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Thinking of joining the RN


Hi folks, I was directed over here from a motoring website I post on, as i'm seriously considering the Royal Navy as a career.

Ok, here's the situation:

I'm 26, stuck in a dead end job that pays around £450p/w for 70-80hrs (55-57 paid) worked over 6 days. I have no qualifications other than my driving licence. I do things on the side that bring in my 'fun' money and pay for some luxuries, but again it's not going to result in a career. I am married, and fortunately I do enjoy the full support of my wife in whichever direction I want to take my life.

I enjoy mechanical engineering - either trying to design something or taking something apart, working out why it broke, and either fixing it or finding a way of reducing the chances of it failing again. However, I only get to do this on a small scale with vehicles and other machines in my limited spare time. I also enjoy physics and chemistry - the two subjects I did well at in school.

I would like to go on an OU course, but I can't afford to give up work for the full-time bit of the 2+2 courses I would want to study (either mechanical engineering, chemistry or physics).

I have however recently been told to look into the Royal Navy. It would appear to offer much (if not all) of what I want - promotion/advancement in a chosen career on merit and hard work, qualifications, the chance to see and do things around the world, and hopefully set me up for a decent job when I complete service.

I am planning to head to the local AFCO in Redruth soon, and i know i'll need to get fit - currently there's no way i'd pass any fitness test apart from the swimming stuff, but then until now i've had no inclination or incentive to work from 7am to 8-9pm, and then jump on the rowing machine or bike for an hour.

Can anyone give me an insight into life in the RN? For a long time I felt that I wasn't suited to life in the forces - my main concern is that I have a habit of asking 'why' if I don't understand what I am doing or why I am doing it, and I always thought that asking questions wasn't a good idea. I rather suspect though I am wrong in that assumption.

Thanks in advance.
Get to your nearest AFCO as soon as possible and get the ball rolling if it is what you want to do. They will be able to explain your options and also give you the insight you want. If you want to go for an engineering job then you really do need to start the recruitment process sooner rather than later.


Welcome. You need to see the AFCO sharpish as you will almost certainly be too old by the time you have worked down the waiting list (unless you a very very lucky).

Good luck


Book Reviewer
As for information on the RN and various jobs there is a mass of information on the site, start with the Newbies thread


War Hero
Super Moderator
Never be afraid to ask "why" in an engineering aspect, not good to ask when given an order though.


War Hero
The guys in Redruth AFCO are a good bunch. As someone said don't hesitate get the ball rolling sooner rather than later as waiting times are not short currently.

As for exercise there's no better time to start. Get going now. If you start whilst your in a crappy job you will keep the motivation up after


Ok, booked in for the presentation at the AFCO next Friday.

Thanks again for the advice.


Lantern Swinger
Ever so slightly off topic OP but

- Sounds as if you employer are paying you less than the minimum wage for the hours you're putting in....need to check this out.

- Are you sure you'd have to give up work to do the OU courses that you want to do? The reason that I ask is that the whole point of the OU is that you study around life. Are you sure you're not assuming that you have to do all the courses you want to do in one go ....again the whole point of the OU is that the courses are taken, in effect as modules so you take more when you have the time and less when you don't.

Obviously I don't know your circumstances but it might also be worth looking to see if the OU would give you some form of financial support (in terms of paying course fees) .


Having talked to the OU I earn a shade too much for any of the support they offer. They also questioned whether I would be able to devote enough time to study with the hours I work (0700-2000/2100, six days a week) during the home study period of the courses I looked at. The courses I looked at were two years of home study, followed by two years at a university which with a mortgage and all the usual bills is nigh-on impossible to sustain, even before adding renting student accomodation at whichever university I ended up at.

As for where I work, I did the sums - they sail very close to the wind, but it is just about legal. But I don't want to be in the job much longer, and the idea of serving my country while getting paid and qualified in a trade into the bargain really appeals to me. Everyone I have spoken to so far reckons that joining up is one of the best things they have ever done, opening up opportunities and getting to have a lot of fun into the bargain. I'm told it's also challenging and can be hard work, which is fine by me.



Well, I attended the initial presentation today, and I'm definitely going to apply. Time to sort my health, diet and other stuff out!


RT on Wednesday - things moving quickly at the moment!

On the form I've been given it asks about my father and stepmothers occupations - as I don't have any contact with them is it ok to put 'unknown'?
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