Being a Reservist: Fitting it in

Although being a Reservist is a part time occupation, it comes with a certain level of commitment.

For many, the demands of a job and family life are challenging enough. However, if you’ve got ambitions that go beyond the everyday, you could enjoy a rewarding career in the Royal Naval Reserve. And in return for your commitment we’ll give you the opportunity to see places and do things that most people only dream of, with some of the best friends you’ll ever make.

As a Reservist you’ll serve part-time unless you’re mobilised for an operational tour of duty. You’ll have to keep your skills and fitness at a consistently high level, which means you’ll generally be expected to fulfil a commitment of 24 days a year.

How much time do you need to commit?

You generally need to commit 24 days each year to achieve your annual commitment, which can be made up of weekends and evenings. You’ll join the General Warfare branch unless you have another specialisation, which means there’s a good chance you’ll deploy with a ship’s crew. Good communications with employers and the understanding of mutual benefits often generates a great relationship between reservists and employers.

Operational training (12 days)

12 days of operational training 

  • 12 days will be Continuous Training (CT) in an operational capacity, where you’ll attend a training course to accelerate development, or get to take part in an overseas NATO exercise. This could be on land or at sea.
  • Ideally we’d like you to do this in a single 12-day block. However, we understand that your work or other circumstances may sometimes make this difficult. So, if necessary, you could do your CT in two one-week blocks.

Support administration (12 days)

12 days of support administration

  • 12 days will be made up of Non-Continuous Training (NCT), including training weekends and midweek training nights each year, for which you will be paid. 
  • Here you’ll bolster your basic training with defence drills and adventure activities to ensure your fitness is at a constant optimum.
  • Each two-hour period is the same as a quarter day’s training, so doing four periods will give you a day of NCT.
  • As well as training nights, you’ll complete at least three training weekends each year, and it is quite likely that these will take place elsewhere in the UK.


Working around your career

The Ministry of Defence maintains close contact with employers so they understand what it means for you to be a member of HM Forces.

When you join the Royal Naval Reserve, you must tell your employer or give the Ministry of Defence (MOD) permission to inform them for you.

We recommend you refer your employer to the Defence Relationship Management website.