Warfare Specialist

High priority role
Service:Surface Fleet

At a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Warfare Specialist in the Royal Navy means you’re the person who identifies our targets, and our threats. Whether working in the Operations Room or on the ship's Weapon Systems you will be the heartbeat of the war-fighting effort. This job comes with serious responsibility, get it wrong and the ship could sustain damage, get it right and the enemy is defeated.

Your role

  • Act as the eyes and ears of the ship. You’ll work with our most advanced war-fighting equipment on a daily basis, providing information that influences major tactical decisions.
  • Specialise in above-water, underwater or electronic warfare, developing the unique skills needed to operate safely in some of the most challenging environments on the planet.
  • Be an essential part of each mission, using your knowledge of war-fighting techniques to support the Command. That might mean detecting and reporting contacts, or passing vital information to other vessels.
  • Become a highly professional sailor, getting hands-on with some sophisticated equipment to provide mission critical information on the surface, under the sea and in the air.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to work accurately and calmly under extreme pressure
  • Become a master at analysing complex information, using your tactical knowledge to produce concise and insightful reports

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You don’t require any qualifications; we will train you both professionally and develop you personally
  • You must be aged 16 – 39
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • An ability to thrive in high-pressure situations; we will teach you to thrive in a high-pressure situation
  • Teamwork
  • A passion for life at sea
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness
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 the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, it’s time to start your specialist training. You’ll spend a further three months at the Maritime Warfare School, where your training includes:

  • Setting up and operating systems that monitor the surface and air space
  • Gaining information about flight paths, landmarks and shorelines
  • Learning to detect and report radio jamming
  • Using radio circuits to pass vital information
  • Gaining hands-on experience of life on board a warship