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Thinking of joining the RN? - Don't!

Being retired from the RN, I am periodically sent a copy of "Broadsheet", a glossy, expensive MOD produced magazine, which keeps me up to date with what is left of the once proud RN, so that I can encourage young people to join up. I am now convinced that the RN is no longer a decent, worthwhile career for anybody who has any pride and dignity. The Service has been run down materially by generations of politicians and spiritually by two or three generations of the most senior officers who have been too involved with their own careers and with making the RN "relevant to the 21st Century". The RN is now a joke. To anyone thinking of joining I would say, "Don't do it. Even the RAF is better!" Maybe there are some middle ranking officers who realise what's wrong and who could turn the Service round when they get to Flag Rank, but that will take some years, and it may be too late.
 
I don't know who you think you are serving by that post. I guess if that is your view it is just as well you are retired.

Fortunately there are probably at least as many current serving who would not concur and would happily recommend the RN as a worthwhile career. The only way to guarantee to destruction of the Navy is for talented individuals not to join.
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
It is sad that as we get older it becomes easier to criticise, easier to be cynical and easier to compare what we did then with what they do now even though our memories of our own abilities are misted by time. What is sadder is that some of us think we can keep up to date with the ethos, mood and ability of a whole generation by reading a glossy magazine or watching the news.
 

ukdaytona

War Hero
WM,

The Royal Navy, Like all arms of the Forces, have to change and adapt to todays 'modern' world. To ensure its survival it needs to recruit and it needs to fight against not only the Army, RAF, Police etc but also the Private Sector companies offering better salaries.

Comments like yours dont help. Whilst I understand your point of view surely you should be fighting to save the RN rather than run it down even more than it already is. Its been run down by various 'defense reviews' and the fact that purchase programs for other arms are turning into cash cows and so to keep projects like Eurofighter on time they make defence cuts in other areas like the Fleet..... only when its needed do they look to use the kit they have by which time its too late because its decommissioned, sold off or scrapped.

We have the Armed Forces the Ministers decided we need but with the Army stretched to its limits on operations and the RAF unable to mount a long distance offensive attack (Falklands comes to mind) and the RN almost unable to deploy a sizeable fleet then now is the time for people to stand up and say to their MPs WE WANT investment in our armed forces.
 
ukdaytona

The issue at present is not only that we have insufficient Naval Vessels but they we have insufficient manpower to man the vessels we do have. This state of affairs will not be improved by WM's earlier comments or your view that not enough is being spent.

Yes I want more spent on the RN but we cannot lose sight of the fact that we also need to recruit talented sailors of the future to replace those retiring. So in response to the orginal post - Thinking of Joining the RN - DO!
 
wardmaster, I think the issue you have highlighted, the increased Politicisation, is systematic across a whole range of careers. Many people have differing views as to the cause of this, but it is here and regardless of career choice, be it Military, Civil Service, or in Private employment, this is something that one must deal with.

I have applied, and hopefully will be accepted for training in the Royal Navy for several reasons. But most of all I am confident that it will be a rewarding career, with plenty of oppourtunities that I just would not find anywhere else.

Not wishing to be rude, but the Royal Navy is not thinking of recruiting you, it is trying to appeal to the young people of the 21st Century, one brought up on TV, Video Games and Fast Food, it has to change. Not only that but it has to justify its existance in an ever decreasing Military budget, and an ever increasingly sceptical public. "What does the Navy do for Joe Bloggs?" Is the question which the Navy need to answer, in my opinion they don't make enough noise about the work they do, but there we go.
 

Deckhead_Inspector

Lantern Swinger
I think it was Jackie Fisher who said that every one should endevour to leave the Service in a better condition than it was when they joined. Wonder if any one else thinks that now.
 

slim

War Hero
As far as I am aware WM is entitled to his opinion. Though it is difficult to compare life in the old navy to life in the new I am certain that he will have at least a notion of what is happenning. I think that if you read his posting carefully you will understand that in the main his criticism is of the powers that be for not funding the RN to the same extent as they have funded the other two services. Though all services have suffered underfunding by many governments I believe that the RN has had more cuts due to a new ship being so much more expensive than a new tank or aircraft.
This rundown of the RN must make it a less attractive service to belong to than it was in WMs day
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
wardmaster said:
Being retired from the RN, I am periodically sent a copy of "Broadsheet", a glossy, expensive MOD produced magazine, which keeps me up to date with what is left of the once proud RN, so that I can encourage young people to join up. [b]I am now [/b]convinced that the RN is no longer a decent, worthwhile career for anybody who has any pride and dignity. The Service has been run down materially by generations of politicians and spiritually by two or three generations of the most senior officers who have been too involved with their own careers and with making the RN "relevant to the 21st Century". The RN is now a joke. To anyone thinking of joining I would say, "Don't do it. Even the RAF is better!" Maybe there are some middle ranking officers who realise what's wrong and who could turn the Service round when they get to Flag Rank, but that will take some years, and it may be too late.


Lot of I, I , I in there WM. Fortunately the kind of people the Navy wants, and indeed is attracting, will see past your diatribe. Your arguement might have carried some weight if you had been able to quantify or in any way substantiate any of your claims. As it is you come across as a rather sad individual harking back to the old days.

Just to be specific on one point, unlike yourself, you say that the Service has been run down materially by generations of politicians. Well observed, now show me a Public Sector organisation that hasn't. How many of these generations are we talking about? As the size of the Navy has decreased steadily since the end of WWII, I presume this standard of decline was in being when you were serving - but it didn't stop you...

Fortunately today's potential recruit will view your rather jaundiced view for what it is, and those of us in the real world to get on with the job in hand.
 

mikh

MIA
WM, I left the navy in 1995, I know it has changed considerably since then, and I would probably think for the worse. However I know 2 people who have joined the service over the last few years and both think it is great.
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
Slim,
you are absolutely right, W_M's opinion is as valid as anyone else's, I concede the point that compared to the RN of yesteryear this one is somewhat................... dwarfed, the politicisation of the Armed Forces is undoubtedly to blame for that and Potential Officers remarks reference "what have the RN got to offer me" have never been more valid!

However, to catagorize the RN as "a joke" is nothing more than inflammatory nonsense (in my also valid opinion) 24 hours of utter utter crap, analysis after analysis of a situation about which the commentators know little merely adds to the pessimism of the cynics outside the service and perpetuates the opinion that we are fighting for a lost cause, not so!

I know it is difficult to believe but not everything has changed for the worst, I am now 24 years in and although I can drip with the best of them something must be good about it for me to stay, I am eminently more qualified to work outside in the big world yet I choose not to, there is hope yet!
 

F169

War Hero
silverfox said:
Just to be specific on one point, unlike yourself, you say that the Service has been run down materially by generations of politicians. Well observed, now show me a Public Sector organisation that hasn't.

The Civil Service materially perhaps - fewer staplers - but not in term of numbers of personnel................
 
I have been in the RN for 19 Years now, of my entry of 32 at Raleigh there are 2 of us left (1 an Office the other about to be). When I joined up I believed the RN offered a fantastic career and still believe this, no private company in the outside world offers the benefits and opporunities a career in the armed forces can. Of course things have changed, unfortunately we live in a world of change, some are for the better and some for the worse, and if you look back through history the armed forces have always gone through waves and troughs of funding and assets, always dependent on the overarching global political position. The RN pre 1982 is a good example.

I do not agree with some of the decisions that have been made by our lords and masters but comments like WM and Lamri's do not help our cause, we must also bear in mind, as stated in other contributors that we are trying to appeal to a generation who's expectations and outlook and life is different to us more 'senior' contributors.

If I was to be asked I would reccomend anyone to join the RN or any of the Armed Forces, just because we have evolved (for better or worse) does not detract from the excellent career that is still on offer.
 

slim

War Hero
chieftiff said:
Slim,
you are absolutely right, W_M's opinion is as valid as anyone else's, I concede the point that compared to the RN of yesteryear this one is somewhat................... dwarfed, the politicisation of the Armed Forces is undoubtedly to blame for that and Potential Officers remarks reference "what have the RN got to offer me" have never been more valid!

However, to catagorize the RN as "a joke" is nothing more than inflammatory nonsense (in my also valid opinion) 24 hours of utter utter crap, analysis after analysis of a situation about which the commentators know little merely adds to the pessimism of the cynics outside the service and perpetuates the opinion that we are fighting for a lost cause, not so!

I know it is difficult to believe but not everything has changed for the worst, I am now 24 years in and although I can drip with the best of them something must be good about it for me to stay, I am eminently more qualified to work outside in the big world yet I choose not to, there is hope yet!

Chief tiff
I have been out almost 22 years now so out almost as long as in. I still advise youngsters to join the services as I believe service training to be far superior to anything in the civilian world. However I am annoyed at how small our navy has become and wish he politicians would realise that with such a small outfit we should concentrate on defending our country not rushing into world protection policies.
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
slim said:
Chief tiff
I have been out almost 22 years now so out almost as long as in. I still advise youngsters to join the services as I believe service training to be far superior to anything in the civilian world. However I am annoyed at how small our navy has become and wish he politicians would realise that with such a small outfit we should concentrate on defending our country not rushing into world protection policies.

I take your point and think it's accepted that the Govt are currently cashing in cheques that our Armed Forces will, in the not too distant future, be unable to honour!
 
Stillabunting said:
I do not agree with some of the decisions that have been made by our lords and masters but comments like WM and Lamri's do not help our cause, we must also bear in mind, as stated in other contributors that we are trying to appeal to a generation who's expectations and outlook and life is different to us more 'senior' contributors.

Excuse me?
What "comment" would that be?
The fact that I had the damn cheek to agree with the OP?
Well, I DO agree with him, the RN is a shambles as far as i'm concerned, and there is NO WAY any child of mine will be joining this farce.
 

Oil_Slick

War Hero
The problem is not 'the Navy', it's that for some reason, as soon as they are within spitting distance of a 2SL post, our Admirals become supine before the MOD. Enough already! Tell the Minister, 'No minister, can't do it, you didn't buy me the ships'… what's he going to do? Sack you?

Personally I expected better of Band than his current performance as 1SL
 

Bergen

ADC
wardmaster said:
Being retired from the RN, I am periodically sent a copy of "Broadsheet", a glossy, expensive MOD produced magazine, which keeps me up to date with what is left of the once proud RN, so that I can encourage young people to join up. I am now convinced that the RN is no longer a decent, worthwhile career for anybody who has any pride and dignity. The Service has been run down materially by generations of politicians and spiritually by two or three generations of the most senior officers who have been too involved with their own careers and with making the RN "relevant to the 21st Century". The RN is now a joke. To anyone thinking of joining I would say, "Don't do it. Even the RAF is better!" Maybe there are some middle ranking officers who realise what's wrong and who could turn the Service round when they get to Flag Rank, but that will take some years, and it may be too late.


It is hard to disagree with any of this and most of the replies in disagreement have been along the lines of "Don't rock the boat 'cos I'm all right Jack and so is my career."

The proof of this particular pudding is in the eating and the entire world has been watching the shennanigans of the Royal Navy in recent weeks in growing disbelief. From Sea Lord to humble matelot the present state of the RN has been exposed for all to see.

Guys - if you put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig.

RM
 

greenking

Banned
Easy with the stone throwing there Bergen. It's not that long ago we were hearing about the A10 friendly fire case and the awful cover up involving cockpit videos. While I concede the MoD was also complicit in that affair, the USA didn't exactly come out smelling of roses did it?

For the record, I agree all is not well in the UK Armed Forces - but it is a much wider issue than that which is being discussed here.

GK
 
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