Chef (Submariner)

High priority role
Service:Submarine Service
Branch:Logistics
Level:Rating
Food and drink
Hospitality
Catering
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The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Chef (Submariner) in the Royal Navy is a catering career that’s literally miles from what you could do at home. Not only will you become part of the Silent Service, the highly specialised team at the forefront of our nation’s defence, you’ll also embark on a catering career like no other. But first and foremost, you’re a Submariner, which means joining the unique team that’s ready at moment’s notice to take on highly classified missions, anywhere in the world.

Your role

  • Our world-class training means you’ll learn all the ins and outs of running a highly efficient commercial kitchen, including responsibility for ordering, receiving, and accounting for provisions to sustain the menus you’ll write
  • Learn additional, crucial skills that include fire safety, preparing for combat – and even steering the boat
  • Be part of the team whose role is about a lot more than just food. Your crewmates, at all levels, look forward to mealtimes, so you’ll be responsible for maintaining their high morale and wellbeing
  • From your core skills in the kitchen to the additional operational ones you’ll perform around the submarine, you’ll be part of a team that’s more than the sum of its parts

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses, like an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery and a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery

Skills you'll develop

  • You’ll learn every aspect of running a commercial kitchen, from high-volume catering to fine dining
  • You’ll be a Submariner before you’re a Chef, you’ll learn how to take teamwork to a whole new level, while also developing management and leadership skills

Career progression

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • There are no minimum qualification requirements
  • You’ll need to be aged at least 15 years and 9 months old when you apply, and under 37 years old when you begin basic training
  • You need to be 16 years old on entry
  • You need to be a minimum height of 157cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • A keen interest in high standards of food and hospitality
  • A cool head for the pressures of a busy kitchen
  • A problem-solver, with a common sense approach, who can work well as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness

Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh


Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.


Professional training

Once you have essential military and maritime skills under your belt, it’s time to start your specialist training. As a Chef you’ll embark on an Intermediate Apprenticeship in the Professional Cookery, working towards a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery and Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Professional Cookery), among many others. Your training includes:

  • Different styles of catering to match the diverse requirements of the job
  • Food hygiene
  • Health and safety
  • Catering accountancy
  • Stock control
After successfully completing your professional training, you will stay another four months at HMS Raleigh in the Submarine School. You’ll learn about submarine operations, including warfare, weapons, nuclear propulsion and escape training, and go to sea in a submarine. After this, there’ll be a test to check your knowledge. When you pass, you’ll earn your ‘Dolphins’ – the coveted badge of a qualified Submariner.