Sea Spec or RM

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by SRAlex, Nov 24, 2011.

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  1. I'm writing this as I'm not entirely sure what route to go down.

    I'm 19 years old and I used to be the Army Cadets. I've also been aboard various ships and I served briefly in the TA (I moved away unexpectedly from the unit before I finished my Phase 2).

    I currently have a application going for the Royal Marines. I originally applied for RM, changed to Seaman Spec and switched back to RM.

    I love being at sea and working on ships, however, I don't particularly want to leave behind the 'green' stuff.

    My original aim was to go RM and then get into the FSRT. However, as I've done more research I've realised this is far from a certain route and a lot will depend on if I get the posting I would want initially, FPGRM. I've heard that when on ship, RMs spend all of their time cleaning and doing the naff jobs that no-one else wants to do.

    On the other hand, Seaman Spec (while obviously doing cleaning too) also do all of the other things on the ship that I would like to do. I've also found out that RN personnel can be members of boarding parties along with marines.

    I have talked to my careers advisor about this, but he is fairly vague and although he gives me some info, he doesn't really seem too bothered.

    He told me that for Seaman Spec I'd be waiting for at least 15 months to start at Raleigh (this was back in March) whereas for marines it takes about 6 months. I'm very aware of that fact that joining the marines purely because it is quicker to join than the navy isn't really a good reason at all.

    The final issue I am battling with is that I don't particularly want to train for nearly a year as a Seaman Spec and then never see active service whereas in the marines I will almost definitely find myself on operations. I know the navy is shrinking and I can't help but wonder how much I would get to see and do as a seaman spec.

    Any advice, or comments, would be great. Due to an injury I've been spending the last few months sitting around doing physio so I’ve had plenty of time to think things over, but I have not reached a decision. I still have a few more months of sitting about but I would like to be able to confirm RM or Seaman Spec to the AFCO as soon as I can.
  2. What's FSRT?
  3. Fleet Standby Rifle Troop.

    According to Wiki: "The Group provides a number of teams to conduct tasks in support of the Royal Navy worldwide, including counter-terrorist, counter-narcotics and counter-piracy. All the teams receive specialist training and equipment and are held at high readiness for deployment. Many of the teams are specifically trained in non-compliant boarding skills. Those wishing to join an FSRT team are required to serve an apprenticeship in FPGRM and to be specifically recommended as suitable for this highly demanding and rewarding role."
  4. Sounds like life as a RM LC would be the best bet for you. After the re-design of the website, I can't find the LC Branch downloadable sheet. I've no doubt Sol will be able to find for us though ;)

    Effectively they work all the Corps' small craft, from Rigid Raiders to the Landing Craft Utility. One large unit - 539 Assault Squadron RM - as well as 3 ASRM associated to the LPH and 2 x LPD. There are several smaller units (including one in direct support of SBS), as well as chances to work in 'normal' Cdo Units as you progress up the branch.

    I don't know if any of the Bootnecks on here are LC, but I'm sure they could give a 'green' perspective.....
  5. Alfred, thanks for that and it is an option I've looked at.

    However, you need to have eyesight level VAI for LC and I am VAII so I think it is a no-go.
  6. Really? I'm not sure how you can go Spec then - they carry out much the same roles on the water, and the Sea Spec lads also watchkeep on the Bridge.

    NS/SM is this true?
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Ultimately, it's the choice of the individual.

    Sea spec is actually 60+ months from Recruiting Test (RT) to entry at present, so unless you passed the RT a few years ago, my guess is you may have misheard.

    Every job has a menial element & Royal Marines serving afloat are no different - they earn their keep & aren't fed peeled grapes on their chaise longue whilst waiting for the call to rapid-rope from a helicopter with a dagger twixt their teeth.

    Generally, those that want to be a Royal Marines Commando know they want to be one from the outset - it certainly isn't something a genuine applicant umms & ah's about about or considers as a fall-back option. If fitness isn't an integral part of your life, then frankly it isn't for you & possibly that's why your careers adviser is reticent in processing you further in that direction.

    Good luck.
  8. 60 months? Blimey.

    Surely there comes a time when the AFCO's have to say to people don't bother. Who the hell if going to wait 60 months, thats incredible.
  9. But then, in those 5 years, I imagine our recruit would hold a full-time job or do some sort of education. It is strange to think that, I could apply for that role now and have finished GCSEs, A-Levels and a Degree (assuming it takes 6-10 months to pass all the selection tests/interviews) by the time I would start at Raleigh.
  10. It is, frankly, fucking mad. And I have no idea why. We should conduct a selection board (much like the AIB), and only allow the top x of each board in, with an RT only valid for 12 months. At least that way we get the best in.
  11. I agree, you could have, quite literally, the best rating candidate, the one who's gonna get a commission as an officer and retire as a Captain, behind a lot of frankly, rubbish, recruits. I know I'd be put off a bit by a 5 year waiting list.

    The Army and RAF don't have this problem, but I haven't the foggiest about how they select recruits, and the RMs have the PRMC to select the best candidates with.
  12. Hmm, another one who is desperate to wear a uniform of some type and opts for the one with the shortest waiting time.
    A member of the 99% methinks.
  13. I know, I'm making a purely hypothetical point, and our imaginary exceptional recruit could be a WO instead, it doesn't matter, it's just to illustrate it.
  14. Because if everyone was an intelligent, motivated, pragmatic, driven and pro-active all star, none of the shit jobs would ever get done and nobody would make it past 4 years of service once they realise that a career in the Armed Forces is pretty rubbish.

    And I'd have no-one to troop.
  15. What montigny says is true. I think a better idea would be that they "close" recruitment for branches that are really over subscribed, then open recruitment again for those particular branches when they need recruits. Its what the crabs do, and, much as it pains me to admit it, its a good idea. There is absolutely no point in having a five year waiting list for a job, I suspect that in the vast majority of cases people's lives will have changed so much from when they first applied that they may turn their place at HMS Raleigh down. This is particularly likely given that the majority of RN applicants are aged 16-25.
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Correct LC is VA1. Oddly Sea Spec is VA2.

    The RAF open & close branches to recruiting but don't give any indication how long the wait is for a branch to re-open. Consequently applicants opt for second or third choice only to "miss the boat" when the branch sudenly re-opens, creams off those who apply at that moment in time, then closes again.

    The RN isn't suggesting you wait 5 years for Sea Spec but it's telling you that if you want to be a Sea Spec & nothing else it's 5 years, so get on the list & no-one can join ahead of you. Fully agree that virtually no-one would wait 5 years, but... very often the recruiting test score limits jobs available, particularly if the person has sat the test twice & not increased their score by a significant margin to increase available jobs.

    I'd lay money that the OP on this thread originally opted for RM, has not reached the physical fitness standards to progress his application & is left with limited alternatives. Generally people fail RM selection then look elsewhere, but seldom do they fail RN selection & consider the RM as a "fall back".

    As stated Royal Marines afloat work the same as any matelot on a ship. They aren't specifically given "shit jobs", they just do their share - same as everyone else. You will often hear young, relatively inexperienced Royals (and indeed matelots with no civilian work experience) bleat about serving on ships, forgetting they not only volunteered but they have creature comforts such as hot & cold running water, flushing bogs, 3 free meals cooked for them daily, a sprung mattress, sunbathing deck, Internet access, satellite TV, a shop, a laundry & air conditioning as compared to living in a field with a muddy puddle, mess tin, bivvy, digging a hole to have a poo & only rain for entertainment.

    Each to their own.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    If the choice is Sea Spec or RM, then for those who can't wait 5 years or can't meet the Phys standards for RM, then Warfare Spec is perhaps a viable option.

    This excellent short cartoon illustrates my point about the rigours of life afloat rather amusingly: Royal Navy. New Joiner - YouTube
  18. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Can I just say as a Royal aboard one of the Queens grey funnel taxi's I had a ball, I didn't do many shit jobs, infact I did an awful lot of sunbathing.
  19. My advice (being someone who works with sea specs and booties on the same ship) of you have the fitness and motivation and can wear dresses go RM not sea spec.

    I guarantee you will only decide to go RM later on even if you go Sea Spec as that's what you really want.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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