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The Fleet

ELIGIBILITY

  • Before you get started with your application, take a moment to check that you will be eligible to join the Royal Navy.

    The Armed Forces value every individual’s unique contribution irrespective of their race, ethnic origin, gender, social background or sexual orientation. Your application will be rejected if you are, or have been, a member, supporter or associated with any group or organisation whose purpose includes incitement to racial hatred and violence.

    You must be aware that, should you be accepted for enlistment, you may be required to serve anywhere in the world.

    If you have read this page and meet all of the requirements, then call this number 08456 07 55 55 or request more information here.

    Nationality

    British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens may join the Royal Navy or Royal Marines. However, certain career paths are only available to British citizens. See the link below for details.

    Nationality Requirements for Career Options

    Note:

    1. A waiver of the above requirements may be granted by the Secretary of State for Defence for candidates who are British citizens at the time of application regardless of place of birth or former nationality
    2. In exceptional circumstances a waiver of these requirements may be granted by the Secretary of State for Defence to persons who are Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Irish Republic at the time of their application regardless of place of birth or former nationality. Any person who seeks such a dispensation will have their case considered on its individual merits
    3. Only candidates holding British Nationality are eligible for the Submarine Service. No nationality waivers will be considered
    4. These waivers will only be considered for thoses applying to enter service as a Royal Marine Commando or Royal Navy Surface Fleet

    In addition, whether or not you are of UK origin, you should normally have resided in the UK for a minimum of three years immediately prior to making an application. In certain circumstances, particularly when an applicant is of UK origin, or the country of residence is one where security checks can be carried out, a shorter period of residence may be accepted.

    Gender

    The vast majority of trades are open to both men and women, although a small number of areas are currently not available to women, e.g. Royal Marines, the Submarine Service and Mine Clearance Diving.

    Age

    To apply to the Royal Navy you must be no younger than 15 years, 9 months. On entry you must be no younger than 16 (17 for Officers) and no older than 36 (up to and including your 37th birthday). The maximum age for Officer entry varies according to specialisation.

    Please Note: if you are under 18, the consent of your parents or guardians is required. This will be asked for at the application stage.

    Height

    Height requirements vary for each of the Services. To be an Aircraft Handler you must be no shorter than 166cm and for other branches you must be no shorter than 151.5cm.

    Qualifications

    For many jobs there are no formal entry qualifications.  If you have GCSEs (or equivalent) the range of opportunities is wider still. You will need 180 UCAS points and 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or Scottish Standard grades or equivalent, which must include English and maths to apply to become an Officer.  For direct graduate entry as an Officer you will need a degree or equivalent, 180 UCAS points and 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or Scottish Standard grades or equivalent which must include English and maths.  If you are still unsure about whether you meet the minimum qualifications, contact your local Armed Forces Careers Office.  See individual job descriptions for details.

    Criminal Record

    • If you are awaiting a court appearance, in any other capacity other than as a witness, you may not be eligible to apply until the outcome of the hearing is known. Please check with your Armed Forces Careers Office
    • Spent and unspent convictions (including prison, young offenders institution or probation) for certain types of offence may mean that you are ineligible to apply for entry into certain branches or trades within the Armed Forces. If you have any doubts about which branches or trades fall into the above categories, please seek advice
    • Ex-Servicemen or Servicewomen discharged for disciplinary reasons will be ineligible to re-enter

    Health

    • If you are a habitual user of illegal substances, you will not be eligible to apply. Random compulsory drugs testing is practised in the Armed Forces
    • The Armed Forces require anyone who joins to be medically fit to serve worldwide. New entrants to the Armed Forces undergo intensive training which is physically demanding and mentally taxing. New entrants must be of a robust constitution and free from disease or pre-existing injury to meet this challenge. If you do decide to apply and your application is accepted, you will be required to pass a full medical examination. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Before a Medical Officer examines you, you are asked to declare certain information about your medical history to identify obvious medical conditions for which rejection is automatic. Please note that your application will be rejected if:
      • You suffer from Epilepsy
      • You suffer from Diabetes
      • You suffer or have suffered from Asthma in the past four years
      • You suffer from Colitis, Crohns Disease, or any other long standing bowel disorder or have had your spleen removed
      • You have ever had a detached retina or corneal transplant
      • You suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any other bone or joint disorders

    The above list is not exhaustive and you may find that your application is rejected due to other medical conditions, not listed, but which are subject to the discretion of the examining doctor or Service Medical Authorities.

    Miscellaneous

    • The Armed Forces value every individual’s unique contribution irrespective of their race, ethnic origin, gender, social background or sexual orientation. Your application will be rejected if you are, or have been, a member, supporter or associated with any group or organisation whose purpose includes incitement to racial hatred and violence
    • You must be aware that, should you be accepted for enlistment, you may be required to serve anywhere in the World

Next steps for your career

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