Joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as a Cadet means gaining the higher qualifications you need to become an officer, all while earning a salary. And when you are training at our world-class military establishments, all food and accommodation is free too, just like the courses you take. And what do you get at the end of it? Leadership and management skills that will set you up for life.

What roles are available?

You’ll begin your career at Britannia Royal Naval College, where you will train for 10 weeks before starting your three year course at a Maritime Coastguard Agency College where you could train to become a qualified officer. If you have GCSEs, you will complete a HND course. If you already have further qualifications, you could study for a foundation degree. At the end of both these routes to life in the RFA, you will have gained your MCA Certificate of Competency.

Here are the different cadetships available:

Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel at work.

My cadetship has given me the opportunity to work in the Caribbean, assisting in a humanitarian aid exercise following a hurricane in Dominica. I’ve also met HRH Prince Edward twice while representing the company at ceremonial events, and worked towards gaining my MCA Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency and Foundation Degree at Warsash Maritime Academy.

“I have just finished my second college phase, in which we covered the bulk of the academics required for the three-year course. A typical day consisted of lectures and seminars in a range of subjects including stability, meteorology, navigation, maritime law and economics. The assessment schedule in this phase is relentless, with assignments set from the first week of term throughout, and crucial exams such as signals (Morse code and signal flags) and Electronic Navigation Systems.

“Yes I’ve spent a lot of time is spent in the library, but college is also a good place to meet cadets working for other merchant companies and share experiences to gain a wider appreciation of the industry.”

Rebecca, Cadet Deck Officer