RNR for full time seafarers


Hi all,

I'm a full time seafarer, and until recently was a member of an URNU. I was in the process of joining up full time, but ended up being offered a dream job in civilian sailing so decided not to go forward.

However I'm still interested in joining the RNR, but I've struggled to find any up to date information about the time commitments etc, and how they would apply to seafarers.

My understanding is that always was a separate RNR List applicable to seagoing officers who obviously aren't able to commit to a regular night a week and weekend a month. Is this still the case?

How does it work with deployments? Does the reservist protection when deployed extend to those of us who don't have contracts, or do the RNR expect Merchant Officers to be a pool only for when it really hits the fan.

I'd be keen to get in touch with any serving RNR Officers who work as Merchant Seafarers to see if this is something I could make work.

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War Hero
Whole heap of variants at work here.

All depends on what you are doing as a Merchant Seaman - your first paragraph says "civilian sailing" which rather suggests you are not running tankers for BP. The skills of the latter are of use to the MTO branch, for example.

The old list system has had a huge change in the last 18-24 months, so the old Merchant List has, to the best of my knowledge been scrapped. There is a List 6, but that is for fully trained individuals who are making no training commitment, but remain liable for mobilisation.

As far as I am aware all now join on List One until transfer to the trained strength. Anticipate doing around 24 days a year during this period - 12 on exercise or course, 12 doing support stuff. The latter can be drill nights or, to be very topical, attending a Remembrance Parade. A little fore-planning soon chews into your 24 days. If you qualify for a commission then your first 12 day period will be at BRNC. If you can get eight weeks off in the summer then the new Accelerated Officer Programme can take you from civvy to hero in one go.

An employer is now required to hold your position of employment open, much like maternity leave. But if you have no contract that would negate that requirement.

Look up the Maritime Trade and Amphibious Warfare branches, which is where your skills will be most relevant as things stand at the moment. However, as the new OPVs come on stream, it may be that the RN could use a Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate or two; again, provided that you are "running tankers" rather than scrubbing decks for Sunsail.

Does that help?
My advice is the same as ever - engage with your local unit, who will have latest chapter and verse.
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