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Royal Naval Reserve How to join

RNR Units

All Royal Naval Reservists are attached to a unit where they will learn new skills, make new friends and take on some exciting duties.

We have 22 units spread across the UK, and they’re all unique. Some are steeped in history, while others have been recently added to the service. Some units share their facilities with other military organisations, while others stand alone. 19 of our units deliver initial training while three other ‘specialist’ units provide intelligence and aviation training.

All units share the same goal – to provide the best possible military training to our Reservists. We have good training facilities. As well as classrooms, you may also find gyms, recreational facilities and sports equipment. Full-time and part-time training staff are on hand to help you get to the required naval standard, so that you’re ready to serve with the Royal Navy on operations. The weekly training evenings are supplemented by training weekends, which often see unit members travelling to other naval and military establishments around the country.

The training can be demanding, but the ‘buzz’ you get from doing the job for real makes it all worthwhile.  Many of our Reservists have been awarded medals for service on NATO operations in Iraq (Operation Telic) and Afghanistan (Operation Herrick).

Each unit has its own special atmosphere – friendly but purposeful. They have their own bars, creating a good ‘mess life’. You can get a sense of the character of your local unit at an Open evening, where you’ll have the chance to find out more about joining the Royal Naval Reserve.  It’s a great opportunity to meet and talk with serving members in a relaxed setting. Check the Unit’s Events page for the next Open evening – you’ll find our units are very welcoming to eligible applicants from all ethnic backgrounds.

Service life is very varied and never dull. Most units are affiliated with a warship in the Royal Navy, and Reservists often meet up with their fulltime colleagues for training or socialising. Units will arrange sports days and social activities, which can involve the whole unit getting together and raising funds for the ship’s charity. Most units are also affiliated with local military and civic organisations. Reservists often represent the Royal Navy at events like Remembrance Ceremonies, Military tattoos, the Lord Mayor’s Parade, Navy Days, and Trafalgar Day services. It’s all part of the Naval life.



RNR Training

  • Training is demanding, but needs to be. Weekly training evenings, some weekends and two weeks annually. 

Get a taste for the RNR

Get a taste for the RNR