Warfare / Hydro Officer

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Nuta, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. Hello all!

    Just got back from the careers office with the aim of joining as a warfare officer and specialising in the Hydrographic, meteorological & oceanographic path (brain freeze) but i'm quite confused :oops: my vision was to join as an officer and specialise (like i just stated) as a hydro, work my way up etc... but apparently i was told you cant "choose" your career path just "hint" depending on what the RN needs at that time and they dictate your role.

    This really concerns me as i foolishly got hooked in from the RN website and TV ads thinking it was almost like a uni course where you could pick & choose, tbh i had hydro in my mind as i'm currently studying 4 AS/A2 levels in enviromental, geog & 2 others (insignificant to hydro) thinking this is on the same wave length, hence i'll enjoy it but who knows!

    I just wanted to know exactly is it like the career guys say? your a "general" warfare officer and they fill the places? or do you have more of a choice.

    Also if there are any hydros poking around some info on the job first hand would be awesome & really appreciated.

    I'm a total RN newbie so excuse the poor understanding of how the RN functions, i'm just gathering info atm to decide what i want to do... although i'm sure i want to join the RN just not sure what as :?
  2. Hi Nuta,

    I'm not a Hydro/ Meto Officer, but I do know that it isnt the most competitive branch in Warfare (against jobs such as Navigation and Fighter Controller), so if you really want to go that way then I'm sure its achievable.
    However, there are only 6 droggy ships in the fleet now, so on the flipside there are not many places.

    However you must complete training as a Young Officer first (i.e passing your fleet board and getting your watchkeepers certificate). Its perfectly feesable to spend three years in the RN before you even begin any Hydro training at all.

    Officer first, Specialisation second.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Not necessarily - you can go HM from your first job, bu you can also do so from your second. There is a fairly decent chance of going HM if you want to, it's an all volunteer branch so needs fresh blood.
  4. That's what everyone does, one is an officer first and a specialist second.

    In principle one must ask for a particular career direction and the appointing process takes into account the needs of the service, the career development needs of the individual and the wishes of the individual. The relative importance of each point is in that order.

    What that means in practice is that he who speaks with forked tongue will send you to where he, or she, needs to. The influences on that are the relative popularity of what you're asking for, and whether you have the aptitude for it. HM is a relatively undersubscribed route so if you volunteer then you're in a better position, since the appointer is going to try to make life easier by sending people where they want to go if possible.

    In terms of career progression the junior HM course is taken at roughly the same stage as others may specialise as FC or navigator. If, after an HM job, you find that you would prefer to go mainstream again then it doesn't preclude the PWO route. Any of the junior warfare specialisations are perfectly adequate preparation for that.

    The long HM course is more of an equivalent, or alternative, to PWO course and really sets a more defined direction.

    Note that I am not HM but colleagues seem to enjoy it, there are quite a wide range of opportunities both afloat and ashore as well as joint; working with the army and RAF. The long course is apparently quite heavy on hard maths though, so be aware of that. It doesn't sound like you're doing Maths at A level so that might be something to consider.
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    Yea i'm aware i need to do the basic officer training then specialise, it just sounded very bleak in getting an opportunity to go HM, i rly dont know if i'll like it tbh it's just the sort of thing i understand, although maths has never been my strong point so if it is maths centric, that would stump my interest :cry:

    But also if i do become a HM officer ideally as it's a branch of the Navy does that mean i cant climb in up the ranks? as higher roles such as commander / captain (Yes i'm shooting very high i know but just to get it into perspective) would i have to re-join the "main stream" or do you get highly ranked HMs? from reading the career books HM looks like an advisory role to the commanding officer which i think i'd be good at.

    Also just a few questions if you can bare with me about officers roles...
    As a warefare officer do you have X amount of people under your "command" if you like and your responsible for them as well as your day-to-day role on the ship? I just want to get more of a view of a typical officers' job and responsibilities.

    All comments & criticism is really appreciated, thanks again!

    EDIT: Also (feel like i'm asking way too much now :p) i saw that you can do degrees within the RN, i'd really be interested in doing one... do you do it whilst your an active officer or before you start serving? i guess it depends on your current role or w/e but just wanted to know how open the opportunities are, cheers
  6. Nuta,

    1. Square away your use of txt/email speak. This board is particularly hot on not using txt/web speak. Moreover, you will be quickly judged as 'not Officer material' if you are unable to write in full sentences, using proper england.

    2. Don't worry about the maths: if the RN needs to pass a course, and as long as you show a decent amount of drive and desire, it will teach you all you need to know. Not achieving your dreamed of career solely due to a perceived, possible, shortcoming really doesn't make sense to me.

    3. Wanting to achieve a high rank is not wrong: 'If it were a sin to covet honour, then I am the most sinning man alive' - Henry V. However, be aware that the highest HM-specific job in the RN at the moment is Hydrographer of the Navy, a Capt RN. The COs of HM Ships SCOTT, ECHO and ENTERPRISE are all HMs who have passed the command examination process, but are not (to the best of my knowledge) PWOs. In not becoming a PWO, they have limited their career choices to the HM Branch; HMs can, and are, PWOs, although one has not yet reached Cdr or commanded a FF/DD. The choice between becoming a charge-surveyor or a PWO is not one you would have to make until approximately the 5 - 6 year point, i.e. don't worry about it just yet!

    4. As a Warfare Officer, you will command in several different ways. As OOW, you a responsible to the Commanding Officer for the safety of the ship, and all on-board. To achieve that, you have special command over everyone, with the exception of the CO and XO. This means you can, and will, instruction and direct people senior to you to achieve your aim. You will also have a division of sailors, typically ABs and LHs, for whose welfare and career you are responsible. At the moment I have 8 people in my division, from a Ship's Company of less than 40.

    5. From what I understand, you are at University already, so you cannot become a University Cadet. You may be able to get a Bursary for your last year, although I suspect you will have to get a wiggle on to achieve this. After that, the first opportunity to achieve a Masters-level qualification will be either as a Charge Surveyor or on PWO Course, and then if you are really doing well, a MA in Defence Studies during ACSC. You won't reach the latter course until you are ready to become a Cdr RN.

    6. I hope this helps, PM or ask further questions on here if not....


    *Edit for poor england. The shame......
  7. Sorry about that, i'm far too used to typing quickly for forum / note taking reasons, i'll stop it now :)

    I'm at college doing 4 AS/A2 levels, planning to go straight into the RN after i have them (around september next year or so) by which time i'll be 20, pointing out my age because it's a bit old for an officer to start, i'd be 22 by the time i've done basic training, quite daunting really.

    Thanks for a look into an officers' role, it's really helpful. I did wonder about the HM ships and assumed all the COs had gone through the warefare route, that's great to know they didn't. Think i'm starting to like the sound of a general warefare officer more now.

    Thanks for all the information!
  8. Nuta,

    PM sent
  9. Ha, don't worry about that! I'm 23 now, nearly 24 by the time I (hopefully) start in September. I'm sure they picked the magic limit of 26 for a good reason so I'm not bothered by my age.
  10. HM is not quite screaming out for people, but is short, please fill that place so that the appointer does not send me! Poodling along at 2 knots looking at the Ocean floor is not for me!
  11. Getting paid for poodling along sounds good to me!
  12. That's the area I was interested in in the first place and was advised at my AFCO to apply for warfare officer. I have a BSc in Environmental Science so Nuta, I know how you feel! But after reading up on the other roles within the warfare branch, it's not as daunting as first thought. Ideally I want to specialise in HMO but I guess we have to go in without that expectation. Also, in regards to the age, I'll be 25 before I'll be able to be selected so time is actually running out for me!! Once chance and all that! Good luck though! 8)

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