RNR Recruiting - The Propositions & Your Suggestions

spooner

Midshipman
*This may be more relevant in a different forum, so please move it if appropriate*

Here are my thoughts and experience as a RNR direct entry officer candidate (no previous military experience whatsoever), currently awaiting security clearance after passing AIB:
I believe that my recruitment process proceeded along roughly the same lines as a direct entry regular RN officer, with an acquaint visit at the RNR unit, recruit test, eye test, medical, fitness, sift interview, AIB briefing, attendance at AIB and security clearance. I have an AIB debrief booked for later this month. The whole process has taken about 7 months so far, including a month of being declared TMU. I'm self employed so pretty flexible time-wise. There's no 'holding class' at the unit I hope to join, so after my acquaint visit, which was a personal tour rather than a group recruitment presentation, I have had no contact with the unit.

The initial acquant visit was facilitated by a regional Recruiting Pipeline Manager who then passed me over to the AFCO who dealt with everything up to the sift interview, which was handled by the regional Officer Careers Liaison Centre up to attendance at AIB. The AIB office initiated the security clearance process after I passed.

I went through AIB with a selection of candidates; of the eight people two were direct entry RNR officers, two serving RNR ratings, two young regular warfare officers, and two specialist/qualified officers. The other direct entry RNR officer and one of two young guys didn't pass.

I've found the process so far pretty straightforward - if a little protracted - but I have a few observations:

1. I realise security clearance is an expensive process, but surely it could have been carried out earlier? Perhaps after the medical while waiting for an AIB date? I made it clear that I would apply to join as a rating if unsuccessful at AIB, so it wouldn't have been a 'wasted' SC application. As it is, I've passed AIB and I'm keen to attend the unit and get started, but I can't (I have asked). For regular officers awaiting a date for BRNC I guess this delay wouldn't really be much of an issue. As it is, I have no idea when I'll actually be attending the unit for the first time (or what I'll actually be doing when I walk through the door for the first time (see below)).

2. As I understand the situation is changing on a fairly regular basis I struggled to get a definitive answer as to the RNR officer training progression, ranks at various stages of training, courses that I'll need to do etc. I managed to piece together a bit of an overview from various sources, but it was all a bit sketchy! Thankfully the board didn't ask in too much detail either.

3. While the officer recruitment process is obviously designed to accomodate those with no military background, the RNR ratings attending AIB along with me were very well prepared prior to attending and appeared to breeze through the process with confidence (though I have no idea of their individual scores). There seemed to be excellent mentoring for those hoping to attend AIB within their different units.

4. Unlike those wishing to join a 'regular' branch, who I understand are offered acqaunt visits via the OCLC, there didn't seem to be any way of organising a branch-specific acquaint visit, or even a phone chat with an officer in the branch I wish to join. I was lucky enough to be able to talk to a young officer preparing for Fleet Board at the unit during my visit, but I would have loved to have spoken to an officer in the branch I hope to join. I'm confident that I tried all the phone numbers and email addresses that I have access to, and I appreciate that the OCLC did try on my behalf too.

**

As it is I'm hoping to attend the unit before the end of the year, but I've got no idea if that's feasible! Regardless - I'm looking forward to getting started.
 
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2_deck_dash

War Hero
Finally been given a joining date in the New Year, which at least gives me time to cultivate a massive Movember tash before I get in rig.

However, why not earlier? The unit are desperate to get me onboard ASAP and I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting, I've been given a join date so clearly someone is processing the paperwork. Surely if I can be given a join date in Jan, I can be given a join date in a week or even tomorrow?

More unnecessary waiting around and time for me to seriously consider other options. It'll be 4 months from passing my security clearance (and all other aspects of the recruiting process) to finally joining the RNR. It'll be over a year from me initially contacting the unit to actually getting in rig.

Why?

Just to remind you, joining the TA took 8 weeks.

Edited to add: Given the fact that I've been hassling everyone and phoning the AFCO on a weekly basis, I hate to think how long it'd take for someone who wasn't as proactive in staying in contact.
 

spooner

Midshipman
By way of an update to my post above, I was able to join an INT class at my unit on an unpaid basis while waiting for my security clearance to come through. It now has, so from initial aquaint visit at the unit to completing the security clearance process has been almost exactly 9 months. This is as a direct entry officer with no previous military service.

At my AIB debrief it was suggested that there are plans afoot to speed the recruitment process up, but I wasn't able to ascertain exacty how.

I'm at least a month or so behind the rest of my INT class, but should manage to catch up, and I can't understand why 2_deck_dash is having to wait until the new year - does his unit try and start all new entrants at the same time so that they progress through the training at roughly the same rate?
 
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