Joining the RNR or RMR is something that most people do, at least to start with, as an adventurous hobby - and it has much to offer. In a restless world the UK needs to call on all sections of its Reserve forces from time to time. This includes the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, which cannot operate properly without them. It is as simple as that. When call-up happens the Reservist's original commitment to serve can seem a word too far. They must leave their jobs and separate from their families for an uncertain time, whilst alarming news is shown daily on TV and radio.
This is not easy and can be very worrying. But the Navy takes good care of its own. These pages explain how the Navy manages its Reservists before, during and after call-up (or mobilisation) and what support is offered to families.
Web site: MOD Reserve Forces Background
Web site: Joining the RN/ RM Reserves
Web site: FAQ about joining the RNR/RMR
Mobilisation - Why Me?
Specific Reservists are mobilised because of their particular RNR training or because they have civilian experience vital to the Navy. A civilian computer expert, for example, may be trained as an RNR Medical Support Assistant and he or she could be called up to serve in a Primary Casualty Receiving Centre at sea or overseas in a war zone; or they may be mobilised to help with casualties in a UK hospital. It depends where the need is. Equally, Reservists could be asked to serve at sea working on computers or perhaps in the UK teaching others to do so. Whatever is required.
Reservists may appeal against mobilisation if they feel their situation at work or home would be adversely affected by going away. For more information on mobilisation & appeals press here:
More Information: Mobilisation
... is automatic at full Naval Rates of Pay, according to rank or rate, once the Reservist has passed through the initial mobilisation process, which usually takes about two days at a Navy Base Port. It is possible to be called up but then not mobilised due to, say, an unexpected medical problem or a suddenly reduced need for personnel.
After mobilisation there may well be more UK training or refresher courses before the Reservist is deployed (used in an active service job) but this does not affect pay.
If a Reservist feels Naval pay is not enough because he or she is used to earning more in their civilian job there are places to go and people to see about this...
More Information: Pay, Allowances and Money Matters
Out of sight, out of mind? Keeping in touch...
How well you can keep in touch with deployed Reservists depends a lot on where they are and what they are doing and, of course, if they want to stay in touch with you! The Navy's Operational Welfare Package means that subject to war operations and sensible security, someone on a ship, for example, can e-mail and send airmail letters regularly (known as Blueys) and telephone home, via satellite, about once a week. All this can happen if they are on shore too. However, if your Reservist is in the Sahara Desert or under the North Pole in a submarine it might not be so easy!
More Information: Communication
Please release me... How long must I serve?
Depending on the crisis a Reservist is mobilised normally for six months, but this is renewable for up to a year, only longer if the Reservist agrees but there should be a break. The Reservist's own local Reserve Training Centre will be in touch with the Directorate of Naval Reserves in Portsmouth who will have a good idea how long the Navy is likely to need them. So call the RTC. If it is very urgent, call the Naval Personal and Family Service who always have someone on duty. Telephone numbers here...
More Information: Reserve Training Centres
More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare
"My husband/wife has changed since he/she came back home..."
Active service affects every serviceman and woman whether full time or in the Reserves. Being involved in war or active operations, depending upon the circumstances, can be disturbing. Knowing shipmates and close friends who are in danger, or who have been injured or killed can sometimes hit hard. It is not normal life. Returning home and fitting in with normal life can sometimes be difficult but this is something of which the Navy is well aware from past experience and can offer assistance and give support to the family. First contact should be the Naval Personal and Family Service, although of course you can go and see your local doctor, a military doctor, or telephone the Reservist's Reserve Training Centre (for local and Naval advice) if you wish...
More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare
More Information: Confidential Supportline
Op Telic: Lessons Learned for RNR & RMR...
As with all conflicts throughout history there has been an opportunity post operations to evaluate strategy, logistical support and the effect of the military involvement during Op Telic. A vital part of this analysis has been the lessons learnt with regard to the mobilization of Reserve forces and the subsequent effects on service persons and their families.
More Information: Op Telic: Lessons Learned for RNR & RMR