Social side of the RFA

hi all,

I'm 19 and wondering if there is alot of people my age doing cadetships? I work with a lot of people of various different ages as I'm an apprentice engineer, however I miss out on alot of fun my mates have with uni, etc... It'd be great to be experience the job/ training with people a similar age to me. If im to be living where I'm training then I'm gonna need mates for piss ups, sports etc.....of course no disrespect to people of contrasting ages, some of the older lads at work are good mates!

Also what opportunities are there for free time whilst away? Whilst Id take my job seriously, one of the reasons I'm applying is to see the world and experience new things. Is there opportunity see the sights, explore, etc..... What about on ship? What recreational facilities are there? What do people think of banter and atmosphere on ship?

Any opinions are welcomed . Cheers.



If you want a real lads camaraderie sort of experience you'll probably do better in Navy/other forces.

You'll find that at 19 you'll be among the youngest onboard - If you get a group of cadets all about your age you might have a great time, or you might not - it depends hugely as the group are usually relativity small.

When ashore there are opportunities to go do stuff (Waterparks, nights out, sightseeing). Sometimes they'll organise paid trips. But getting the time off to go do something - let alone with your mates - can be hard.

People do go out drinking all the time, but any "unindented after effects" are taken seriously, and as such some might argue that the drinking culture is more occult than what happens in the Navy/Marines (etc).

On the ships their are gyms that vary in quality hugely from ship to ship. Often there are small fitness/circuit clubs. All the ships have multiple bars for various ranks, small libraries and (very slow) internet computers.

Banter varies hugely from crew to crew. It has been brilliant, it has been dire. Morale is a funny thing and it can swing on so many factors.

If I was going to sum it up, I'd say that the ability to entertain yourself would be a useful trait to have.
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Cheers For the reply,

I did originally go for the RN but failed the medical by a fraction. It sounds to me like it's down to pot luck, it could be good/bad depending in the situation.

I have a tough decision to make as i finish my apprenticeship next year, will be on full rate, With good prospects and Career paths. I had my heart set on the RN and was gutted when I failed the medical. I really want to travel and do something exciting for my age, meet new people, get some good quals, etc..... My mates doing degrees, away from meeting a load of new people and whatnot whilst I'm stuck working everyday. I wouldn't swap my sitauton as there are people if far worse positions than me, but I need excitement and experiences!


From a personal perspective - there is less of a rush than what you might think. People like to spout out about what a brilliant time they are having (Social media is awful for this) - even if reality is different. I am, far, far, FAR better at going out and having a good time than when I was 19.

I followed a similar path to you, so I can tell you that as long as you don't do anything too serious too fast (i.e have kids, house, etc). You'll find that the same opportunities to go out and have fun still exist years down the road, the only difference is you are wiser, richer, and able to have a better time.
Your bang on there mate, I find social media to be a load of superficial bollocks, people my age alway posting pics of them on beaches and fancy bars, taking the perfect picture when in reality they have the same problems that most normal people in life have!

Yeah I don't plan on settling down just yet, certainly want to live my twenties as a free spirit lol. Just want earn good money, get a good career and enjoy it along the way, and like you say, later in life still be able to enjoy myself and do stuff, because I'll have a stable job and enough money have luxuries like holidays, etc.....

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