Submarine MA

I've just qualified as a nurse (male) and am considering a career in the Navy. The thing is I really want to go to sea rather than being stuck in Pompey or Peterborough! Now i'm really considering going in as a medical assistant as it seems i've got more chance of getting to sea in that trade. If I did join a boat rather than say a frigate or destroyer what would the life be like as an MA? I know i'm making a few assumptions here and I should have posted this in the newbies section but thought some of the submariner's may help.



Hello mate, Russ POMA(SM) Retired.

OK, as you have already done the training as a nurse, you have a quality trade already, you will still be able to go to sea just on bigger ships. If you want to spend more time at sea as an MA then why not volunteer to spend some time on a ship first to see if you like it.

As a submariner MA, you will also have to look after a lot of other bits and bobs as well, such as the reactor, atmosphere, monitoring all sorts of kak.

Choose carefully, as an MA you also find it very difficult to transfer your qualifications in to civy chits on leaving.

Just don't rush into anything.




Lantern Swinger
Possibly one of the hardest working branches onboard!!(honestly)

On an S boat your watchbill alongside is at best 1 in 3, always busy working not only with the normal medical stuff but as the previous poster states dealing with all the reactor safety stuff.

With regards to qualifications to going outside, you will ALWAYS get a job working at a Nuclear power station, whilst not the most challenging of jobs as a Health Physics monitor, self employed you can charge up to about £35 an hour!!!!!!!

The PVR rate within the MA(SM) branch is probably one of the highest and they are always struggling for numbers, if anybody states different then ask them why they are given their LH rate as soon as they pass their MA(SM)1 course and also get a £10000 retention bonus :)
OK, as a MA(SM) in trainning, the retention bonus is interesting, are you sure its correct? Sorry, but no one has mentioned anything more than the standard £5000 bonus all submariners get, cheers
MattG-J said:
OK, as a MA(SM) in trainning, the retention bonus is interesting, are you sure its correct? Sorry, but no one has mentioned anything more than the standard £5000 bonus all submariners get, cheers
The bonus is not a 'retention' bonus. It is to entice chaps like yourself into 'the trade'. It currently stands at £5000 (before tax and national insurance) and is paid upon qualification of SM training i.e. award of your Dolphins. It is known as the golden handshake.

Now, if you are in GS and qualified, then if you were to transfer to submarines then you would benefit from a £7500 bounty (golden handshake) - subject to tax and NI - payable as above.
You left out the part about keeping the doses of Yellow Fever and TABT injections in the JR's fridge....on the off chance that some dope would hang around long enough to get udated!
'OW!.....'Kin 'ell Doc, that hurt!!!!!
' time I'll put a hypo on the end of it for yer. Roughy toughy submariners....why should Britain tremble'?


If you want to go to sea, don't enter as a nurse. If you're lucky you'll get onto RFA ARGUS, our Primary Casualty Receiving Facility, but it's nothing in the slightest like life in a frigate or destroyer - or submarine!
Correct angry doc

Matlots who receive any serious injuries onboard RN ships are usually quickly airlifted off to a nearby hospital, or ship like the RFA Argus.

Most MA's (called Sick Berth Attendants) on any of the Ships I served on usually spent most of their time treating dosed up ratings with the clap or dishing out Enemas as a treatment for constipation.
The £10k bonus gets handed out when you attain the lofty rate of PO. As most people will have already gone past the golden handshake limit of 5 yrs by then it's a way of keeping them on subs for another 5yrs after that
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