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Junior Officer

Entering as an officer, you join as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant and enter The Junior Officer training programme.

This consists of a variety of different types of training spread over 18 to 24 months and the completion of a training syllabus (called a task-book) all of which prepares you for something called your Fleet Board.  You need to pass this to move on to the next stage of your RNR career.

This programme gives you the entire basic skills required of an officer; military leadership and teamwork skills, sea-sense, and professional knowledge. The task-book contains chapters on the man management system employed by the Royal Navy (known as the Divisional System), communications, maritime skills, fire-fighting and damage control, and there are lots of social events – with many opportunities to practise the contents of the last chapter within unit and elsewhere!

Throughout this time you will undertake your task-book training at your RNR Unit normally one evening a week and the occasional weekend.  There is also the opportunity to attend weekend training throughout the country, which will allow you to hone your skills, and also “dummy” Fleet Boards are arranged to assist you to pass your final set of exams and to meet and make friends with other Junior Officers.

During your time as a Junior Officer under training, you will also be required to undertake two weeks consecutive training per year.  There are opportunities to spend 2 weeks at sea on a Royal Navy warship which could be anywhere in the world. The training received includes navigation and watch-keeping, generally including periods as an Officer of the Watch where you will be on the bridge of the ship (the command centre).  Much of the time is spent visiting each of the ship’s departments (weapon engineering, marine engineering, logistics) and learning as much as possible about how they operate.  It's not all-hard work however, as you are made welcome wherever you might be serving.

Apart from your sea-time, you will spend another two weeks training at BRNC Dartmouth, Devon.

At BRNC, the first week consists of lectures, boat training and the delivery of a group presentation. You will be immersed in the history and traditions of the College and the Royal Navy. The second week includes an assessed teamwork and leadership exercise, spread over two days and nights outdoors. It is a challenge to all who undertake it, but together with your team mates you will find reserves of strength you never realised you had!

When you have completed your task book training and your fortnight’s training,  the culmination of all this hard work is the Fleet Board exam; a demanding 1 day assessment of written and oral examinations.

On successful completion of this you become a substantive Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, and can look forward to an exciting career in a world class Navy, ready to fight and win!