Trainee Supply Chain Operative

Service:Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Trainee Supply Chain Operative in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), you’ll play a vital role in keeping your ship at sea, making sure it has the stocks, stores and equipment to complete every operation. When you’re deployed as part of a task group, you’ll use your expertise to ensure every vessel can be sustained thousands of miles from the UK.

Every day will bring a new challenge as you oversee the distribution of multimillion pound inventories, in diverse environments all over the world. That could mean anything from replenishing Royal Navy and NATO nation ships at sea, to liaising with local suppliers in foreign countries. 

If you have questions, talk to us

The role

  • Take responsibility for storing and distributing large quantities of equipment and supplies, including munitions.
  • Show the personal qualities needed to be custodian of valuable stores, including responsibility and trustworthiness.
  • Demonstrate strong organisational skills and enthusiasm for supply chain operations.
  • Work effectively as part of a team, often in challenging conditions.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • You’ll have the opportunity to study for vocational qualifications from day one, including NVQs and Maritime & Coastguard Agency certificates.

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to carry out a range of supply chain management operations, both on individual RFA deployments and in support of larger task groups.
  • Training will be a constant feature of your RFA career, with world-class development packages to help you progress.


Career progression

You’ll join us as a Leading Hand Supply Chain (Trainee), immediately adapting your skills, while also learning the military specific elements of the role. Further experience and training will see you promoted to Petty Officer, then Chief Petty Officer. 

Each promotion is assessed on merit, which means you can rise through the ranks quickly if you work hard and show potential. Demonstrate the right competencies, skills, commitment and academic ability and you could be offered the opportunity to apply for officer training via the RFA Officer Training Scheme.

What you'll need


  • Aged at least 17 years 6 months to apply, and 18 years to commence employment. There is no upper age limit
  • ICT qualifications or experience using the Microsoft Office package
  • Previous stock control and inventory experience is essential, while a knowledge of warehouse functions would be desirable
  • A current unrestricted 2 year ENG 1 Worldwide Sea Service
  • Need to be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, but nationality restrictions can apply to some career paths. Dual Nationality will be considered, providing the first nationality is British. Residency restrictions may apply
  • Need to have confidence with jumping into water and the ability to wade whilst wearing a life jacket

Skills and interests

  • Well organised 
  • Good numeracy  
  • High standards of conduct and presentation  
  • Good working knowledge of IT systems  
  • Trustworthy  
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
  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA) – You will be asked to attend an Armed Forces Careers Office close to your home where you will conduct the DAA.
  • 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 Raleigh for your induction.

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.

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