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URNU Medicals


War Hero
Here's one to ponder:

URNU Mission Statement: " educate a wide spectrum of high calibre undergraduates who show potential as society's
future leaders and opinion formers in the role and need for the Royal Navy

As most are aware URNU Students are classed as "List 7 RNR" with no war-time liability, nor obligation to join the service after they graduate. They do not take AIB, but do undertake an interview & a medical.

Given that only a few URNU members actually join the service, and it's primary function is not to recruit: Should the same medical fitness standards apply as for regular service or should the standards be less stringent to allow an even broader spectrum of students access under the Mission Statement?

There are few current politicians with former military experience - Maybe this would enlighten more future politicians. What do you think?


Lantern Swinger
A good point N_S. Politicians who understand the mob would be a godsend.

As I recall the URNU medicals aren't all that stringent. I know at least two people who denied wearing contact lenses but without them would have difficulty seeing beyond the ends of their noses; and one other guy I know was passed despite having high blood pressure.

My impression is that the medical is intended to make sure that people are simply safe to go to sea. It's a long way short of the actual medical requirements, and in my experience no one has been turned away.

And, of course, no one admits to having hayfever.


Lantern Swinger
From my whole just-over-a-years experience of URNU I think the current medical requirements are quite justified. This is in light of the fact that those who go on either the sea weekends and/or the deployments have to do physical work - ie: ropes; and may also be expected to help out in the engine room as "Tanky" for a week. Also, with the sea being liable to be rough and there being limited medical equipment and expertise onboard, the crew all being trained but none specifically medical in expertise, then were someone to develop some sort of illness as a result of being previously medically unfit (being in terms current medical fitness criteria) then the crew and more specifically the CO and XO may take exception to taking vulnerable or potentially vulnerable (in the sense that medical care for someone who may need it even if they haven't for years) to sea for a fortnight or even a couple of days.
However, were one to take into account the ships role and see what might be allowed for those who are currently blocked from entry from a medical standpoint then it could get tricky as people may start being awkward. I think, however, that those with asthma should be allowed if they were "mild" cases (whatever that may mean) and other who may be able to safely carry their medication with them and administer it without it being affected by the watchbill, their duties and with due regard to the fact that they must take.
On the other hand I could be talking a load of bollocks since I haven't the experience nor the background to aid and justify such an explanation or allowance.

From a recruiting perspective it may let people in with false expectations in a "well they let me into the URNU/RNR why can't I get into the regular Fleet?" sort of fashion. Otherwise it may help inform those who may be worthwhile recruiting due to their perceived background and what they may be doing - ie: lawyers, political students, etc etc - and their aspirations. However this may be self-defeating for the simple purpose that some may not find it to their taste and leave the unit forthwith or else just stay to get absolutely hammered of a drill night.

With regard to the URNU "not being there to recruit" then if you look through the Defence Education files on MoD website then if you find the 1998 Defence Education Review under the 1SL with the beard (I forget your name sir, apologies) then there is an inkling that there was an ulterior motive to try and turn the URNUs, OTCs, and UASes into potential active recruitment organisations (I think I remember it saying that anyway...).

Returning to the original question I think it may be worthwhile but one would have to be very selective about who may be included with whatever ailment outside and above that of the current MoD medical requirements due to the nature of the job, as it were.

(I hope I'm not talking a total load of bollocks),



The stringency of the medicals seems to vary alot, in my year every one past, including several people who were over weight. But the year before, I think, 3 people failed, at least one for being over weight.


War Hero
Samson said:
The stringency of the medicals seems to vary alot,

That's part of my reason for posting the initial question to be honest, are we trying to recruit or educate or both?

If it's recruit, then the answer's obvious. If it's to educate, then possibly revised (whilst still accepting liability & within the reasonable bounds that allow more latitude) medical standards would ensure the broadest spectrum are educated.

The problem is being consistent & with clear intent, rather than dodging behind one set of more lax rules when it suits & veering elsewhere with regard military status when it suits elsewhere. The medical standards do not currently tie-in with the Mission Statement, IMHO. One or other may need revising?

(Can I just add I'm 100% behind the URNUs, for those unaware, as an ex-Coxswain.)


The major problem is that URNU dosen't seem to be sure weather it is educating of recruiting, probably because it is doing both; listening to the old (and no so old) and bold spinning dits, and going on tours of proper RN ships can't help but aid recruitment - even if thats not the primary aim. It seems a bit stupid to fail someone for being over weight - so long as they are safe on board I can't see how it matters. It is far better to gently encorage those who can join and educate those who can't, rather than turn it into a branch of AFCO (not that they're a bad thing)
persona_non_grata said:
With regard to the URNU "not being there to recruit" then if you look through the Defence Education files on MoD website then if you find the 1998 Defence Education Review under the 1SL with the beard (I forget your name sir, apologies)


Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh KCB perhaps (1SL 2001 - 2002 and most assuredly with beard) or Admiral Boyce Baron Boyce GCB (1SL 1998 - 2001 and without a beard!)?



War Hero
Now standing corrected:

Apparently URNU members are not members of the Royal Navy & do not need to meet full military medical standards.

(URNU members should be aware that acceptance into an URNU does not imply medical fitness for RN Entry).
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