Warfare Officer Recruitment and The Boat Shortage

I have been told by my AFCLO that if i were to apply for a WO in the surface fleet that at any point during my training i could be swapped to train for boats. This is slightly putting me off as one of the main reasons i wanted to become a surface WO is due to the ability to later specialize as a Mine Warfare Officer, something that working on boats would effectively cut me off from.

Could somebody in the know please let me know how these forced transfers are made, at what stage during training they are made and if there is any ability to appeal against them. There is no information on the Royal Navy website in regards to this and my AFCLO was unable to provide me with any more information that what i have put down here.

Thank you in advance for your help
The terms of my comission state that I effectivly have no choice, and can be called upon at any time to serve in any ship, and in any theatre. This is, of course, standard stuff. The danger is that if you go underwater you will never leave due to the lack of officers entering. Whilst I am no authority on the subject I understand that it is unlikely that if you go in as a surface WO, and show an interest for small ships the appointer will keep you here, as there is also a shortage of excellent officers in this branch (if you keep your grades up).

I will try to get more information on the likelyhood of going under, and if any appeals can be made, from people in the know....


War Hero
All male (and female) Ratings sign an undertaking that states:

(S3049 Part 5 Declaration by Candidate, section 5.1b)

I understand that:

I am liable for periods of service at sea or ashore in any part of the world and that I may be called upon to serve in any type of establishment, naval ship, submarine, or merchant ship taken up from trade.

It doesn't happen often, but you can be drafted to submarines whether you like it or not. It's basically the same for Officers too.

In a similar vein RAF personnel are often surprised when they find themselves serving on aircraft carriers and sailors find themselves serving 800 miles away from the sea in Afghanistan. Essentially it's the way the Armed Forces operate.

And no, you can't appeal as it's in the terms & conditions of service.
I am aware that I have no choice in the matter and I accept this, if I was not prepared to I would not continue my application.

I suppose appeal is slightly the wrong word for what I was trying to ask. I am just wondering if it would come down to being told you are going on a submarine end of discussion or if you have the chance to request a transfer to say a mine sweeper and if so what are the chances of success.

My AFCLO said to me that there was a very good chance of me being thrown into Boats once at Dartmouth and as such I am considering applying for the mine warfare division as a rating instead and several years down the line attempting to apply for my commission internally. Although there is still the risk then that I would be put into Boats I feel that this risk my be reduced if I had experience in the relevant area.


Krellious, if you do as you are suggesting and join as a Rating then you may still be sent to submarines from RALEIGH! It's a risk for every branch of the RN, but as far as I know it's unusual for someone who was really against it to be forced (although I'm sure it's happened).

As an aside, can we stop abbreviating Warfare Officer to WO? When I first read this thread I thought people were joining as Warrant Officers, and I got very confuddled. If you really want to abbreviate Warfare, the abbreviation (which only a Warfare Officer could come up with) is X. But don't start saying you're joining up as an XO either!

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