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Royal Navy Life with a family?!

Hi guys, I have read quite a few threads in here and hoping to get some more recent views.

My husband has applied and has his tests etc coming up so I thought I would investigate on how long to expect him to be away for etc..
I have seen so many people say it's best being single, it's a hard life for a navy spouse etc etc...

He is currently serving in the military, we are currently in SFA housing etc (been married almost two years now and on the 'patch').
Does the navy tend to deploy/venture out to sea more than I would expect from usual military life?! We have two children and he keeps asking my opinion on being away more and I keep telling him I can't make an informed choice on how I feel if I don't know how long he'll be away. We have two children also.
I must admit I haven't the foggiest about the navy (im still pretty clueless to military life in general tbh, cheap housing and he works 'away' at times is my view on things)
He's looking at aircraft controller or something along those lines :/ does this mean he's less likely to disappear or..?

Any help/places I can read more info on the jobs/life/differences would be great.

If you made it this far, thanks :)
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
He could be away for up to 10 months depending on the ships programme, but that's probably not going to happen too often.
 
G

guestm

Guest
Suggest @Montigny-La-Palisse for an opinion on:

"...He's looking at aircraft controller or something along those lines :/ does this mean he's less likely to disappear or..?"

@Trixibell89 With 15 years in the branch I'm fairly well positioned to give a run down on Aircraft Controller and how the branch is looking currently with regard to time away form home and posting locations, if that is indeed what he ends up joining as.

We're not in the realms of being practically guaranteed to be away for 9 months a year every year like we were in the early 2000s, it's fairly well balanced currently.

However, as has been said above, it can be up to 10 months in a minority of circumstances, that is a worst case scenario though. In the early stages of an ACs career, a fairly high tempo of sea time is required to qualify and advance so should be expected. As an AC progresses however, that sea time can get less and less. Especially if he were to stream ATC. Promotion prospects are very good so no reason why this can't happen very quickly if he's switched on and willing.

People saying 'it's best to be single' talk out of their arse. I and plenty of others have balanced a very successful career with a great family life despite being bounced from pillar to post and sea to desert. Even surviving the indignity and cruelty of being sent to dark corners of Cornwall. It's not easy, it takes patience and understanding but it's absolutely manageable and in this day and age you're very, very rarely out of contact. Plus there is now an excellent family support system in place for those with deployed spouses.

Happy to answer any Qs.
 
Ah @Montigny-La-Palisse that's an awesome reply.
He's currently away at the mo but we plan to visit the careers office for some extra info etc... especially as I haven't the faintest at all and completely clueless in regards to all this.

9/10 months away is quite a while but hey ho if that's what he wants to do and it's a minority then I'm sure I can prepare for that. Do you get a lot of down time when you come back between deployments/sailing off.

Are you aware of, if any differences really between the life on patch? We're currently in SFA (with the army) and I'm guessing it's pretty much the same jist army/raf/navy etc...?!
What's living conditions like on ship and fitness/general day to day stuff.
Sorry if I'm asking so many questions

Many thanks again for your reply earlier
 
G

guestm

Guest
Ah @Montigny-La-Palisse that's an awesome reply.
He's currently away at the mo but we plan to visit the careers office for some extra info etc... especially as I haven't the faintest at all and completely clueless in regards to all this.

9/10 months away is quite a while but hey ho if that's what he wants to do and it's a minority then I'm sure I can prepare for that. Do you get a lot of down time when you come back between deployments/sailing off.

Are you aware of, if any differences really between the life on patch? We're currently in SFA (with the army) and I'm guessing it's pretty much the same jist army/raf/navy etc...?!
What's living conditions like on ship and fitness/general day to day stuff.
Sorry if I'm asking so many questions

Many thanks again for your reply earlier


I haven't done a 10 month year since 2005. They're not that common. As an AC if he pulls his finger out, he should only really have one truly high tempo year early on. For long deployments he can come home midway or, if it's somewhere nice, you can fly out for a break.

In general terms you get 6 weeks paid leave per calendar year, but you also accrue sea leave whilst away, it's not uncommon to take a huge chunk of time off on your return (My personal record is 6 weeks leave in one go, but that was an anomaly). When not deployed it's almost every weekend off.

Patch life is very different in the RN to the other services in my experience, as our patches tend to be outside the wire, there's a lot less Hollyoaks / Eastenders bullshit drama to be had and it's a lot more like 'normal' life. I've found Army patches are downright weird, feel a forced community and lack privacy, RAF patches are like downtown Aleppo.

Living conditions on 45s and QEC are very, very good. Considering these are warships not cruise liners, he really won't have many complaints there. Likewise fitness facilities and opportunity for sport.

If you need any more info on the branch prior to or after your careers visit, happy to help.
 
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