM Forces in the RFA, you're a crown servant - a civilian. A civilian with dog tags and a MOD 90 whose ships have guns and go to war zones. It's not for everyone.

    I'm not medically fit for the RN but I am for the RFA. It's a happy compromise for me. Good luck with your application and think positively.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I know i'm bordering on pedantry but we're civil servants, not crown.

    Crown servants cannot strike or claim back seafarers earnings deduction on tax.

    Crown servants are armed forces personnel, some intelligence services etc.
  8. That's interesting, no problems with pedantry - we all need a hobby. I was specifically told we weren't civil servants and you can only go on what you're told.
  9. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Concur with Mrecho, I was told we are civil serpents and we have the joy of the RMT available to us.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    RFA, so far as I'm aware are not technically Civil Servants either in some respects. If they were, ex-RN personnel in receipt of a pension would have their pension abated if they joined the RFA. They don't.
  11. Yes. NJ we're a sub catagory of CS known as uniformed civil servants. Means we get grt some benifits and some draw backs as seen fit by bosses.

    We don't use HRMS directly like the rest of CS for example.
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Just had a look into this, and there is an FOI request on this subject: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/status_of_royal_fleet_auxiliary

    The response is here:


    In short, they seem to be "special" Civil Servants.
  13. Very "special".
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Aye Ninja, I've found that before as well. I've got no problem with being wrong - every day is a school day. Plus, I quite like being a 'special' case - it rather suits me.
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Good. So, we all agree then. Glad we've nailed that puppy to the floor. ;-P
  16. *No actual puppies were harmed in the making of this thread
  17. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Well yes, absolutely, yes, so that's all great, much like us, as in us being special. So, yes, no, that's all good. What was the question?
  18. Nice little read then haha. Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Just as a continuation to my original question, do you have to go through the Royal Navy careers office to apply for either the MN or the RFA?

    And can you be a seaman specialist or something similar in these?

    I am thinking positively for the RN but I do need a back up plan as I know I want a career at sea. (RN preferably)

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  19. In that case go to your afco and tell them you want to join as a sea spec.

    Worry about the RFA later if it comes to that.

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