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There ain't much info about Mine Warfare Specialist?

Two days ago I sat the RT entry test and scored highly. Initially I chose Mine Warfare Specialist as my prefered choice but my score was double the mark required. The guys at the office basically told me that any branch would be open to me specifically Engineering or Comms Tech. And I have until Tuesday my interview day to decided if MWS is the right choice.

I simply can't find a great deal of info on the role of A Mine Warfare Specialist and I'm worried I might regret my choice.

So would anyone be so kind as to a) offer advise on which Branch & b)maybe volunteer some info regarding the MWS as there ain't much posted here.

I'm near 30yr and am undergoing a change of direction and am looking for excitement. I'm not so concerned about options after service as I'd happilly return to what I do now but I want to become a good sailor!

Many thanks in anticipation



War Hero
As an ex wafoo (fleet air arm) I would definitely recommend that you go for the engineering option. Either as an AET in the fleet air arm or the equivalent general service. At 30 you should be more mature than most new entries. This is good thing and should help with promotion prospects. Engineering training in the services has always been good and most of the skills taught will be readily transferred to civilian life when you eventually leave.
Though you are thinking of a life in the RN it is also worth considering what will happen in the future.
Lol, he made two posts for basically the same question.

Everyone seems to be replying on this and I've replied on the other one.


Lantern Swinger
I joined initially in 84 as a minewarfare dabber as no one at the careers office told me about my scores i very quickly realised that this was not the job for me and as i was a junior and was going to leave under the unhappy junior clause i was offered a branch change and as i had scored 113 out of 115 on the entry test all branches were open to me . as i said the careers office never told me this. Anyway I transfered to the WE world as a WEM a choice i have never regretted. Those whi are old and bold here will know WEM's were killed off in the mid nineties to make way for the operator maintainer branch which was a resolute failure but from what i understand the WEM is coming back under the new title of ET(WE) so from a personal point of view i would recommend this


War Hero
Having worked on minesweepers my advice is go for the engineering or Comms Tech options. The nickname for the mine warfare branch is muppets (Most Useless People Pusser Ever Trained). Also the MW branch is no use if you get seasick or want to travel further afield than Scotland


War Hero
flatbackpinky said:
.....the WEM is coming back under the new title of ET(WE)....

Not really, there are significant differences. There will not be a dual route into the engineering branches, Mech and Tiff, instead everyone comes through the same route. Coupled with the changes to advancement systems in the last few years what that means is someone with ability should, in principle, move quite quickly through the rate structure. That assumes that the advancement system doesn't get clogged up and become dead mens shoes.

ETs should have a higher skillset than Mechanics had in the past and build on it over time.

Notwithstanding that, and more for the initial question, MW is quite a small, niche branch, with a consequent impact on advancement opportunities.


Lantern Swinger
G'day all.

I must differ from all the other guys who are advising you by saying that you should change to the stokers branch. Allthough there is nothing wrong with being a stoker, the "cream-de-la creme" in the "Andrew" is, and always will be, in the what is now called " the mine warfare branch", if you have the ears and the brains like you mentioned you have, surely you don't need any-one to tell you, surely you can see the advantages of becoming a "Ping Bosun".
You wont get past Scotland !!! some-one said, if you are good at your job, then the world is your oyster mate as a UC. I travelled every where in the world, without exception, and you aren't stuck to small ships as some-one said either, You certainly will get onto frigates, and below, but even the "few big ships" that we have left, still need UC ratings to operate the "Sonar" (as it's now called, it was asdic when I was in)You also have the option of going "Air Crew" once you become a UC 2. The helicopters flying on anti submarine duties, have an asdic operator on them. You can also go on submarines, as all of them need UC's and UW ratings to run their control systems and the-weapons

Anyhow mate, the smaller the ship, the slacker the routine, and in the good old days, The smaller the ship was, the neater the rum was, so that was indeed a nice incentive to being on a small ship. But like "Aggie Weston" both have been forgotten and are only heard about in "Old time stories" ha ha ha.

Where else will you get the opportunity to "TELL" the Captain, where to steer his ship (Steer I said , not where to stick it-!!) and he does what you have told him immediately i.e.. when you hear a torpedo fired at you and you are the guy who knows which way the ship has to turn to have the best opportunity of the torpedo missing the ship.

As I said before mate, make up your own mind, don't be paused by every-one else, as I am quite sure that all the guys who gave you this advise were from the engine room branch, like I am from the "Asdic Branch", and telling you about being an "Under-water Control rating.

When you pick up a contact at some distance, that no-one else can hear, you will get all the excitement that you seem to crave for, even pinging for mines, seems boring doesn't it, well you are listening so intently that the time just flashes in.
There is a wee bit of a down side to it as well though, if you are good enough and you are part of the "Action ACR crew", you will be in two watches, but even if you have just finished your four hours, and have only settled down for a cup-pa in the mess, if some-one classified a contact as a "sub" you are straight back up there in the "ACR" (asdic Control Room" and take over from the crew that has the contact, until it's time for you watch to take over again,then you have to start your own watch. Though this usually only happens when the ship is doing her work up trials.

Even after you have become a civvi again, if you hear a metallic noise, like the ping sound, that you have heard a million times, as the quartz sends it's pulse and it reverberates through the crap that is in the ocean, (that's what the ping actually is, it's the reverberations coming back from the minute particles that are stationary in the water making up the sea or ocean) you will still imagine that you are back at a set listening for the elusive echo.
Or you could go with the majority as this bloke obviously hasn't been on a sweeper in the last 20 years.


Book Reviewer
Lingyai said:
Or you could go with the majority as this bloke obviously hasn't been on a sweeper in the last 20 years.

pinbgbosun said:
Anyhow mate, the smaller the ship, the slacker the routine, and in the good old days, The smaller the ship was, the neater the rum was...

Only 20 years? From the above snippet, (not to mention his use of "Aggies", ASDIC and UC) I'd guess that he was around when Nelson were a lad!
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