Role Help RNR


I'm currently living in Brazil and will be moving back to the UK in August (conveniently after the World Cup) to study my masters and I am giving some very serious thought to joining the RNR whilst I am at uni. I think I'd like to join as an officer. I have done the web chat thing with somebody who was very helpful but told me they can't give me information about specific roles and gave me an email for somebody that could help.

The problem is, the website doesn't give any information except the Joint Cyber Unit which doesn't interest me at all and the fella that emailed me back didn't give me any information that a PDF document I'd found on Google hadn't already given me and obviously going into a recruitment office isn't an option here.

I've been lurking around the forum and reading some of the threads so I'd like to ask a few questions to clarify some of the things I've read elsewhere and also get some information regarding roles.

1) I read on one thread recently that some A-Levels are worth more than others to the Navy and they don't accept some - any clues as to which they may be?
2) The roles that appear to appeal to me, from the little information available, are intelligence, information operations and logistics. Can anybody tell me what would be involved day to day for each one and what are the chances of being deployed for each one and where would it be to? I'm aware that some details may not be best repeated in an open forum but more information than "Information Operations You will produce plans, information and material to give military commanders an edge in battlefield conditions. Working on land and at sea you could be involved in operational security, deception planning and electronic warfare" (which is what is in the PDF I found on Google would be helpful. Are there any of those PDF documents that are listed for the diving role at the top of the forum page for example?
3) Is there a way you can do the training more quickly? If I went to two-three nights per week instead of one for example?

Thanks in advance
The best way to get an early heads up is to start talking to the Unit where you would expect to attend – if you let me know by PM I can put you in direct comms with them NOW.

As to how quickly you can get through the process, extra evenings won’t make as much difference as a positive attitude. If you make yourself available for all the weekend training as well as the drill nights, you can easily get through basic (phase 1 training) in 6-9 months.

What happens next will depend on if you end up as an officer or rating.

As an example, an IO Officer can attend weekend IO weekends about once a month, and as many 2-week courses that you can get the time off to conduct. As for mobilization, as a Full Time Student you will not be liable for call up, that said, even if you conduct 2 x 2weeks of courses a year, it will probably take you 2 yrs to be trained enough to mobilize (but again, there can be exceptions to this, if all parties are willing).

But bottom line, talk to your future unit ASAP as they have a very vested interest in giving you accurate info.


Lantern Swinger
If you join as an officer you will be doing generic training for at least two years before your final exam, only after which do you actually apply to a branch. You'll have the opportunity to do acquaint visits to branches and joint weekends before your choice, and the chance to chat to officers in a variety of branches that happen to be in your unit before making a decision. Some of branches keep fairly quiet about what they do, so you'll get a much better picture once you've gotten in.

What I can say is that there are some branches doing interesting roles, at sea, that the regular RN wants them to provide the capability for.

With respect to officer training there is plenty you can do, especially once you've gotten through your first year. It won't necessarily speed up your training, but those who do more weekends tend to do better in the assessments.

It's something the RNR doesn't really advertise well, you apply to join a specific branch after basic training, both rating and officer.

Hope that helps.
As my Learned Colleague has pointed out full-time students are not deployable - simply not enough time between university terms to do a tour.

Best advice: Join the URNU if your chosen uni has one.
URNU and RNR are 2 completely different beasts.
If working alongside your Regular counterparts, and doing a valued job is your main motivator, then RNR.
If your main motivation is to parade round in Midshipman's uniform, and go to sea in a small patrol boat once a summer, then go for the URNU.
(as an aside, even at the AB and Recruit level, you can earn far more in the RNR than an URNU Midshipmite)
Alright lads (and ladies?) thanks for the replies.

Sorry for the poor communication on my part, I meant AFTER graduating, how often are you mobilised/deployed? I read on another thread it's about once in five years which doesn't seem a lot at all.

SimpleReservist, I'll send you a message in a second mate. Cheers.

Does anybody have any information on the roles I mentioned? I just can't find anything on them more than a sentence or two. The reasons they appeal to me are that I'll be studying development economics and policy and the job roles I will be doing with that afterwards are essentially analysing a mass of work and deciding what is pertinent and what is not before making recommendations based on the information...... which is pretty much what intelligence is. Logistics appeals because I like the idea of helping, usually poorer countries, that have had natural disasters with aid. I remember seeing on the news after the Haiti disaster the British military helping there with supplies etc. and as I'm studying a degree to help less developed countries I think it is something that would appeal greatly. Information operations just sounds interesting from what little I know of it.

I took a look at the URNU in Manchester (which is where I'm going to be studying) last night but I don't really understand what is. Seems like a doss out for students to be honest but with regular sea time.

Standing by to be corrected though..........

Just replied SimpleReservist, thanks.

These messages were not in the same order when I was logged in before and some weren't even in the thread............
Sorry for the poor communication on my part, I meant AFTER graduating, how often are you mobilised/deployed? I read on another thread it's about once in five years which doesn't seem a lot at all.
For most of the last decade, if you want more mobilisation, you can have more. If you're looking forwards to it so much, why not just go full-time?

Anyway, wait until you've got an established professional career, a spouse (who did not marry into the forces in the same way that someone marrying a full-timer does) and a family and then see how spending one year in five (sometimes with a month's notice) away feels :)
I wasn't saying whether I would or wouldn't enjoy it. I was just expecting it to be more time away to be honest with no implication that this would be a good or bad thing. Just stating an expectation. As for joining full time, I'm too old to join as an officer and too old to start in a career that pays £15-16 +/- a year - I earn nearly that in Brazil and it goes a lot further than it would in the UK. The reserves gives me the best of both worlds.

Either way, thanks to SimpleReservist (cheers again), I now have a date booked at the unit in Liverpool in August on the 13th for a presentation, a Q&A and maybe a pint in the mess after. I'll report back when I've been.
I don't think you can join the URNU as a Masters student as they stipulate you need 2 years left of study when you join? Unless your masters is more than a year in which case you must be crazy :p

The cool people join the RNR whilst doing their masters, hope it works out well for you :)
Hahah no just a year! I actually wanted to do the ERASMUS masters programme in development economics which would have meant a year in Madrid and a year in either Warwick or Sweden (definitely would have opted for Sweden) but I was too late getting my documents translated to Spanish. I haven't read/heard anything about that joining with two years of study left, I suppose I'll find out in August at the opening evening.

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