What to do during waiting times.


Lantern Swinger
Similar to many other in the recruiting phase, I have taken and passed all of the relevant tests and clearances one needs to in order to be on the waiting list for a PRNC and HMS Raleigh start/joining dates. I'm currently on the third month of waiting, and while slightly irritating was expected as my AFCO informed me up to a 12 month wait to obtain the date alone, and a possible 24 months between getting on the waiting list and setting foot inside HMS Raleigh.

So tabbing through with these lengths of waiting times my question is this, what are other people doing to fill the time whilst waiting for their dates? Specifically short term things as whilst I'm prepared for a 2 year wait, I've been advised to be ready in any month to receive my dates due to drop outs etc.

I am employed thankfully so I have a job to keep me fairly busy. And I train regularly, 5/7 days. Other than the usual "family/friends, xbox, reading, pets, work, training" what do others do to fill the time between being put on the waiting list and joining? Feeling a little stuck in rutt and looking for some variety in my usual routine over the coming months.


Lantern Swinger
I like you have been waiting over 12 months for warfare specialist, I have just completed and got through my second security clearance lol but still waiting on a start date. Most likely be sometime next year hopefully. During my time I've taken up volunteer work with the british Red Cross, I used to be an RAF reserve but decided to defect to navy full time lol. And as well it's quite frustrating waiting for that phone call but I once read what's two years weighed up against the rest of your life... It's nothing really.


War Hero
The RN, unlike other services, doesn't close branches to recruiting when there are no short-term vacancies.

It's a double edged sword. Those joining the other services, for example, will be offered branches that have a manpower shortage and could well end-up doing a job they don't want. Worse still, when the branch they do want is open to recruiting, there's usually a stampede and only the very best scoring applicants are selected if there are limited training places and if you miss the opening, it could be years before you can try again.

The other side of the coin is some branches of the RN have waiting times of up to two years to join - but once you pass selection, all things being equal, you will eventually get a job in your chosen branch

Some branches are very small and require very small numbers - I think we're taking-on something like 11 student nurses from the whole of UK this year for example. Aircrewmen? We only need about twenty for the next twelve months.

Conversely the less technical jobs that require a lower recruiting test score to join are often over-subscribed by default as people may not score high enough for their chosen branch. In some ways, it the choice is join a lower scoring branch in two years or resit the test but for some bizarre reason people don't want to resit the test for their first preference - even though if they pass, they will join a whole lot quicker than if they held-out for their second choice. Very odd.

What to do whilst you wait? Resit the test for a more technical branch with a shorter wait, carry on working, be patient...and best of luck to you.


Lantern Swinger
I was also made aware I may have to re-complete my security clearance/PJFT timed 1.5 mile treadmill, although with the time lapse if I was to do the run again at least this time I'd be able to smash my time of 10 minutes. Voluntary work might be a better use of my time than playing video games on my days off, thanks mate I'll look into it :)
I completely agree with you there, it may seem like a long time now, but it's a drop in the ocean compared to a full career in the RN, and people have waited far longer for far less an opportunity. Just take each day with a delayed-gratification sense, "one day down with no phone call, one day closer to that phone call!"


Lantern Swinger
I got the phone call a few weeks ago I knew it was the careers office and got really excited literally heart pumping answered it and it was like yeah your security clearence is running out you need to re-do it haha that sucked balls!! But yeah one day down another day closer... I actually hate the weekends because nothing is going to happen until you start the week again haha sad I know right. Oh World Cup as well? Not to sure if your a footie fan but that could keep you occupied obviously not saying hit the pub and pints but good for banter with your mates. What trade are you going for?
Is it possible for your AFCO to get you in touch with other people in your area who are also waiting?

That way you could do a bit of training together or at least just chat and keep each other motivated.


Lantern Swinger
That would have definitley been a kick in the teeth for me too mate, allbeit I'm preparing myself for one of them in the coming months. And the "Hello Mr Snowman, you have to re-take your PJFT. Put down the pies and be here at this date."
Highlighting what N/S mentioned, this system of processing recruits is (for me at least) a more logical and dare I say it better way of getting sailors from civvies. I'd rather have to wait 2 years for Warfare Specialist than join as an engineer in 8 months, not be able to transfer to WS and be stuck in a trade I'd despise/suck at and be discharged.

Kevoboy10 I'm joining as a Warfare Specialist with aspirations to be a gunner.

Rambling syd I'm not sure if the AFCO would be at liberty to give out that information. I work at a hotel, and while it is a completely different world to an AFCO, there are still privacy issues concerned. If a hotel receptionist isn't allowed to give out the room number of a guest, I'd be very suprised if the AFCO could hand out the contact information and addresses of recruits because another recruit if feeling a bit bored and lonely with civvie life. Twas a good idea though.

I decided to add some yoga to my training, at the very least an hour a day will have me more limber for Raleigh, and it kills an hour of the day/works as a cool down after a run.


Lantern Swinger
Ah cool a fellow warfare specialist applicant been waiting to find one of you. Ha. When did you start your application? I like the Royal Navy recruitment page on fb. And I had a message back saying from a lad going as a WS started his app in feb 2013 and has a start date for March 1st 2015 I started mine early may 2013 so I'm hoping I'm not far off the nod for next year sometime. Turning 28 at the end of the year lol wanna get in hopefully before I turn dirty 30. PJFT is easy 11:38 I think you had to do it in I think I did mine in 9:21 haha nice and easy :p


Lantern Swinger
Considering there's a 2 year waiting list for the trade this is the first time if I recall correctly i've actually spoken to a fellow WS recruit. Crazy! I had to get fit before even starting the process, came out of Uni at a hefty 19 stone. Took about 10 months to drop the 7 odd stone and have a semi decent run time, luckily I found an ex-marine to whoop my ass into gear.
Easy my left nut! When I first thought about joining up it took me 10 minutes to get through 1km! Managed to scrape through in 10 minutes flat. I took the PJFT a few weeks after the times changed to 11:09 but luckily this diddn't effect me, just set the treadmill up and in the blew out over the final 400m.
I started my process around July 2013, so looks like I'm in for a mid-late 2015 date also. By the looks of things I'll be or within spitting distance of 25 by the time I start Raleigh. I moved to Plymouth and through osmosis with my wife's freinds am friends with a couple Navy guys. They like to mock me because I went to uni and they joined up in their late teens/early 20s so by the time I'm an AB they'll be Petty Officers and preparing to boss me around to no end!


Lantern Swinger
Ah so your not far behind me then if you started in July and myself may we may even get start dates for the same intake that would be pretty sweet then can keep up to date with each other. I'll be having to do my PJFT in October again lol. 25 is a good age I've checked and I know some people to in just after the age of 30 lol. When I decided to go to full time navy from RAF reserve I got ripped every weekend until I had my last weekend a few months ago lol flight sergeant and the corporals that took us gave me jip to no end ha so I know how you feel. What uni did you go to? I went to Portsmouth myself actually did a sports degree but have found myself back in retail once again nightmare job!!!


War Hero
found myself back in retail once again nightmare job!!!
Ah Kevboy I feel your pain! I have a job in retail and it's awful. Can't wait to get my application sorted. I have my PJFT next week and hopefully will be able to smash it. Can't wait to get out of this job, customers are bleeding idiots!


Lantern Swinger
I know tell me about it. You'll smash your PJFT just go in there 110% and get it over with. What branch are you going in for? I'm just over a year of waiting :( lol can't wait for a date literally will wet my pants


War Hero
Yeah that's the plan and I'm applying for AOP so have to do my FAT and AIB after this. I started the application about this time last year so I'm about the same with how long I've been waiting. Can't wait to just get these stages out the way. My medical took 8 months to pass for various reasons but the day I got the call to say I had passed was the best day so far aha.


Lantern Swinger
Just a thought - and hopefully one of the AFCO will be able to advise or shoot me down, but would it be worth those with a long wait volunteering for Sea cadet instructor? I think most units are looking for Cleared adult volunteers and it is leadership experience, as well as gaining some knowledge by osmosis.


Lantern Swinger
It's so hard not to call the afco just to get any updates as I know they will call ASAP as soon as you get a date. However I'm always thinking crap have they forget me I must call them and pester them haha! So you've been waiting the same length as moi. You looking to be in sometime next year?


War Hero
The next intake for me is November so I'm being hopeful that I can get my FAT's and AIB done by then so hopefully this year. At least that's what I've been told anyway.


War Hero
Now now, the customers are always right- it's an honour to work with the public, they are always so polite, appreciative, and you feel you are making a difference.

That's what they say anyway, in the 8 years I have worked with the b'tards I have never known that to be true! Learnt some colourful new derogitory terms along the way though and had a box of anadin lobbed at me noggin, good times.

How about join a sports team or something? Not only will you maybe be able to carry it on when you join up but its usually a good way to meet a new set of people and attend social events as well as travel round for games. I help run a back to netball group and its good fun, something a bit different to pass the time and can maybe rope some into training with you to keep it fresh.
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Lantern Swinger
Haha! I work in Vodafone so you can imagine what I get people moaning about their bills their phones of course and wanting a new phone if their ring tone doesn't work haha!! So being able to get at sea would be so good. 3 years wow... Do you ever pester your afco or do you just sit back and wait for the phone call


Haha i once spent 2 hours trying to remove a 50 year old man who couldn't stand after 5 hours at the ale and insisted I was being a "cu*t" love people so much
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