Where to go

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by Ja5on, Jun 12, 2009.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I have a choice of units I could attend I live in Surrey and was wondering which would be the more active unit portsmouth, london or northwood.

    I want to join a unit wwhere there are as many training opportunities, activity weekends and drafts as possible. I would be looking to join as a rating not sure on what specialisation though

    Sorry if this starts a war or offends any unit etc but I can get to all three and I want to go to the busiest one with the most opportunities to go to sea etc
  2. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    As a general observation

    PRESIDENT (London) - busy unit, large new entry classes, busy officers mess but drill nights less popular than they used to be. Good place to go for broad exposure to the RNR and plenty of fun.

    KING ALFRED - (Portsmouth) very busy unit, but I'm told its often a ghost town as people are deployed so much from there. Good access to the naval base for wider facilities.

    WILDFIRE (Northwood). DISCLAIMER - this is a personal view - A local unit, where if your face fits, and you want to spend your whole career there, then its fine. Very good sense of community, but suffers from being very insular. I spent time there and found it was somewhere you love or hate - frankly I never want to see the place again as long as I live.
  3. Yeah mate, an individual unit might have a varying amount of its own activities, but as for weekend training etc these are arranged by region, all units in a region being given a 'longcast' of these activities and its members volunteering for them as and when they can go. Career courses are arranged through the regular RN and run almost regardless of RNR attendance. Opportunities for sea time, usually in blocks of two weeks get advertised as and when they come up through all regions (or should do). Then of course you can volunteer for mobilisation as often as you like if that's what you're after, with an expectation of this usually once every two to three years.

    What I'm saying is, other than BBQs and whole ship training days which are few and far between, for the kind of activities you're asking about it really doesn't matter which unit you go to - you'll have to put your name down for them yourself at any rate & get out what you put in. For my money I'd look at what facilities each unit has. For instance, proximity to a unit personnel office, naval stores, gym facilities etc are valuable. I suppose if you have made your mind up which branch you want to go into and it isn't the seaman's branch (which is usually reasonably well populated) then it might pay to see how many people are in your chosen branch in a particular unit - wouldn't be much fun joining MTO at unit X only to find out there's only two ratings in it!

    Just some thoughts, hope it helps. Good luck!
  4. Thanks for the quick replies I will probably go to portsmouth as I can drive there and it should be fairly good facilities wise also northwood I would have to suffer the M25 for and london I would have the hassle of the trains and tubes when they decide to work.

    I am still mythed by the specializations but have my psycrometric test monday so will have an idea of what I am capable of doing
  5. You do basic training, and then get the opportunity to specialise in Force Protection ;) The RNR is different in that you don't join as a prospective specialist.

    In practice after your first year most of what you do will be dominated by your specialisation, rather than the unit you're attached to anyway. KA has a pretty good training team and it's probably easier than trying to get to President on a drill night - Both are Tuesdays.
  6. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    <antique travel advice mode = on>

    Back in the early to mid 90s I lived in Burgess HIll and worked in Croydon. At the time HMS Sussex was closed (see, told you this info was antique) I was automagically transferred to KA. The drive along the A27 was not fun, especially after working a duty when you wouldn't leave Pompey until 2230 ish.

    from '94 to '97 I attended President and the travelling became far easier. Preseident is easy walking distance from London Bridge station so no need to drive withint eh M25 at all. Also, at that time President had a galley so hot meals could be purchased at very reasonable rates.

    In my experience, albeit extremely dated, President was the better alternative for me (much as it grieves me to say so!!!!).

    <antique travel advice mode = off>
  7. Aye, the fastest way from London Bridge station to President is to walk, which also means you are unaffected by tube strikes and traffic jams. I was there for a number of years and I experimented with a variety of tubes, buses and walking. As an aside, the best way to get to President from Waterloo is to get to London Bridge station and then walk. Again, I tried all the options and that was reliably the best route.

    I was always glad to buy a hot meal at President in the galley before drill, which cannot be done at King Alfred, and it was also nice to have a couple of drinks before disappearing after drill; something I couldn't have done if I was driving. The earlier start and finish time of President was also a factor - it's only half an hour but it does make a difference.

    I spent years at President and am now at KA, and if I had to recommend one of the two to a newcomer, based solely on my own experiences, I'd say go with President.

    Your opportunities for going to sea etc. are more or less irrelevant of unit, but President is a busier unit. Whilst I was never a NE at KA, the only differences wrt facilities that I've seen are that KA has access to Whale Island gym and you can do your 2.4 km run round the cricket pitch, and in the summer you might get out on a dingy from the sailing centre there. Whale Island is stuffed with facilities, but at 1930 on a Tuesday evening there's really very little scope for using them! Your branch training is run by region, so the same training opportunities should exist for people at both units.
  8. Thanks for the replies guys I am stil going to portsmouth as where I live I have to change trains to get to waterloo so it still would take me 2 and a half hours to get there whereas portsmouth at most is 1 and a half hours drive eventhough it is further away mmmm I wonder why a lot of people don't use public transport.

    I passed my pscometric test yesterday so I now officially prove that I can spell my name. I have my interview next week so lots of royal navy history revising and curent fleet revising to do now. I am getting closer now wahoo
  9. And the Jenny's at President give good head aswell!! :D 8O 8O
  10. Got to watch out for the three ladyboys though, good head i'm told but shit shags. :roll:

Share This Page