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Some advice from AFCO?


This is my first post on here - I have been looking around the forum and I think that this is the right place to ask for some advice.

Some background: my daughter went to BRNC last year but, due to circumstances, she decided to leave before completing the course. She submitted her request and after several meetings it was accepted.

Over the past year she has come to realise (as everyone tried to tell her) that this was the wrong decision.

We have had many discussions about the situation and one real option is to re-apply to join the Navy in the same branch etc. She understands that the whole process will have to be followed and she is fairly confident that she will acheive the same AIB pass as last time, maybe even exceed it. Obviously she would be open to selection like everyone else with no guarantees.

So my question is this: what would be the view of the Navy / AIB on the situation i.e. she joined and then decided to leave?

As I see it there are two ways it could go:

1 - they say thank you but no - you had your chance and you blew it. We are not interested.
2 - she is able to go through the process with everyone else and answer some awkward questions if she gets to the AIB stage but she is considred on a level field along with everyone else?

I expect there to be a number of "alternative" answers to this but i would hope that someone who understands how this works will be able to shed some light on the situation.

As for why I am doing this and not my daughter - she has never used this forum and I wanted to have a view of how she could progress before we talked about it next weekend when she comes to visit as she works & lives in the NW.

Thanks in advance.


War Hero
I do not work in an AFCO and I'm not even in the RN any more, so please feel free to ignore my thoughts, as they are only that.

I believe your daughter would be able to re-apply and you can take some relief in the fact that this has happened before. Whether she would be able to 'fast-track' any part of the selection procedure I do not know but it would seem pragmatic of the RN if they bypassed some of the initial bits and went straight from AFCO to AIB. Of course, then things are going to get more complicated. First of all your daughter's chosen role might no longer be available due to the RN manpower reductions and she might have to consider a different job. Secondly, I know it was only a year ago but does that affect her application in terms of her age versus role?

Naturally, the biggest fly in the ointment will be her answers to the AIB and she's going to have a HUGE mountain to climb to convince them that she knows her decision to leave was the wrong one, especially as the same girl believed it was the correct one just a few months ago and that she has the conviction and determination to see it through the second time around, rather than waste another space for someone else. I think there would be many questions that address why she's changed her mind, why she now knows she can get through, why she should be given a second chance when many aren't given a first chance and what she's done in the meantime to convince the AIB that she really wants to do the job she applied for.

As I said, I THINK she'd be able to re-apply but she's going to have to give a great deal of thought to those types of questions, in addition to the 'normal' stuff the AIB throws at its candidates.

And now for someone who does know what they're talking about..................


Somebody who does know what they're talking about will have to comment after me, I'm afraid.

Pontius made a couple of good points about availability of your daughter's chosen branch, as well as there potentially being an age consideration as well. Hopefully I can provide a bit of food for thought, even if not any definitive answers.

I'm about to enter the RN for the first time, so I wouldn't say my information was anything approaching exhaustive, but based on the Pre-Royal Navy Course I recently passed there was another gentleman on the course who was re-entering the RN after calling it a day 3 years ago.

People frequently leave the RN for wholly genuine reasons and there's generally only an insurmountable obstacle by way of re-applying if there's some issue with their service record from their last stint.

My advice would be to encourage your daughter to stand by her convictions. As long as she can make a proper account of the reasons why she thought leaving was in her best interests at the time, and then go on to explain why those reasons are no longer applicable, she should be okay. As in, she thought that she'd need to leave in order to achieve X, Y and Z but in serving her notice she realised that all her goals were achievable whilst still in the RN. Given further time to experience life in the Royal Navy she realises that she's absolutely made for (her chosen role/branch here) and whilst too late to stop the wheels she set in motion previously she's keen to make amends and come back with more determination, and prove her value through hard work and professional attitude.

But, I would say she needs to be really really sure about this - it wouldn't look good if she changes her mind again at some stage! Best of luck to her, though.



War Hero
Those who leave of their own volition are sometimes given a "cooling-off" period before being considered eligible to re-apply, but from an AFCO perspective, we don't make the call. The AFCO will just just ask Captain Naval Recruiting for permission to process the application. Their former service reports are then scrutinised to determine whether or not they are a viable risk a second time. If the big cheese says "yes" we do, if the head honcho says "no" we don't.

Very often those 'hell-bent' on leaving at the time will claim all sorts of reasons in their haste or determination to exit. As long as the reasons cited at the time were valid and not themselves grounds for a "Not Recommended Further Service" PSO report, or led to a medical discharge on "temperamental grounds", then everyone is considered on face value in competition with all other applicants at the time of application.

Anyone rejoining who didn't complete training should join in the expectation of undergoing the 'full hit' from scratch. If that doesn't appeal, then don't try. If that's an acceptable proposition in order to be given a repeat opportunity, then it may well turn-out better than originally hoped.

Best of luck to her.


Thanks for the replies.

Ninja_stoker - I don't think there would be any reason for Not Recommended etc but then i wasn't there. Hopefully it would be approved and OK.

As I said before i know my daughter now regrets her decision and in our brief chats she has recognised that she will need to start at the beginning again so that would be no surprise.

As for her age she is coming up to 24 and would be looking at Warfare again so I don't believe she will have exceeded the age limit.

All of your comments have been most useful and will all be fed into our discussion at the weekend.

Thanks again.


Alfred_The_Great - I guess that at the time she felt it wasn't what she wanted but it is now. There were no issues with fitness or performance etc. No doubt this will be explored from her contact with the AFCO all the way to AIB.

We all make hasty decisions in life that we come to regret - she has considered her options and now realises that if she can get a second chance then she can rectify her hasty decision and get her life back on track.


Ninja_stoker - one question on your previous post.

You mention a "cooling off" period - is this a set period of time or is it on a case by case basis?



War Hero
The period before an individual may reapply is at the discretion of the branch manager. It's anything between "immediate" to 24 months. It can also be "Not recommended RN" and "Not recommended any service", but rarely.


War Hero
My missus is the same with the furniture in our lounge, to be honest.

Many moons ago spent most of a Sunday helping an oppo move the furniture around in his living room, his pregnant wife did not like the way it was?
After many hours of lifting and shifting stuff in and out of the room, his wife finally said that’s how she wanted it, we took a good look to note she had put everything back to where it had started except for a foot stool which had moved across the room? Women and logical decision making do not always go hand in hand.

One can only hope the young women can rectify her hasty decision and learn from this as a life experience not to be repeated, good look to her.


Ninja_Stoker - thanks again.

So I guess that the period is determined by the branch needs and an assessment of suitability? Does this go to Captain Naval Recruiting first and then the branch manager? Just interested to understand.

In reality the only way to find out is for her to take this forward and see what happens.


War Hero
The request actually goes to CNR, then TSO at AIB, back to CNR and back to the AFCO.

The BRNC training record & PSO recommendation forms part of the selection decision together with the manning requirement.

I love TLAs, me.



Getting outside of what I need to know now, this is all my daughter's concern as it's her life, but I get all of the TLAs apart from what the TSO is - where do they sit (BRNC?)? Is the PSO the same?

Just curiosity now - sorry.
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