Leading Hand Supply Chain (RFA)

Service:Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Leading Hand Supply Chain in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), you’ll directly contribute to the operational effectiveness of the Royal Navy. Serving personnel all over the world will rely on you to provide the essential supplies and equipment they need, where and when they need them. To get the job done, you’ll liaise with a network of contacts across global corporations, local businesses and governments. And thanks to your hard work the Royal Navy will have ammunition for its weapons, and food for its people.

If you have questions, talk to us

The role

  • Take responsibility for storing and guaranteeing the delivery of a large quantity of supplies and equipment. That includes everything from food and drink, to vital medicine and ammunition.
  • Under the guidance of the Logistics Supply Officer you’ll coordinate an inventory worth millions of pounds, planning months in advance to ensure the needs of every branch are met for the duration of a deployment.
  • Using principles of supply chain management to oversee the distribution of equipment worth millions of pounds

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • MCA Seafaring Qualifications
  • Opportunity to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Skills you'll develop

  • An in-depth knowledge of Royal Navy equipment and stores
  • The ability to manage a global supply chain


Career progression

You’ll start your career as a Leading Hand Supply Chain. With more experience and further training, you could be promoted to Petty Officer then Chief Petty Officer – the highest ratings rank. If you show the right commitment, skills and academic ability, you could become a Logistics Supply Officer. Members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are promoted on merit. Work hard and you can rise through the ranks.

What you'll need


  • You’ll need to be aged 16, there's no upper age limit
  • You’ll need previous stock control and inventory experience.  A knowledge of warehouse functions is desirable
  • ICT qualifications or experience or experience of Microsoft Office package
  • If you take your GCSEs after the start of 2017, you need at least 2 at grades 9 – 4, including English Language and Maths; before 2017, you need 2 at grades A*– C 
  • Applicants must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. However, a number of career paths have nationality restrictions. Dual Nationality will be considered providing the first nationality is British. Note: Residency restrictions may apply

Skills and interests

  • A high level of numeracy
  • A good knowledge of IT systems
  • Confident solving problems
  • A sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

  • Apply – Fill in an online application form
  • Eligibility – We will request copies of certification to ascertain your suitability for the role
  • Sift – Your application will go forward for sift by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who will check that you have the knowledge and potential to succeed in your chosen role
  • Psychometric test – You will be asked to attend an Armed Forces Careers Office close to your home where you will conduct a psychometric test. Prepare by using our practice test
  • Interview – Once you’ve made it through the sifting process, you will be invited to attend an interview, where we will ascertain your suitability for life in the RFA. See how you can prepare here
  • Training – If successful, you will be offered a place at HMS Phoenix where you will begin your initial training

Initial training

Once you’ve completed the joining process, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, where you’ll spend 10 weeks gaining all the skills you’ll need for life at sea.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

After your time at HMS Raleigh you’ll get further professional training at onshore Royal Navy facilities, which includes: 

  • Seafaring basics
  • Role-specific training
  • Firefighting
  • First aid
  • Damage control