RFA Passing-out parade???

Discussion in 'RFA' started by Rob28, Aug 4, 2014.

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  1. Evening all, I wonder if anyone on here can help me clear something up;
    I have just been flicking through the RFA career guide, that I'm sure we all have a copy of, and seen the quote
    "The proudest moment in my career was my passing-out parade"- Peter, Catering Assistant'
    So my question is, Is there an element of marching / parade related activity for RFA rating trainees?
    I just want to know what to expect when i start next month..
    Thanks for any info.
  2. What he must be talking about is the walk home after the celebratory course completion piss up.

    There is no "parade" - at least for deckies. There is a small handshake / photo affair, but you wouldn't bring your mum.

    also no marching, you want that join the navy. Remember this is the merchant navy.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Well...we sail armed government vessels in a not for profit capacity and do so under the blue ensign, so as much as you may want it to be It is neither the RN or the MN it is a separate entity, one people should be proud of and not try to shoe horn into what they wish they did.

    There is an aspect of marching, especially if you attend remembrance day events, there is also a full parade of you pass out as an officer cadet. The RFA is fully integrated in the RN command and control structure, as we are taking on more roles traditional within the RN's remit we work alot more with the RN and foreign navies and due to that there is a more militarised feel to the job, especially if deployed in the middle east with force protection and RN battle staff on board.

    If you want full MN go join a bulk carrier (good look if you British and looking for work as a rating), again if you want full steelyness with lots of saluting and marching join the RN.

    I can tell you 100% that I have saluted during my daily work, and have braced up, hell the RN brace up when the captain enters a room. It is hard as well because when serving with foreign navies, even US and RAN, they do not know what we are and assume we are RN. I Mean really, what difference is there to them apart from a diamond and a curl?
    • Like Like x 2
  4. The first clue is when they walk up the gangway and rather than being saluted by an armed sentry they are greeted with an "Alright mate!" by a scruffy looking geezer with long hair and three days stubble growth.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. I feel it is proper to remind people that the RFA is part of the merchant navy, and comes with the downsides, and the considerable benefits of both, and that it's something to be embraced.

    I think the reason you'll find some people will argue against being considered anything but Merchant navy is that eventually they'll end up trading things like pay, holiday and union support for navy like contracts (and all the Berets and passing out parades that come with it).

    If that will happen, or if it should happen, is another conversation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2014
  6. Well I am.unfortunate enough to only have been to the middle east where we pass through US military checkpoints and are greeted by armed guards, foreign navies are usually greeted by the choff or ops in head gear and return a salute. It may well be different in other parts of the world, but we are mostly in the middle east and that's how it was there. I had an RAN 2 and a half on one ship who had served on his bay class who when when explained the difference by both camps (one very annoyed, guess which) didn't think there was any!

    I love that I have all the qualifications to work for a cruise company or for gas tankers and in that respect I am certainly merchant navy. But with the top of navy quals and the extra and completely different job we do and the simple fact we aren't in it for money makes it difficult to call the RFA merchant navy, it was conceived as a separate entity before there even was an MN. We do a lot of things that would be illegal for merchant navy vessels flagged UK or even Liberia!

    I can see your point bleeh, but I think of UK seafarers want to earn a decnet wage or even be employed at none officer level, the RFA is currently the only option and the decisions higher up are pushing is more to be part of a team with our RN counterparts. Due to the great training we get from both sidesni am happy to hold me head up as qualified in both paets and fill that grey area.
  7. Gulf SOP is for anyone of less than flag rank to be met by a couple of bored Royal Marines and the scruffy geezer.

    Have you had shit trips on bad ships with daft senior officers?
  8. How about the Queens Commission?
  9. Indeed, signified by the fact they have a curl and different cap badge - and shall be entitled to a salute (along with the others listed in the Queens regulations).

    Although, without getting into a 'like for like' argument, the physical structure of the roles and duties undertaken by Officers from both the RFA and RN are similar. Is the RFA Captain any less of a Ship Captain than that of the RN? I believe that they both have their similarities and differences - that is the uniqueness (and, to some, attractiveness) of the individual careers.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  10. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Geezer or gal. I shave less frequently. Also note that it depends where you join as to how soaked with sweat we are as well.
  11. Really? Where does it say this
  12. He means RN officers, not RFA. Read from Slims post #8 quoting MotleyBlue.
  13. And yet they get saluted anyway. I queried it at BRNC and was fobbed of with a 'it's for continuity' type answer.
  14. As an RFA officer, while walking around a naval establishment I am required to give and receive salutes. I was issued a 'how to' guide and everything, as rumour has it RFA officers have failed to offer the correct marks of respect in the past and there have been 'phone calls'.

    Entitlement is another matter...

    EDIT: oh yeah, and there's definitely a passing out parade (involving copious saluting) if you attend BRNC as a RFA officer/cadet!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  15. Most RFA occifers get the two fingered salute from jnr rates and the more advanced on finger swivel on this from killicks and above:p
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Killicks, ratings, passing out parades. What the ******* hell is all this shit!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. I'm on one of the apprenticeship courses now as a rating and we r 'encouraged' to salute but we don't have to
  18. Have you been issued with berets now (as per a recent rumour) or are you still in baseball caps on RN establishments?
  19. Berets presently but they are looking into getting baseball caps back as we keep getting mistaken for regulars, as we look exactly the same except for rfa tabs on the shoulders instead of royal navy.
  20. I got a baseball cap whilst at Raleigh on the seamanship apprenticeship.

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