RNR questions

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by RT337, Apr 1, 2016.

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  1. Afternoon all,

    Having really enjoyed my time in the URNU whilst a student, I am giving some consideration to a career in the RNR. At this stage, I am merely trying to understand it all a little better.

    Specifically, regarding commitment, I have read on the RN website that it's 24 training days a year, 12 NCT and 12 CT. My question is how is this NCT time broken down? Is it one drill night each and every week?

    The website mentions 3 weekends and a period of 12 days block training (CT). Is this realistic? Or is it a minimum? If i decide to do this (and fortunate enough to be selected!), I'm getting stuck in and doing it properly. I need to understand what the realistic time commitment is and how this would affect my family life and work out implications for my employer.

    My aspiration would be to join as an Officer. It would appear that RNR Officer - General Entry would be the only real option for me. How would any subsequent specialisation (for example is the Fleet Air Arm an option, Intelligence, etc) work, in practice? Would I get a say? Or would it be dependant on the requirement of the Fleet at the time?

    How soon after starting training could I expect to be deployed? Sadly, I'd never get the time off to consider the fast-track programme. I'm assuming my training would take a while part-time?

    Many thanks for your help
  2. Hi,

    Joining as an officer you realistically need to think of the 24 days as a lower bound, especially once you get through your first year of initial training. Depending on which unit you join you will find varying amounts of administration responsibility being directed your way early on.

    As a Young Officer on the traditional Direct Entry scheme you will spend circa 2 years in pure Initial Naval Training, being ex-URNU a lot of it will be familiar and you'll have the opportunity to help our your more lubbery peers. At the end of the process you apply to join a specialisation, so knowing what they are now is helpful but things may well change by that point. You'll be significantly more informed from chats in the mess with peers about what life is really like, can go on familiarisation visits etc. Generally you will get your first choice, I'm not aware of anyone being full for Young Officers and especially not for young Young Officers (upper and lower case have different meanings there). However the Air Branch is currently only open to ex-regular WAFUs.

    In terms of time commitments you can fill your boots, you are realistically looking at a training evening most weeks, several weekends a year as well as at least 2 weeks of continuous training. Your first year will be 3 weeks due to NMT100 and BRNC. Your second is EFSSC (midweek) and sea time. Your third year is JOLC and the DOs course, and if keen some initial specialisation training. That could be 3+ weeks of regular courses though RNR versions are on offer to shorten it. That is leaving aside any Adventurous Training or CLM courses you might want to do.
    With weekends it is strongly encouraged during YO training to do more than the minimum, failing to prepare and all that.

    Once you have passed JOLC and the DOs course you are "trained strength" and could deploy in generic YO roles e.g. the Olympics. For more traditional mobilisations in depends heavily on the specialisation you join but is likely to be several years. If you want a quick mobilisation join as a Junior Rate, and even those are rarer these days.

    That's a "brief" summary of stuff. Get in touch with your nearest unit and make contact with the Recruiting Officer and ideally the Young Officer Training Officer (YOTO) who can give you more information, especially about things like the financial incentive scheme, AIB etc. It's a good time to join as a YO, the training is being improved and more RNR friendly courses (weekends rather than midweek) being organised. With a glut of older officers retiring over the next few years there are plenty of opportunities in many specialisations.

    Hope that helps. However if you're in London and looking at HMS President the above might be completely different, they've so many officers you'll probably be made Assistant Tuesday Wine Officer in about 4 years time...
    • Informative Informative x 3
  3. Why on earth are we making ex-URNU OCs do RNR INT?!
  4. It gives various SO1 types something to do.
  5. Why should you be different to the rest of us? :)

    Serious head on:
    @CmdKeen Good answer, Sir
  6. CmdKeen,

    Thanks very much. Your post is more than helpful.

    I've had a glance at my employment handbook at work and I would be entitled to 2 weeks leave per year for RNR activities. I could use holiday entitlement but would risk the wrath of the missus if it came at the expense of a family holiday! Perhaps some extra unpaid leave would be a possibility. Does anyone have any experience of a similar employer restriction and how it could be overcome?

    HMS Eaglet would probably be best (i'm more or less in the middle of a couple!), i'll try and get hold of the YOTO sometime soon
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I'd have thought 3 years URNU membership would've already covered the basics learnt in a couple of weeks at a New Entry Training Establishment also. At least I'd certainly hope so.

    The URNU is becoming more mainstream inasmuch as students undergo a regular service medical which aligns with the change of mission statement which now includes recruitment.

    URNU students, unlike RNR Officer candidates, still skip the recruit test, sift interview, fitness test, AIB and are bizarrely given an ID card (permitting access to all UK military establishments) without even a cursory counter-terrorist check, let alone security clearance (which only costs about forty quid).
  8. Drill nights go from important to optional to "haven't done one in years" depending on where you are in the system and your unit. NCT is stuff like adventurous training, generic "command, leadership and management" training, and so forth - the general "Navy, not branch" work. CT is core skills for your branch once you're on strength (so, for instance, I've done the fundamentals training for my branch, then Joint Warrior up at Faslane, then the Reserve Forces Imagery Analysis course)

    My unit's a bit out of the ordinary - we're a national unit so don't really have drill nights, so most of what we do ends up being CT but as long as you've clocked enough days and aren't too badly adrift on the mandatory stuff (drugs & alcohol, security and diversity lectures) nobody minds that you did 20-odd days CT and only five or six NCT (for instance).

    I'd treat it as a minimum, though depending on where you are and what you're doing you may not need to go madly over it. I've been doing thirty-odd days paid the last couple of years, which has been lively but manageable. Most of it weekends, with a two-week block each year: plus an extra week to sneak Junior Officers' Leadership in. You should fight shy of doing too much outside of weekends or evenings, especially if you're not well supported at work (an oppo was offered the generous choice of doing weekday RNR training out of his annual leave or unpaid, and now I'm self-employed it costs me £300 a day to train between Monday and Friday)

    I've had a bit of a mad rush recently with an average of a weekend or two every month for the last six months, but then I don't do quarter-days on Tuesday nights any more. That was me signing up for a fairly intense course plus doing other interesting stuff as well, so it's fairly extreme, but I'd reckon on at least six weekends a year, plus some drill nights, plus a two-week chunk - and remember the events will come when they do, and you'll need to either free time or not go, you'll have very little opportunity to pick and choose "I'll do something next weekend instead". Make sure your family are prepared for you disappearing on some weekends (you should have a couple of months' warning, the system claims you're required to be booking onto them six weeks in advance)

    You'd join as "a Junior Officer" or whatever the terminology is (it changes all the time) in the generic pipeline until you get to Fleet Board and pick up substantive rank, whereupon you'll choose a branch.

    Some have entry requirements (FAA is only for ex-regular WAFUs, for instance) or selection procedures, but you can explore, plan and prepare in advance. I went for intelligence, passed their selection weekend, and did a couple of training events with them, all before Fleet Board and formally transferring; which let me confirm that (a) I liked the branch and the people in it, (b) they wanted me to come and join them, (c) I met their entry requirements. So, when I went to see my CO and asked him for permission to transfer, he joked "thought you'd already gone?" (he was a top bloke, and had supported me throughout even though he knew I'd be leaving his unit once I finished training)

    While you'd need there to be space in whichever branch you were qualified for and wanted to join, at the moment the RNR has a bit of a demographic crunch going on - lots of old'n'bold, many of them very good, but aging out of the system too - so lots of enthusiasm to get new blood in to learn the ropes and step up. So, if you qualify for a branch, odds are good they'll take you (but check first - it helps, especially if "we're only recruiting five SLts this year" improve your odds of being one of those five...)

    If you're going DE officer, figure on two (if lucky) or three (more likely) years to go from entry to substantive rank and choosing a branch, then another year or two of branch training. (Your URNU experience may shorten that, but you'll still be at the mercy of when courses like NMT100, BRNC and ships with space for you for Fleet Time run).

    After that, it depends on all sorts of things. Having started training at the end of 2008, I got asked to deploy in early 2014, which was where I and the Navy discovered I had a problem with my blood pressure (apparently 180/140 are not good numbers? Now rather better, though...) but other branches may move faster or slower.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. But rarely have I met a bad URNU OC - weird, yes; bad, no....
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Hmmn. OC or OCdt?

    Have you met the more recently created and introduced Unit OC's who work in tandem with the P2000 CO's?

    To be fair, those students (OCdts) with former URNU experience who make the transition and go on to pass RN/RNR selection & training, tend to be pretty good quality Officers in my experience, in the main. I've seen a few of the former URNU OCdts return as OCs.
  11. Officer Cadets; I may have views on some of the Unit OCs...
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I think we probably agree.
  13. It's a major plus that there seems to be flexibility concerning how and when you deliver/exceed your commitment. On initial reflection, over and above the 2 weeks I can have off work, weekends would be perfect for going on extra courses and generally getting stuck in.
  14. Just seen this. I think OTC officer cadets have to do phase 1 bravo but not alpha if they join the AR now. They used to be able to transfer straight into a reserve unit as a soldier.

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