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What is it really like?


Lantern Swinger
I've wanted to be in the Navy for 7 years now but haven't got in yet due to medical reasons.

I am slowly working on my fitness and all of that but my one worry is that the Navy is not going to be what I think it is.

So my question is "What is the real Navy like?" on TV programmes, in my opinion, glorify things and isn't a true representation of what the Navy is really like. They seem to spend every working day doing something "war" based it doesn't show the cleaning painting etc

I know it will be different for each person but any advice on the real navy?
Also interested in the answer to this. Was wondering if any enterprising chap had perhaps made a personal documentary of sorts for YouTube.

Or maybe filming in and around naval bases/ships isn't exactly encouraged


War Hero
Super Moderator
99% boredom/actually doing your job, 1% doing what's on the TV programmes (apart from Phase 1 or 2 training)

And filming onboard or around establishments for youtube etc is a massively big no no.


War Hero
RN war canoes are clean and shinny not like some of the merch that are all rusty, some one has to clean and polish and sometimes paint, so there is a certain amount of non job related work, this is also branch specific, seaman branches seamed to scrub and polish more than engineering branches.
If you are looking for a job that is all rosy at all times good look finding one.


War Hero
I was thinking of going in as a Warfare Spec.
Many of the job roles/titles have changed since I left so not fully up on branch names, I am sure someone on here will know what a WS does for their trade.
If you don't try you will never know and could regret that choice?
Non of this info available when I joined I went in blind and hung around for 24 years, in that time Road sweeper, painter (not very good) cleaner, toilet cleaner, plus many more skills learnt.
Warfare spec, or dabber as they are affectionately known in the mob, comes in a variety of disciplines.
WS the bog standard radar operator.
EW the electronic warfare and radar operator.
There is also a split for above water and under water but not sure if this decided during training or onboard.

Day to day will be watch keeping. 4 hour watches split evenly through the day and night staying at 0800.

When not on watch during the working day you'll be part of ship, this will be maintenance or ship husbandry in the navy. This is painting and greasing and cleaning on the upper deck and down below in the flats, communal spaces on ship. You'll also have cleaning responsibilities for your mess and the heads and bathrooms.

Some lucky souls get to be part of the ships close protection party, manning machine guns if attacked or emergency party fighting fires and flood, for the most part exercises.

There are also other unique jobs few and far between like working for gunners or chefs that interrupt your watch keeping and part of ship responsibilities.

Alongside is a normal working day on your part of ship.

Outside of deployment or BOST most of your time will be watch keeping and part of ship work.

The navy is not so much about the job more the lifestyle and opportunities and your oppo's.

Unfortunately there is so much the only real way to learn is by doing it.
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