RNR Nozzer advice for older guy (1st post)

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by tattooedjim, May 31, 2007.

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  1. no, give it a go

  2. yes...you are old and smelly give up now

    0 vote(s)
  1. After 5 years in the RAF followed by 9 in the RN which I left in 1999 as a leading hand to join the Police (Surrey Police, not Sting and co..)My current full time job I am not supervised, work mainly alone and make all my own decisions etc..
    I have just been through the fragmented process of joining the RNR and after 8 months was invited to a Tuesday night session.
    Anyway I attended this week and even though I am 39, I was actually extremely disapointed to be treated like a 16 year old and spent two hours being taught who to salute, what to salute and other very very basic (to the point of embarrassing) stuff.
    Although I fully appreciate that I am new to the RNR, even after one session I am not sure if I want to go back...
    Did I expecttoo much?
    May be I am too old now, may be I can not handle the class system alive and kicking (officers and ratings heads etc)
    I just wandered if others had experience similar?
    Will it get better?
    Should I just cut my losses and may be accept the fact after all this time I now saw the RN through rose tinted glasses..
    any info, experiences, advice is always appreciated
  2. In my unit, the NE dept staff always ensure they know if anyone in the new entry class is ex-RN. Usually they are exempt from most NE training because of the insult it would be to teach them it again.
    Have you spoken to your instructors about your past experience? Because the AFCO, as you no doubt know, is absolutely shocking, and will probably not have told the unit you have prior service.
  3. I would definitely flash up with your NETO about your previous service.
    You are at the seniority level of a 7 year RNR rating, make them aware of it.
    Nicely, of course !
    P.S. I had a broadly similar background to yourself and did next to naff all until i joined branch.
  4. Hi Jim - welcome to the RNR. I can guess which unit you're at - let me state that the (1) Officers Head you're talking about is about the size of a broom cupboard!!

    It may well have been missed that you're ex-RN - just flag it up. However, as you've been outside >5 years then you do, I'm afraid, have to go around the bouy again - well, at least go to Raleigh! You may well be exempt from the rest.

    I've always found things a lot more integrated between rates and Officers than they were in the RN, as you've probably found out there is a wide variety of backgounds. At one time in my JR Division we had 1 x Deputy Head of a College, 2 x Company Directors, 1 x Railway Manager, 1 x Niurse, 1 x Fireman, 1 x Policeman... It helps that until recently RNR Officers, unless ex-regular, were selected from JRs and SRs.
  5. After almost 24 years RN and a couple outside, I joined the TA and had to do the two week basic recruit course. Apart from the obvious differences in drill and a more intense interest in weapon handling, it was just like being dipped from Chief to OD, being beasted by drill corporals etc., but I got on with it and passed out as a part time pongo. Three months later I was able to get my own back when I was promoted direct to WO2, and I then enjoyed a further 14 years.
    My advice is stick with it Jim, you'll probably only get one chance!

  6. Stick with it, you should flag that you are an ex regular, I personally would be upset if this happened on this side of the pond.
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Really? Do tell me more, I'm all ears....

    The AFCO Form 4 (Application form, page 3, requires that you complete your former service details). Usually you return this form to the AFCO via the RNR & the RNR takes a copy for their records- whether they read it is up to the individual RNR unit.

    To be fair, the RNR may not be aware of your former service if you made your application exclusively at the AFCO as the AFCO will not forward your paperwork (Pre-Entry Papers) until you have passed all stages of the selection process. Assuming you told your RNR induction people you had former service, then I'm afraid your treatment can only be put down to personalities in your particular unit.
  8. Which unit are you at, PM me if you prefer, but at Wildfire (cos we are so ferking small) we would have sussed out you had prior experience and acted accordingly. It does go that you have to talk to other people and explain you have prior experience.

    In any case, stick with it, hope it works itself out, we all have to struggle with AFCO. It is worth it in the long run.
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Do divulge what you struggle with Phil - rather than bad-mouth the AFCO's, How else can we possibly hope to make it better for the RNR?

    From my perspective, what I struggle with is idiots that are quick to condemn & slow to substantiate their claim.

  10. Fight, fight, fight!
  11. Ninja it is not the AFCO staff my beef is with but the AFCO system itself. My local AFCO closes at 5pm on a Friday and does not open again until 9am on Monday which to my mind is ridiculous - it is closed during the precise hours that most interested parties would wish to visit the AFCO; and this is the case at a time that the Services are struggling for recruits.

    I also have some bad experience with them for example my initial joining letter getting my name wrong - not misspelled, but entirely wrong. I also spent almost all day waiting at an AFCO for the careers advisor to turn up yet he never did. I definitely had an appointment (the chap on the front desk confirmed this) - the advisor "forgot".

    Finally, and I don't know if the AFCO or somewhere more central is responsible for this, I know several people who filled out expression of interest forms (for the RNR) in September last year and they did not get any response at all until January. They therefore had a 4 month wait before they heard a cheep from the RN after expressing interest.

    So what would I change? - open the AFCOs at weekends (manning them even with RNRs if necessary - just to keep the place open & take names), open in the evenings and follow up any enquiries within a time frame more like 4 days - not 4 months.

    This, you see, is why I am less than enamoured with the AFCO.
  12. (Kind of off topic) - As I'm currently in applications process (Waiting for Medical) from my experiences of my AFCO have been fine, I haven't had any problems and if i have I've contacted them with my query and had it resolved. As well as PM NS a few times with a few questions out of AFCO office hours as usually get my answers same day then :LOL:

    Back to topic however, Jim stick at it mate, Inform them about your history with the RN and hopefully you'll see it through the tinted glasses again ;)
  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Yippee! someone prepared to substantiate!

    The Army have been opening the AFCO for the last 12 months on the first Saturday of each month & open late every Thursday. Result: erm, no change in overall recruiting statistics. In addition there is a "virtual RN/RM AFCO" available by telephone until 21:00 every night on 08456 07 55 55. Not sure where you got this "struggling for recruits" from, the only thing we're struggling for is people who are capable of passing selection.

    Are you sure the AFCO got the details wrong? Couldn't possibly have been your unit, surely? We only act on information given, we don't rustle up false names to piss people off. Honest!

    If you had a letter confirming the date & time of your interview please PM me the details & I'll investigate it for you. That, you're quite right, is outrageous - if you are wrong then I'll let you know in no uncertain terms also.

    A valid point: generally EOI's go to a company called Dataforce who should follow them up & get in touch. On the other hand, if you ring or go to your nearest AFCO, you can instantly start the ball rolling, rather than go via a 3rd party.

    Again, fair point- What are you doing this weekend & each evening this next week? Who pays for the wages?

    We are available 24/7 online or 12 hours per day, 7 days per week on the phone, you can download any information free 24/7, or we can post a hard copy free, you can email your AFCO anytime and still you want a Limo to pick you up?

    Fair call, we're all bastards, clearly.
  14. Ninja it's good to hear about the Saturday/late openings as that is a step in the right direction. I did not know that about EOIs either.

    I'd be available - RNR would probably class it as support activity, hence payable.

    To be honest the fact that a private firm is involved in handling paperwork, at some stage, explains a LOT to my cynical self. EOI forms seem to be a good idea as they allow someone to express a casual interest without them having to call the AFCO off their own bat.

    a 4-tonner will do mate ;)

    Now I know where the initial slowness comes from. Not the fault of the AFCO so apologies for suggesting it was.
  15. Ok my original comments were not intended to be slagging of the AFCO, which I am sure in general doing a good job. They just don't seem geared up for inclined to deal with RNR and I wanted to responded to the original post by saying a number of us had had difficulties int getting into the RNR but that it was worth the hassle.

    My experiences of AFCO; I have had to use them twice once when I joined the RNR and more recently when dealing with them to go full time.

    I contacted the central phone number you mentioned and was passed onto my Unit. Started at my unit and completed the paperwork and gave it to the unit who sent it to the AFCO. Heard nothing more and continued training with my Unit.

    After about 6 month I started phoning the AFCO to find out how my application was going (as I was getting no feedback from the Unit) and they said they were expecting me to contact them (not very joined up therefore between Units and AFCO). A new recruit should not be expected to know the recruiting process, that is for AFCO / the Units to inform them. A number of phone calls with no return call, it took me going into the AFCO office on spec to make progress, where they told me the forms I had completed were out of date and I had to do them again.

    The interview and tests medicals and PJFT all had to be done at the AFCO, they would not trust the Units to undertake any of the stages, so you have to take three days precious leave to progress. The system seems setup for full timers rather than RNR.

    Security clearance takes a long time, mine took 18 month from me handing in the first set of forms to me getting my clearance (by which time I had finished my 547 course so was most of the way to AB1). Now I don't know what the delay was Unit or AFCO sitting on forms but the result was me not getting paid for that time and I never got my first years Bounty back.

    Most recent dealing has been a lot better but as I was looking at going submariner I think the AFCO were more interested in me getting through. I still think it rediculous that you have to repeat a PJFT when you are in date for your RNFT, but hey-ho. I have adopted a policy of taking paperwork into the AFCO and speaking to the advisor rather than posting and hoping for feedback.

    I guess that those that really want to get in will stick with it.
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    A valid point- possibly one way around this is if a member of the unit attends the AFCO, say once a month & systematically goes through all the current applications to check progress & chase individuals who are missing bits 'n' bobs. It would certainly help both sides & make us more coherent. (a current buzz word!). Some units do this already.

    What you could try & do on this one is ask the AFCO to do test, interviews & medicals in the same day- it avoids taking more than a day off work. The only snag is that it's a very long day for the candidate. The Medical has to be done by a qualified RN registered Doc, the interview must be done by a trained careers adviser. The PJFT can be done on Saturdays & Sundays or evenings if the gym is open late, or even at your unit if you have a PTI who is happy to adjudicate & send the AFCO a certificate.

    That is an extremely long time, I suspect someone delayed submitting it somewhere along the way. (My record is 12 months for someone who was living overseas & needed a security check with an overseas agency, but that is relatively rare.) Generally though, providing all the information requested, is provided correctly first time around, the Defence vetting Agency usually get is sorted in 8 weeks.

    Phil, submariner is a priority recruiting area- if you want to be a submariner call your careers adviser & state that you wish to change now & you'll most likelly get an earlier joining date too. Don't forget, you cannot change branches once you've joined, so just be sure that you're joining in the correct trade.

    Good luck.
    Any snags- feel free to PM me & I'll do my upmost to assist.
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    A fair point Dunks, but in my dealings with Dataforce, they've always been excellent. It is quite possible, perish the thought, someone forgot to post the EOIs mate.

    Don't forget, worse things happen at sea. Not that I recall anything bad happening to me. Oh, apart from getting bombed by an Argentinian Skyhawk, ooh forgot about that one......
  18. This was what I asked at the time to be told that, they would only book you onto the medical after you passed the tests and only book the PJFT when they had passed you medically fit so no you cant do it on the same day (and also the Doc always runs late so could not promise a finish time!). They would not accept the Unit PTIs or JSU Northwood PTIs say so about my RNFT (although in the most recent application they say they now can?!). Also tests in London are only on a Wednesday and Medicals only on the Thursday.

    Again not to get this out of proportion, I did get through it all and am very glad I did so. NS you just have to believe us when we say the process aint made any easier for RNR when I think it should be as it is in addition to a candidates full time job and getting time off aint that easy. I hope the feedback is of help and is taken in the contructive way it is intended.

    And in response to the original poster I hope this exchange has not put you off you really should go for it, we need all the bodies we can get and good luck with your application.
  19. I have to amit alot of what you put in your first post is whats putting me off joining the RNR, the thought of having to start all over again and being taught in effect to suck eggs really doesn't appeal to me.

    Ok I know I only do sea cadets but as a sea cadet instructor I hold the rank of PO and spend my time when at a naval establishment in the Senior rates mess, to then have to go back to becoming a rating and being treated like a 16 year old really doesn't appeal to me.

    If anyone can convince me otherwise please feel free!
  20. Reminds me of a retired stoker telling me about his time in the RN, "loved it, got shot at a few times and sunk once, would still recommend it to anyone!"

    Wompingwillow you have a PM

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