ScotsCadet

Midshipman
Hello.

I'm currently considering a career as a medical officer in the navy, and I'm exploring options for what to do during uni. I'm trying to choose between the RNR, RMR, and (if I get the offer from a university that has one) a URNU.

I'm interested in joining as a medical officer, and possibly serving with the Royal Marines. I've heard to do so, you practically need a green lid.

If that isn't the case, would URNU or the RNR be a better option if I have the choice? I'd also be applying for a cadetship.
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I'd put it out of your head that you'll need a Green Lid to serve as an MO with the Corps, though it would certainly do your cred no end of good.

One key factor would be having an RNR unit within striking distance of where you were a medical student. The URNU can actually be quite difficult to get into and is typically oversubscribed, whereas the RNR will take you if you tick all the requisite boxes.


Perversely, as they have P2000s, you may spend more time at Sea in the URNU.


Time spent in the RNR now may help your progression towards AIB and Cadetship. Correct me if I'm wrong but the Cadetship is paid from year 3. @Ninja_Stoker can confirm or deny.

Given the choice, go RNR. The URNU , believe it or not, is not really a recruiting organisation.

You may have unwittingly just reopened up the URNU debate that haunts these forums from time to time...
 

ScotsCadet

Midshipman
Aye, cadetships are paid from year 3 of five year MBChB, or year 4 of MBChB with an intercalculated degree.

As for units, all possible universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee) are in close proximity to a RNR unit, a RMR unit and three of the four have URNUs, I think? Either way, the RNR is available no matter which uni.
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Aye, cadetships are paid from year 3 of five year MBChB, or year 4 of MBChB with an intercalculated degree.

As for units, all possible universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee) are in close proximity to a RNR unit, a RMR unit and three of the four have URNUs, I think? Either way, the RNR is available no matter which uni.


Good to see you've done your research.... mind you, you seem to be using the adjective 'close' in it's Scottish sense lol
 

ScotsCadet

Midshipman
For Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, its less than an hour's ride away. Just hope I don't have only Aberdeen left! If I do, then my nearest unit is actually RMR I think. Being forced to become a bootie for five years.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
As stated the practical requirement for a medical officer to gain a green beret is nil.

The aim of the RMR is to flexibly augment the trained strength of the regular Corps in an operational capacity...not, to put it bluntly, provide green berets for personal kudos. That said, it is a familiar path trodden by a fair number of medical students aspiring to join the Navy. The tip? Do it in your first year if you are going to do it.

Practical application of the green skills acquired are virtually nil, nor has it ever stopped non-Commando doctors serving in 3 Commando Brigade previously as until recently, females were not given the opportunity to join the RMR but still serve in 3 Brigade without issue.

URNU is specifically aimed at students as the name implies and actually does now include recruitment in its mission statement after many years claiming otherwise. Out of the 14 URNUs & 700 officer cadets, we get about 28 a year joining the RN, last time I viewed the stats. If you get a cadetship or bursary off the RN and don't join the RNR or RMR, you are guaranteed a place in an URNU and expected to attend where practical.

RNR gives you the opportunity to take and pass all elements of RN Officer selection & transfer seamlessly into the RN upon registration as a doc which is particularly useful if you don't get a medical cadetship.

Ultimately geography, availability and personal preference will determine the choice as you are clearly already aware.

Good luck.
 

CmdKeen

Lantern Swinger
I've only ever encountered doctors with green lids who have done the RMR route. However filed away at the back of my mind is an old RN website post that quoted an RNR Surgeon Sub Lieutenant going through the RMR commando course.

Now that might be that he was in the RMR but hit the medical cadetship before doing the course and therefore theoretically moved onto the RNR's books. It may be that he joined the RNR but petitioned to do the commando course like the chaplain mentioned in the article.

Might be one to ask about, along with how much of the RNR YO pipeline you would need to do. Those who are already qualified as doctors only do Phase 1A (up to BRNC) but not the rest. As a medical student I suspect we would put you through Phase 1B (sea time and Fleet Board) and Phase 2 which would provide some useful insights that you wouldn't get from the full time professionally qualified officer route.
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Cmd Keen has it. If you do it in the RNR you can train and earn some cash before you ever go near the URNU or Regular Navy, so can concentrate on drinking Beer and playing Rugby like all the other Medical Students when that time comes. Time Management, man...:D
 

ScotsCadet

Midshipman
Cheers for all this advice.

What I'm taking away from this is that it seems like joining the RNR as a YO is probably the best route, and it looks that way too. RNR is actually as close as URNU, and works for all universities I'm applying to. Plus, it pays a hell of a lot better than URNU from what I found, if I'm as active as I can be, though.

Beer and rugby. Aye, nothing like a drunk second row after a lecture!
 

arcticfox042

Lantern Swinger
My RN Dentist had a green lid in 42 in the 80's a really good bloke from Brum, I shared a few tent sheets with him on Norway deployments.
Poor bloke died of hypoxia in a snow hole in 1983.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Cheers for all this advice.

What I'm taking away from this is that it seems like joining the RNR as a YO is probably the best route, and it looks that way too. RNR is actually as close as URNU, and works for all universities I'm applying to. Plus, it pays a hell of a lot better than URNU from what I found, if I'm as active as I can be, though.

Beer and rugby. Aye, nothing like a drunk second row after a lecture!
Two things to watch out for;

Check your daily rate of pay as an RNR YO as my understanding is it is initially the same daily rate as new entry ratings, which, in turn, is pretty much the same as an URNU student gets paid - happy to be corrected on this if anyone knows different.

Don't join the RNR in anticipation of being permitted to undertake the Reserve Forces Commando Course (RFCC) whilst in the RNR despite what you may hear anecdotally. Generally it's for RMR and Army Reserves. Whilst theoretically possible, the only assured route to undergoing RFCC is by joining the RMR, as alluded by @CmdKeen.

nearly guarantees a draft to a Cdo Ubit rather than, say, a submarine...
True, but many selectively don't hear the word "nearly". It's a bit like the the medical examination, most people hear "You've passed everything..." then mentally erase the "but we just need to write to your GP about..." bit. :)
 

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