YOU MIGHT THINK THE ROYAL NAVY AND ROYAL MARINE COMMANDOS ARE ALL ABOUT FIGHTING PEOPLE. ACTUALLY, WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME CATCHING DRUG-RUNNERS AND SMUGGLERS AND DELIVERING HUMANITARIAN AID AROUND THE WORLD. WE EVEN PROTECT FISH ON BEHALF OF DEFRA (DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS).
Some myths exploded
The Royal Navy is just about ships
Between them, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines cover land, sea and air – aboard ships, submarines and aircraft. So if your son or daughter wants to be a pilot, that’s still a real option in the Royal Navy.
The Royal Marines are part of the Army
In fact, the Royal Marine Commandos are part of the Royal Navy – and together they make up one of the most respected fighting forces in the UK.
The Royal Navy and the Royal Marines are all about Defence
You might just be surprised by the range of activities we do, which include:
- Helping to police the world’s oceans, preventing international smuggling, illegal trade and drug-running
- Delivering humanitarian aid when natural or man-made disasters occur around the world, such as the tsunami in South East Asia
- Protecting the UK’s ports and merchant ships
- Patrolling fishing grounds and oil fields
- Protecting the maritime environment
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines offer very few opportunities for women
The Naval Service is an equal opportunities employer and women have served at sea on surface ships since 1991. Women can join the Royal Navy and serve in all branches, except for the Submarine Service or as Royal Marines Commandos. Both policies are regularly reviewed. We, for example, have women who serve in the Royal Marines Band Service, Medical and Dental branches, as Warfare specialists, as Aircrew and Divers and as Logisticians and Engineers.
People aren’t allowed to practice their religion if they are in the Royal Navy or Royal Marines
The Naval Service encourages people from all faiths to practice their religious observances, though occasionally there may be some restrictions for operational reasons. Whenever possible, people are allowed to observe religious festivals or holidays and to pray during religious festivals. Halal, Kosher and vegetarian meals and operational ration packs are provided. Our personnel have access to Naval Service Chaplains and civilian Chaplains to the Military (Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh). The Naval Service has a number of internal groups, societies and networks that are able to provide additional support and advice on matters of religion or belief.
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines are only for white, middle-class people
The Naval Service is interested in people with potential, regardless of sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and social and educational background.
Joining the Royal Navy or Royal Marines is not a proper career, like becoming a doctor for example
There’s plenty of opportunity for career progression in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, just like in any large organisation. And if your son or daughter is interested in becoming a doctor, then once they are qualified they could serve in the Royal Navy, too.
If your son or daughter is on a ship you will be out of touch with them for months on end
Email is the most popular way of staying in touch and all ships have email access. Mobile phones are also allowed on ships – though there may be some restrictions about when they can be used.
Everyone who is deployed abroad is also given 20 minutes’ worth of free satellite calls a week. You can write letters or send a telegram to a ship, and there are always ways of contacting ships by phone in an emergency. To find out more about how you can stay in touch, take a look at the Royal Navy Community website, which provides a wealth of information and advice for Navy personnel and their families.