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The Fleet


  • Average pay:
    RN and RM Officers and Ratings Rates of Pay 2008
    Age on entry:
    British or British/ dual citizenship
    No specific qualifications are needed
    Only men can serve as Mine Clearance Divers
    Job description

    Mine Clearance Divers in the Royal Navy are trained to destroy mines or other explosive devices that have been placed in shallow water or attached to the hull of a ship. Underwater mine and explosive ordnance disposal is your main role, but you could be involved in all kinds of diving challenges - anything from disposing of an old Second World War mine dragged up by a fishing vessel, to carrying out a major engineering job on your ship's propeller or hull.

    We offer most people the security of a Full Career, which is 18 years or to age 40, whichever is later. Some people may have the opportunity to serve for longer, depending on their wishes and the needs of the Service. However, if you want to leave the Royal Navy, you can submit 12 months' notice two and a half years after the end end of your initial professional training. The exact length of this training period depends on the particular job you do and the level of training it requires. All new recruits have a right of discharge at 14 days notice after 4 weeks, within the first 6 months of service, regardless of career terms.

    On board

    Name: Gerry Mulholland
    Age: 27

    Could you describe a typical day?

    Every day is different, there's no such thing as a typical day. You might be on an exercise of some kind or fishery protection. Or you might be maintaining the diving stores or ordering equipment. You could be working on the seamanship side of things, fixing boats or tidying ropes. Now that I'm a Leading Diver, I help train other divers and that's very rewarding.

    Have you travelled a lot as a Diver?

    We see a lot of the world. This year alone we've been to Norway, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. Obviously you work hard as well. In Malaysia we were working 14 to 15-hour days in the heat. It's quite tiring work but it's something I really enjoy doing, so it's great.

    What kind of mission might you do?

    We are very much at the sharp end of any naval warfare operation when ground troops are being deployed. As a Diver, you know that you play a really important role in getting the troops ashore, and that does give me an immense buzz.

    Do you have to be very fit to be a Diver?

    Definitely fitter than average. We have our own allocated times for fitness which are part of a working day but you still need to spend your own time maintaining your fitness levels. I'm usually up at 6am doing half an hour in the gym before I come to work, and then we do an hour of fitness every morning. You have to be dedicated enough to put your own time into it.

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