Warfare Ranks & roles

Are you a leader? Can you command respect? Look after the morale and lives of the men and women under your charge? And ensure the success of the mission? If the answer is yes, you could have what it takes to be a Royal Navy Officer.

  • Midshipman

    While you're still completing your training for your specialist role at Britannia Royal Naval College, you'll have the rank of Midshipman.
  • Sub-Lieutenant

    After 12 months of service and while you're still training, you'll automatically be promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.
  • Lieutenant

    Once you've moved into an operational environment, you'll automatically be promoted to Lieutenant, after 30 months as a Sub Lieutenant as long as you perform to the required standard.
  • Lieutenant Commander

    You’ll now be in charge of a department on a large ship of shore base, or Executive Officer (XO) or even Commanding Officer (CO) in a smaller unit.
  • Commander

    You may command a warship or submarine, Fleet Air Arm squadron or shore establishment. You could also serve as a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence or the Permanent Joint Headquarters.
  • Captain

    With the rank of Captain, you'll be commanding a large ship or hold a more senior position on shore.
  • Commodore

    As a Commodore, you'll be the Commanding Officer of a large Royal Navy establishment and well on your way to the top.
  • Rear Admiral

    As an officer of flag rank, you'll have your own flag flying on your ship or headquarters and be responsible for an entire capability within the Royal Navy.
  • Vice Admiral

    By now a very senior officer, you'll be second-in-command to a full Admiral, and working at the level of government, helping to implement defence policy etc.
  • Admiral

    Admiral is the highest rank in the Royal Navy, equivalent to a General in the British Army.
  • Hydrographic and Meteorology Officer

    You will work in the most extreme environments on the planet providing detailed environmental advice to the command, at sea and in Naval Air Stations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • 5 GCSE (A – C)
    • Degree (English/Maths/Physics)
  • Warfare Officer

    As a decisive leader, skilled seaman and navigator, you'll be able to handle your ship safely in all conditions. This Branch also includes specialist Principle Warfare Officers, Mine Clearance Divers and Intelligence Officers.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Warfare Officer Submariner

    You’ll take your submarine through the deep oceans, close to shore or through busy shipping lanes, staying hidden but always alert.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE

The Royal Navy is a team. And the Ratings are the trained professionals ensuring the success of every single mission. No matter the weather, the conditions, or demands of the job.

  • Able Rate

    Whatever your job, you'll start your career as an Able Rate.
  • Leading Hand

    With some experience and further training, you could be promoted to Leading Hand, often managing a small group of Able Rates.
  • Petty Officer

    As a Petty Officer, you'll have responsibility for certain sections within your department and you have now moved up to become a Senior Rating (non-comissioned officer)
  • Chief Petty Officer

    The rank of Chief Petty Officer give you more responsibility in the team, with the officers relying heavily on your skills and experience.
  • Warrant Officer 1

    WO1 is the highest rank you can achieve as a rating and you'll provide a crucial leadership link between your officers and the ratings serving under you.
  • Comms and Info Specialist

    You’ll use highly sensitive radio and satellite systems and networks.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Comms and Info Specialist (Submariner)

    You’ll use highly sensitive radio and satellite systems and networks.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Communications Technician

    You’ll be an essential part of the intelligence organisation on a ship, providing critical information to the command.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Hydrographic Meteorology & Oceanography Specialist

    You could help prepare nautical charts by surveying the ocean floor, work in the most extreme environments on the planet or prepare forecasts for maritime operations collecting vital data.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Mine Clearance Diver

    You’ll be part of a close-knit team based on shore or on board one of our sophisticated mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels disposing of multiple types of ordnance.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Mine Warfare Specialist

    You’ll be doing vital work hunting for mines to make the seas safer for both Royal Navy and civilian ships.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Seaman Specialist

    You'll learn the special skills needed to steer your ship, act as lookout and communicate with other ships as well as a host of seamanship skills.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist

    You’ll be part of the team detecting threats to your ship, identifying targets and making crucial tactical decisions.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist Sensors (Submariner)

    You’ll be responsible for working out exactly where the enemy is, without giving away your submarine’s position.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist Tactical (Submariner)

    In this highly technical job, you’ll be directly responsible for keeping the submarine safe and undetected.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None