URNUs

Jim30

Lantern Swinger
I know of at least one URNU CO who had a full on toy out of pram session over the RNR recruiting at Freshers. The URNU won't allow RNR to formally poach from their turf for some unknown reason, so there are plenty of units with waiting lists while the RTC in town isn't given access to their details so they can get them to come over.
 
Taken from the URNU page on Pravda (the stupidly designed new RN website):

The <URNU> organisation's Mission is to "educate a wide spectrum of high calibre undergraduates who show potential as society's future leaders and opinion formers in order to better inform them of the need for and role of the Royal Navy, and to develop awareness of career opportunities in the Service."
I'd say they did a great job at that, and generalising comments about scruffiness, drills and the like are both ignorant and insulting. If someone turned round and slagged off the entire RNR on the basis of a couple of fat, scruffy, bigoted non-coms I met recently at NELSON, who last went to sea in HMS ITCHEN in 1989, they'd be quite rightly and vociferously condemned.

If your URNU time as a student and a TO was as described, jim30, then 2 points immediately spring to mind:

1. It seemed to work for you, as you liked it so much you came back as a Training Officer. Maybe only 1 student in 200 does this. At most.
2. If the behaviour that you decribe was the norm, then this reflects much more on the CO, Coxn and other staff then it does on the students, who are the same the world over. Did anyone actually bother standing up and trying to install some standards? No, I thought not.

In my limited dealings with URNUs, I'd say (as would almost every Admiral and other VIP who has their regular and much appreciated contact with them) that they do a superb job within the bounds of their mission statement and are worth their weight in gold to the RN from a recruiting, PR and general youth training point of view. Which is considerably more than I could say for certain ... ahem ... arms of the naval service.
 

Jim30

Lantern Swinger
"1. It seemed to work for you, as you liked it so much you came back as a Training Officer. Maybe only 1 student in 200 does this. At most."

Nope, did time as a TO as it was either that or travel a seriously long way to an RTC. The kids were atrocious, nothing worked to get them to turn up, they were frankly a waste of time and the CO and staff didn't help, with some being more interested in resettlement than they were in their job.
 

ciderjack

Midshipman
Jim what is the purpose of your rant?

You slate not only an organisation that is supported from on high, but also lay into the members of it
little scrotes
,
a bunch of drunken scruffy students
who volunteer their own time away from their degrees and then tar a whole organisation on account of your own experience with 1 unit?

You mention turning URNU's into NROTC, I knew an individual in such a unit who had sampled both and viewed the URNU system favourably in comparison.

RNR serving in RTC's do their job and RNR members in URNU's have theirs. Different brief, different role. You comment on the fact that not everyone in an URNU joins the RN/RNR, that as you should know after being a TO is not the purpose of it. In fact if the mission statement is taken as gospel, then the organisation would be a failure if all did join up.

Agree wholeheartedly with geoffrey in that:

they do a superb job within the bounds of their mission statement and are worth their weight in gold to the RN from a recruiting, PR and general youth training point of view
 

capt-ahab

Lantern Swinger
Uncle_Albert said:
GCYZ said:
Don't you think raising the RN's profile would be a good reason for having one?
Not really, seeing as anyone who joined up woudnt exactly be shouting it from the rooftops anyway - people from the OTC dont tend to be too pulic about their 'exclusive university club'

The political situation strikes again! Like having to give Andrew 21days notice and get security clearance just to travel here (sorry, just a little mini rant there!)
 

GCYZ

Lantern Swinger
capt-ahab said:
Uncle_Albert said:
GCYZ said:
Don't you think raising the RN's profile would be a good reason for having one?
Not really, seeing as anyone who joined up woudnt exactly be shouting it from the rooftops anyway - people from the OTC dont tend to be too pulic about their 'exclusive university club'

The political situation strikes again! Like having to give Andrew 21days notice and get security clearance just to travel here (sorry, just a little mini rant there!)
Am not going into details here, but you are not up to speed. RN Profile in NI has raised considerably in recent years, and continues to do so.
 

Chunky_Monkey

Midshipman
At my RNR Unit we try and work as closely as we can with the URNU - they give us some seatime occasionally and we provide first aid training for their midshipmen.

I take issue with the point that URNU students are all a bunch of scruffy students. Now RNR, I am a former URNU member and very proud of it. We for the most part had excellent training staff who tried very hard to instill some military ethos and discipline in us. We were inspected before parade to ensure we were up to standard and didn't let the side down and on Remembrance Sunday we always outshone the OTC and Air Squadron.

Our in-unit training was good and we had excellent TO's who knew what navigating a ship was about.

I did however have fairly regular contact with other URNU's and many of those did not meet the same standards we had at my Unit.

So, just because your Unit wasn't up to much please don't tar us all with the same brush.
 

Uncle_Albert

War Hero
On a related note, I recall reading an RNRTM recently indicating that there would officially be places available for RNR JOs on URNU boats; not being my part of ship I only skimmed over it, but if it works it can only be a good thing for everyone.

URNUs get to show the sea-time poor RNR JOs how to steer a boat, and RNR JOs get some quality time with young students, in a close-quarters environment.
 

capt-ahab

Lantern Swinger
GCYZ said:
Am not going into details here, but you are not up to speed. RN Profile in NI has raised considerably in recent years, and continues to do so.
Well for the most part in my experience people here know little of the RN or what they do outside of what they see on the news. Yes, for the first time in a long time we have an affiliated ship (Bangor) - she was recently given the Freedom of North Down and some of the ship's company took part in a parade through the town along with tours of the ship. Also, the Marines have been trying to up their profile, especially from a recruiting point of view. But I still dont think awareness of the RN is great as far as the general public is concered.
 

GCYZ

Lantern Swinger
capt-ahab said:
GCYZ said:
Am not going into details here, but you are not up to speed. RN Profile in NI has raised considerably in recent years, and continues to do so.
Well for the most part in my experience people here know little of the RN or what they do outside of what they see on the news. Yes, for the first time in a long time we have an affiliated ship (Bangor) - she was recently given the Freedom of North Down and some of the ship's company took part in a parade through the town along with tours of the ship. Also, the Marines have been trying to up their profile, especially from a recruiting point of view. But I still dont think awareness of the RN is great as far as the general public is concered.
Wrong forum to debate this. I've PM'd you
 
Jim30 said:
Nope, did time as a TO as it was either that or travel a seriously long way to an RTC.
But you were still an URNU TO, and if you joined that thinking you were joining an RTC then you clearly had your eyes shut. What exactly did you think an URNU was for?

Jim30 said:
The kids were atrocious, nothing worked to get them to turn up, they were frankly a waste of time and the CO and staff didn't help, with some being more interested in resettlement than they were in their job.
I've never met an "atrocious" URNU student, as the competition for places is intense and most URNUs (standfast 1 or 2 of the out-of-the-way ones) are massively oversubscribed. You give your age away by talking about the CO's resettlement - URNU COs have been exclusively junior, thrusting XCABed Lts for almost 10 years now, and Coxns are either FTRS (and therefore dedicated to an open-ended job) or hand-picked professional SRs.

Once again, Jim30, I'd point out that your own experiences are woefully out of date, and you do your already weak arguments no credit by extrapolating your personal URNU membership a long time ago with the very different organisation that it is now. No offence, of course....
 

Jim30

Lantern Swinger
Nope, talking about the Coxns and Ships company.

I am 3 years out of date from TOing, 5 years from URNUing.

I don't believe the systems changed that much in this time. I stand by what I've said. In its current form the URNU represents a jolly, which isnt used to best effect by the RN for training, or for long term implementation of its influence. We do not know a single senior person who admits to being ex URNU. In 40 years of operations we've failed to produce a single known captain of industry or admiral. In my view the system is a failure and wastes resources. It needs a revamp.

Also if the system is so oversubscribed then why did certain units in well in the way place struggle to take people - why did they take pretty much everyone with a pulse and still fail to fill their targets?

I am sorry but I feel URNUs are a waste of time, money and frankly need binning. Bring in a ROTC or send the hulls out to the PJOBS and let them do something useful.
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
If I might offer a few comments from the perspective of having very recently left the staff of BRNC - the owners of the URNU.

Whenever we were asked to make savings, the one thing that we could not touch was the URNU budget - Their Lordships regard it as a most valuable asset. The budget itself, when viewed against the total was pretty small, and any savings realised against the losses in opportunity would not be worthwhile. It must also be remembered that with the decimation of the MM/PP fleet, there are no other drives for Lts - and that is a significant factor.

Entry criteria is still high. Each applicant is not only interviewed by the CO of the unit, but also by one of the Commanders from BRNC - so an almost AIB style interview is conducted to sort out the best from the many that apply. As far as the conduct of the Unit - the Cdre of BRNC is the 2RO for all COs - so they are very much under scrutiny from not only Cdr 1PBS, but also the man himself.

Although the purpose of the URNU is definately not one of recruitment, there are a fair few who follow it up - of those who are successful at AIB, they invariably stand head and shoulders above their peers at BRNC

The location debate is always one that ebbs and flows. There is no satisfactory answer - but if you look at the UAS history for example, Edinburgh used to have one, but now they go to Leuchars as part of a combined squadron.

Jim -everyone has their view, after all this is what such forums are about, and you have obviously had the bad luck to be involved with a bad bunch. But contrary to your views, things do change in 5 years, the Units are controlled very carefully along with the students who join, and I can personally vouch that the final product is of a very high standard.

I am not seeking to change your mind - but merely reassure you that things are not as bad as they once were.

edited for spolling..
 

Uncle_Albert

War Hero
In London RNRU, at least, a fair few recent new JOs are ex-URNU; even if the regulars don't get them, the rate of transfer from list seven to list three has improved significantly in the last couple of years.

I'm sure those URNUs considering list three will be pleased to hear that they slot in seamlessly with their counterpart JOs from the lower deck, appearing just as uncoordinated on the drill deck.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
I was told that about a third of each intake in Dartmouth is ex-URNU. Surely a good thing, even if it's not the main aim of the organisation. Out of my circle of friends, out of 10 guys about 8 joined the RN.

As far as not having had an ex-URNU political leader or captain of industry, give it time. This is Britain, after all, and the Oxbridge units in particular have only been going for about 12 years now.

The point about Lt drives is a good one. I think there is also a good point to be made about footprint. In many university towns and cities the URNU is probably the only naval presence around, and they are important because even if undergraduates don't join the URNU they will soon get used to having friends in it etc. Plus in many smaller ports and in places up canals which are inaccessible by larger ships a P2000 will be the only naval ship that can fly the flag.
 

fangita

Badgeman
Jim30 said:
We do not know a single senior person who admits to being ex URNU. In 40 years of operations we've failed to produce a single known captain of industry or admiral.
What?!? In my RNR unit, almost a third are ex-URNU and proud of it(about half-half direct RNR and ex-RN) and they tell everyone about their (admittedly rather salacious) unit stories. There's no jealousy, and a bit of banter, but everyone realises that URNUs do very different jobs from RTCs - hence "honorary" Midshipman. No-one expects Honorary Rear Admiral Prince Michael of Kent to lead an RNR Task Group. What sort of RNR unit are you in, Jim!?

And as for "40 years of operations" - Aberdeen was founded as a one-off at a not very good uni (sorry Aberdeen, it's true!) in the 1960s, (and my tongue-in-cheek opinion on them is at the start of this post!) but almost all the others were founded in the mid-1990s. So it's more like 15 years at most. And in my limited group of senior acquaintances, I know of 3 Cdrs and a Capt who are ex-URNU - all of whom are on the way up.

As for captains of industry - perhaps you better ask the Officer's Association or "The List" about that, because I know of a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of mid-30s ex-URNU City Boys, all of whom are earning in excess of £100k. Lots of them credit the URNU for their self-confidence and highly paid jobs as well, which shows that the RN has got the recruitment right from the start.

So, jim30, whoever you are, without being personal, you are utterly factually wrong; it is clear that you were at a crap URNU, you are now at a crap RTC and you know nothing about the bigger picture of either URNUs or URNU Alumni. And I can say that as a (sometime) civvie. No offence, of course. :wink:
 

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