Subs or Surface Fleet?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Warfare-Wannabe, Nov 7, 2010.

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  1. Submarine Service!

  2. Surface Fleet!

    0 vote(s)
  1. Hi all, this is my first post.

    I passed my AIB last month ( :D ) and my board Captain advised that I strongly consider entrance as a Warfare Officer Submariner as these are always needed.

    I was wondering, since the recent defence review has cut forces jobs, whether there was now a longer waiting time for Surface Fleet? Obviously I don't want to choose subs just because there aren't any positions available in Surface Fleet, but I don't want to not get in at all because of these cuts.

    Has anyone heard anything about a waiting time, or has served on subs and could give some advice? I've never been on a sub and although visits can be arranged these are apparently very few and far between.

  2. The obvious stuff aside (underwater, single-sex environment for months on end, and the psychological demands that go with this), be aware of the ultimate career objective for a Warfare Officer who lurks beneath the ocean - controlling the nuclear button.

    Without giving away state secrets, if you were to end up as the CO of a Vanguard Class sub (or its eventual replacement), be aware there are potentially circumstances in which you might have to 'push the button' on your own authority. Extremely unlikely though this is, I know some have a moral objection and thus want never to have to even consider the question.

    I'm sure others will have much more useful/practical advice than me, however! And congrats on passing AIB.
  3. We're short of Warfare Officers full-stop; there will be a continuing need for Warfare Officers regardless of the work produced by the SDSR. We are always shorter of SM(X) than GS(X), because a) most people don't like it when they get there and b) the working environment for the Submariners can be a lot worse than for General Service.

    If you are a Surface Officer, you can volunteer to go SM; if you are a SM Officer it is highly, highly unlikely that you will go Surface.

    Don't be pressured into selecting a branch solely on the basis of Capt AIB trying to fill his quotas: your career should last a lot longer than his will. Moreover, it will never effect him, whereas you will have to live with your decision for the rest of your career......
  4. 1 Congrats on AIB

    2 Brave/Rash to instigate such a 'poll' at your first post??

    3 If you are really new to RR then, now that AIB box is ticked, spend some time gaining a little 'S/M flavour' at the 42 pages of threads*** listed here:

    Oh, be prepared for the cold fact that not everyone can 'hack it' in Boats; and remember that very few ever get to drive one.......


    Edited to add one particular thread there*** with some parallel thoughts to yours:
  5. A rather elaborate and dramatic precis of the role of a submarine officer there RNRC.

    'push the button' on your own authority?

  6. Perfectly possible I'm afraid!
  7. We'll all be "On The Beach" soon :roll:
  8. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    How is this perfectly possible?
  9. Well:

    1) The ordinary arrangement is that a Prime Minister is notionally the only person who can authorise the use of a Nuclear Weapon.

    2) Upon taking office, a Prime Minister will appoint two Deputies from his 23 cabinet colleagues who are authorised to issue the order on a PM's behalf in the event the PM is unreachable/is killed by a bolt-from-the-blue (at times of high international tension, one Deputy will go into hiding, the other will remain in London).

    3) Since the PM/his two deputies are not military officers, their authorisation must be met with a military order by the Chief of the Defence Staff (and in the event he withholds his nuclear authorisation code, the whole thing doesn't happen).

    4) In order to avoid rogue decision making, this two-man authorisation process is continued from the point of PM/CDS down, right to the point of the senior LO/CO on board the Vanguard vessel.

    5) It is appreciated that there might be circumstances in which all possible nuclear decision makers are wiped out on the land. Obviously the purpose of a second strike deterrent is that it is possible to retaliate even in these circumstances.

    6) For this reason, the CO of all Vanguard class Submarines has within his private quarters a safe which contains within it a set of hand-written instructions from the Prime Minister of the day, only to be opened in the event of a nuclear attack on the home land which has wiped out all possible decision makers.

    7) These envelopes are destroyed at the first opportunity once a Prime Minister leaves office (although, curiously, when Blair came into office in 1997 one of the VC submarines had just embarked, and so there was a constitutionally awkward period of several months in which the CO's safe contained the instructions of John Major rather than TB), and so obviously it is not possible to verify what all Prime Ministers have written.

    8 ) It is understood that one such envelope contained the instructions, "Sail to New Zealand if it is still there", whilst another contained the instructions, "Let them have it!"

    9) In these circumstances, the CO of a Vanguard Class submarine would be required to take the decision independently of whether or not to issue a retaliatory strike.

    Of course, lots of things have to happen before a person could ever arrive at that position, but it is an important question if one wants to pursue a career as a Warfare Officer (SM).

    There are other things which take place in the event of nuclear warfare which are designed to help prevent this circumstance. For example, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Home Secretary would theoretically be removed to a safe location and the presence of all three would allow a constitutionally quorate meeting of the Privy Council, i.e. the Queen could appoint a new Prime Minister of her choosing in this circumstance.

    All very dramatic, I know, but all very important.

    There is also the important legal question of whether the written instructions of a presumably deceased Prime Minister would have any authority when read by the unfortunate CO who found himself in this position. In effect, it would be an order from beyond the grave.

    On a rather lighter note, one of the official methods for establishing whether British civilization has totally collapsed is trying to tune in to Radio 4. If one can't receive the Today programme, something must be wrong.
  10. Don't worry junior. Denzil Washington will be there to stop you.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Yes yes, I know, I'm far too interested in theory.
  12. Whilst I must commend you on your excellent knowledge of the processes involved if such an event were to arise, it also appears that you have disproved your own point by so succinctly outlining just how complex a series of happenings would have to occur to warrant any potential submariner's consideration when considering joining up..

    I mean, what if someone had created a giant piano wire that was launched across the globe and killed everyone on land and somehow inexplicably everyone in the air and on/in the water too, except the people that were jumping in the air at the time of course.. Subsequently, all the relevant hierarchy responsible for choosing which sub was to be the sub of the day at Subway were killed and the most senior employee left was a lowly shift manager at Subway Sutton. The mantle of responsibility would fall upon his shoulders, forced to make the decision between Meatball Marinara or Ham and Cheese.. People need to think about these things..

    Maybe I digress.. Still, worth a thought though.. Point is, this is an extremely big 'what if' scenario. I guess I'm referring to both our cases. That is all
  13. Ah! Why didn't I realise that you hadn't even joined yet?
  14. I owe you a pint sir.
  15. If you want to pursue one of the most serious jobs in the world (perhaps the most serious), I am of the opinion one should have a grasp of the extreme's of one's responsibilities.

    However fantastical this might seem to those reading, the process I have described still exists, and as we type there is a CO lurking somewhere in a Vanguard vessel in the seas who has a hand written letter by David Cameron in a safe.

    I guarantee you he takes it very seriously!
  16. Thanks Guzzler, normally don't get drawn in by this stuff but controversially this poster seems pretty on the ball in terms of knowledge which is surprising considering the sillyness of the point he'she is attempting to defend..

    Ive met a lot of people who are 'what if' people.. That is to say people who constantly live in the theoretical. Example: at school I got weekend detention for cellotaping a guy's hands to the side of his face unaware that he was epileptic.. Nothing happened to him by the way and we were/are good friends but a teacher hugely overreacted saying 'what if he'd have had a fit and whacked his head' or something along those lines.. I guess we all should live in fear of stuff that simply doesn't happen
  17. RNRC, you've been on ARRSE, haven't you?
  18. Well I agree with that sentiment, but this is within the official remit of the responsibilities of the CO of a Vanguard Class submarine.

    However unlikely the circumstances are, there is a huge moral dilemma for somebody thinking of pursuing such a role as even if they serve a full commission and never see combat within their lifetime, they must at all times be willing to comprehend this responsibility.

    It is useful for somebody to consider in deciding which route to pursue - especially if they are ambitious enough to hope to command a Boat at some point.
  19. Yes I agree that one should have a grasp of the extremes.. Again you contradict yourself, which one is it? Have a grasp on the extremely unlikely scenario or base your whole decision to join upon it? Being aware of the roles your job COULD require is indeed important, but also being able to allocate a respective level of immediate relevance/importance to them should also be a characteristic displayed by someone mentally astute (no pun intended) enough to fulfil said role.

    On a slightly different tone and one purely non-satirical, is this letter called 'The last resort letter' or something like that? I think I've seen it being described on some history programme on Yesterday..?
  20. Of course he does sonny, we all know that, hence your drama-queening was not really needed and came from a source that isn't really in a position to inform us of what we already know.

    And do sort out that apostrophe abuse prior to BRNC old chap!

    Edit: Excuse delayed response. I'm glad that my 'puter server doesn't have it's finger on the button

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