Warfare Specialist Tactical (Submariner)

Service:Submarine Service

At a glance

What you’ll do

As a Warfare Specialist Tactical (Submariner) (TSM), we will train you to use some of the most of the advanced radar intercept and tactical systems to track potential threats, and become part of the Action Information Organisation (AIO) employed within the highly professional Control Room team.  As a TSM you are part of the team that executes Command and Control when a submarine submerges providing crucial information to Command.  You will receive world class training in operating the tactical data handling.  Command Support, RADAR and Electronic Warfare Systems. Using these skills and modern cutting edge AIO systems your team will analyse the movements of ships and submarines whether friendly or not. The TSM team provides Command with the tactical picture to operate covertly beneath the waves, ensuring both the safety of your shipmates and war fighting ability of the modern, highly capable unit. 

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • You will work as in integral member of the Ship's Company and a proud representative of the Submarine Service. Operating the various Tactical systems assisting in all aspects of submarine warfare.
  • When on the surface you will act as the Radar operator and as part of the Ship's Protection Force be trained in the use of weaponry, such as the 5.56mm rifle and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), designed to protect the submarine and its Ship's Company in all areas around the globe.
  • You’ll be the person on duty who knows most about operating the radar and intercept systems that give us a tactical picture of the ocean, from the natural landscape to the position of other vessels.
  • Whether you're at sea providing our nation's nuclear deterrent, hunting other submarines or on exercise in domestic waters, the work you do is vital to the safe operation and warfare capabilities of your submarine.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • We’ll make a contribution towards GCSEs, Masters degrees, and everything in between
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications

Skills you'll develop

  • Hands-on experience with highly sophisticated radar equipment
  • The ability to work accurately and calmly under extreme pressure

Career progression

What you'll need


  • 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 over 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 dual national

Skills and interests

  • Reliability and a willingness to learn
  • First-class at working within a team
  • A high level of physical and mental fitness
  • An adventurous spirit
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 (NSRT)

    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. This is where you’ll gain a thorough understanding of all the equipment you’ll be using on a day-to-day basis.

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.