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Royal Naval Acquaint Course

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Royal Naval Acquaint Centre

"I had a great time and to be honest, I'm gutted I'm going home"

"Very enjoyable course"

"I enjoyed myself and it has really opened my eyes to life in the Royal Navy"


"Was very enjoyable, overall an Ace three days"


This is just some of the feedback received from people who have attended the Royal Naval Acquaint Centre (RNAC) within HMS Caledonia, Rosyth, Scotland. This centre aims to better prepare Royal Naval Rating candidates for initial training at HMS Raleigh by introducing what life is like “in a blue suit”. During the four days they spend in Scotland, each candidate learns what will be expected of them at HMS Raleigh and the people they are likely to meet. All leave the centre invigorated and motivated for entrance into the world's finest Navy.

The Royal Navy run four day Acquaint Courses every week at the Royal Naval Acquaint Centre (RNAC) in HMS Caledonia, Scotland. These courses are designed to prepare and enthuse Royal Navy Rating candidates for HMS Raleigh and confirm Branch of Preference. In essence, it offers an opportunity for all prospective Naval Ratings to “try before you buy” prior to making what could be the biggest career and life changing decision of your life.  It is also the best opportunity to ask questions in a naval environment with experienced Royal Naval personnel.

Courses run from Monday to Thursday most weeks and are open to all Royal Navy Rating candidates that have passed the selection process and either have an entry date or are waiting for one to be allocated. Attendance is optional, but strongly encouraged as it will help you make what could be one of the most important and rewarding career decisions of your life.  Joining the Royal Navy is very different to working in an office, your local supermarket or a tyre replacement centre so you need to know that the Royal Navy is the right choice for you. The four days you spend at the RNAC will help you make that decision plus show you the standards required of a Royal Navy Rating. There is no pass or fail result from the course but you will be expected to abide by the RNAC code of conduct (available from your Armed Forces Careers Office). The course is free and transport to and from the RNAC will be paid for by the Armed Forces Careers Offices.

The RNAC programme starts early and finishes late and shows what will be expected of you when you get to HMS Raleigh and beyond. First of all you are put into uniform, taught how to march, and shown the behavior required of a member of the Royal Navy. Once you have got to know your fellow candidates and some of the instructors, we show you how that uniform should be worn, the occasions for wearing it and how it should be presented when you get to HMS Raleigh.

We do a lot of physical activity to show you the level of fitness required for initial training which includes the Pre Joining Fitness Test (on the road not a treadmill), the Military Swimming Test in overalls and an hour and a half of circuit training. We also undertake teambuilding activities to show you what can be achieved when all work towards a common goal.  You will also see what your first pay statement will look like and be given a thorough brief on your Branch of Preference so you can see what you will be doing for your first few years in the Royal Navy.  There is also the opportunity to visit the Naval Base at Faslane on the Clyde to visit an operational ship or submarine plus use the Royal Navy's rifle, the SA80 on a laser sighted range.

After your four days at the RNAC, you will have made some friends, increased your confidence and be much more aware of what the Royal Navy does and your future role within it.  You will then have a month or two to make any changes you need to your lifestyle, improve your level of fitness and prepare yourself for HMS Raleigh. But, more importantly you will be better prepared for some of the best training in the world. Its a very rewarding experience and one that you will be unlikely to forget.

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