RFA Communications Apprentice


Same as I did when I first joi ed the Army 39 years ago ,
Two separate points there. I did make the punctuation a little bit more obvious in my quote but please carry on your rant nonetheless.

Serving?!... Interesting terminology for a civi job. Also, can you taste my urine in your chips yet?
Ah, you've fallen back on the grammar/terminology defence already, yet again underlines the sort of bloke you are , no , I cant taste your urine on my chips , you would have had to have pissed on them for that , which you've singularly failed to do .


Same as I did when I first joi ed the Army 39 years ago ,

Ah, you've fallen back on the grammar/terminology defence already, yet again underlines the sort of bloke you are , no , I cant taste your urine on my chips , you would have had to have pissed on them for that , which you've singularly failed to do .
I can't be falling back on the "Grammar/terminology defence" because I'm not in the wrong. You misread my words and spat your dummy out. You're on the defence, I'm merely pointing out what you failed to read properly.

So from that last post I now know 2 things about you Grenadier. You seem to have a persecution complex. You seek to project your mistakes onto others instead of taking accountability.

A third could be that you're "serving" in the RFA and therefor you must be employed within the LS branch.


C-Roi: I found/find the search function on here to not be the best. A good tip is to use Google. Use a search term like "RFA comms minesweeper high score site:www.navy-net.co.uk" and I've found the results returned tend to be more useful/relevant than the forum's search function.


Most of the results are either outdated, not relevant, or are someone asking a genuine question and being told to use the search box.
A true white knight would share such super current and super relevant info, publicly on the forum, for all prospective Comms Apprentices to take benefit from.

That also gives the active Comms lads a chance to QC and flag inaccuracies so that nobody fluffs an interview on misinformation.

And finally, as a notorious cynic, it also ensures your brand new account (created exclusively to help in a private capacity!) isn't just a devious rival trying to thin the competition...
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War Hero
Until a few years ago, there was a site exclusively for RFA questions which seemed very popular. I think that it was called Toys Out Of The Pram. The guy who ran it had to take it offline, if I remember correctly, because it was taking up too much of his time. Maybe some enterprising person could create something similar.


War Hero
Well, I've helped one bloke answer a few questions he had so I consider that a job well done. If anyone else has any questions about RFA Communications Apprenticeships I'd be happy to help. Especially if it saves you from dealing with all the BS of this forum ;)
What’s an RFA?


Edit: Editing your comment after I've already responded to it lol nice one
Part of my final sentence originally read "...a devious a rival trying..."
I deleted a single character from a lengthy post and any MOD can confirm that for you if you ask.

In making the edit, had the general content changed? Nope.
Had the general context changed? Nope.

Clearly just a typo but the fact you're taking great delight in the edit, makes me think you're a simpleton.

More importantly.... we're still waiting on this glorious post to help all prospective Comms Apprentices. When's that coming? Complaining that the comms content within forum is outdated and irrelevant... Yet you're doing nothing about it. You claim you've signed up exclusively to help privately answer questions to folk entering your branch yet you don't have the confidence or conviction to post such info here; as a public resource to benefit the many!

Until you post it, I will continue to think you're full of shit and urge anyone PMing you toward an interview, to take everything you say with a pinch of salt.

Contribute to forum. Share your info. I dare you.


Okay, have it your way keyboard warrior.

He's what I sent to C-Roi when he asked (If it doesn't read right it's because it was split over several messages):

I first put my application in July last year and had my RT about 3 weeks later. I had my interview in September and I started at Collingwood in Jan this year. It can vary as to how long it takes, the shortest application time out of the guys in my class was about 5 months but the longest was well over a year.

The first part of training is functional skills, this is 3 weeks of maths, English, and ICT. You actually get a proper qualification at the end of the apprenticeship which is why you need to do this bit. If you already have level 2 qualifications in these areas you won't need to do it. I already had english and maths GCSEs so I only had to do ICT.

One of the first things you learn is signal flags. If you google 'ICS flags' you will see the ones I mean. You do also need to know what each individual flag means, they will give you a big NATO code book with all the answers in. They test you on this by occasionally holding up a random flag and asking you what it is and what it means.(The NATO meanings are different from the International meanings) It looks daunting at first but its actually not too bad once you get into it.

Next we have to learn morse code. They test you visually on sending and receiving with lights. The target is about 8 words a minute which is pretty slow. You don't need to learn it audibly, only visually.

After this we learn about all the different message systems on the ships and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). One thing I was told is that every ship can be very different (even ships of the same class), so you often have to learn to use lots of different systems. The first time you go to sea they send you as a class and try to put you on one of the older ships. This is because they have very similar equipment to what they use for training at Collingwood.

The first thing they gave me was a pack of flash cards with a picture of each flag, its letter, meaning, and morse code on it. I've stuck them to the locker in my room and read them everyday. They also allow a few errors in the test so its not like you need 100% on everything to pass.

One thing they asked me was what kinds of communication they use on a ship. This is things like radio, internet, satellite, morse code, lights, flags, semaphore, and the most important one, just talking to each other.

They did ask about secondary roles. For comms this ranges from just keeping your working and living areas tidy, up to damage control.

At the interview they won't expect you to know everything, it is an apprentice role after all. They are looking for people who are well motivated and willing to learn. The whole idea of an apprenticeship is to start with the fundamentals and work from there so don't get too worried if you're not an expert on all things 'maritime communication'. The worst bit about my application was all the waiting between the various stages, I ended up scouring this site for any RFA info I could find. Things move quickly in the RFA, every piece of info I have ever had from official sources has had 'subject to change' tacked on the end. I've lost count of the amount of stories I've been told about plans changing at the last second, including ships being sent back out on their way into port and people getting phone calls on Christmas eve asking if they could come in tomorrow. On the flip side, I've heard an equal amount of stories of people being paid to sit around and do nothing. One piece of advice I got after my interview was to get a decent hobby for the downtime. I can vouch for that last part myself as I seem to have spent almost as much time playing pool as actually working so far lol :D

Anyway, if anyone wants anymore detail just let me know or make a post or something. I'll do my best to lend a hand where I can. :)
Took a bit of a push but I got you there in the end. Nice contribution.
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