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Cadet Deck Officer (RFA)
Job Role

Cadet Deck Officer (RFA)

You’ll gain all the seamanship and leadership skills you need to provide logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy.

CiviliansHands onSailing
  • GCSEs
  • Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • Warfare
  • Officer level

At a glance

Travelling the world, studying for internationally recognised qualifications, and contributing to the efficiency of our ships. All in a days’ work for a cadet deck officer. You’ll go to places you never thought you’d visit, experience real responsibility and make a difference.
When you first get on board everyone’s really friendly and helpful. You learn so much, so fast.


Cadet Deck Officer

Role details

What you’ll do

As a Cadet Deck Officer in the in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), you’ll gain all the skills you need to provide logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy. You’ll earn a salary while undertaking a world-class Comprehensive Training Programme that ends with qualification as a Third Officer. That’s when you start making a key contribution to our Replenishment at Sea (RAS) operations, directly influencing the efficiency of our ships.

Your role

  • Through training you’ll develop the advanced seamanship and leadership skills you need to oversee the transfer of food and supplies to Royal Navy ships, all over the world.
  • Do one of the most hands-on jobs in the RFA, working alongside Royal Navy personnel to deliver vital operational support. That might mean deploying on a Fast Fleet Tanker, or taking part in counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean.
  • Learn to perform key duties when the ship is in port, including acting as Officer of the Watch and Officer of the Day. You could be the first point of contact for a visiting VIP, or taking delivery of vital equipment and supplies.
  • Develop the first-class navigational skills that will influence every operation, whether you’re trying to locate a vessel in distress, or trawling the Indian Ocean for pirates.

Pay & benefits

  • Over £16,000 starting salary during training
  • Earned Voyage Leave (EVL) of 7 days for every month spent on board ship
  • Membership of a Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • World-class training
  • Potential to travel the world

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Internationally recognised qualifications from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA)
  • A HND in Nautical Science or a Foundation Degree in Marine Operations

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to lead and manage a team
  • First-class seamanship skills



  • Aged at least 17 years 6 months to apply, and 18 years to commence employment. There is no upper age limit
  • 5 x GCSEs including Mathematics, English Language and either Physics or Chemistry or Dual Science at GRADE 4/c OR 9-4 Scottish equivalent
  • To be considered for a Foundation degree option A Levels or Scottish Advanced Higher qualifications are required but must include a numerate subject such as Mathematics
  • 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 & interests

  • Great leadership potential
  • Strong teamwork skills
  • First-class communication
  • A sense of adventure

Joining process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

Got a question?

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