Joining the Royal Naval Reserve

Whatever your background, there’s a Reservist role to suit you. Take a look and find out where you could fit.

I'm a school leaver

  • You don’t need any qualifications to become a rating in the Royal Naval Reserve.
  • You’ll start as a General Entry Rating Reserve either in the General Warfare branch or in the Engineering branch if you have relevant experience and skills. To join the Engineering branch you must hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a Level 3 or 4 qualification in an engineering discipline. 
  • You’ll need to be aged 16 to 42.
  • You must be British, Irish, Commonwealth or dual citizenship.
  • You’ll need to be medically fit.
     

I've finished school

  • If you left school with qualifications, you can choose a rating or an officer role.
  • If you join as an officer you will join as a General Entry Officer Reserve in the General Warfare branch or in the Engineering branch if you have relevant qualifications and experience.
  • You’ll need to be aged 16 to 42 as a rating or 17 to 42 as an officer.
  • To join as an officer, you’ll need a minimum of 96 UCAS points and at least 5 GCSEs at grades A-C (9-4) (or Scottish equivalent), which must include English and Mathematics.
  • You must be British, Irish, Commonwealth or dual citizenship.
  • You’ll need to be medically fit.
 

I'm a Royal Navy or Royal Marines ex-regular

  • If you are a fully trained Royal Navy or Royal Marines officer or rating and left the service within the last two years you can apply to join the Royal Naval Reserve or Royal Marines Reserve through the Firefly Scheme.

  • You’ll need to be aged 16 to 56 as an ex-regular rating or 20 to 56 as an ex-regular officer. 
  • You’ll need to be medically fit.
 

I have specialist qualications

  • If you have medical, cyber or chaplaincy qualifications, you could move straight into a specialist role as soon as you join.
  • Each role has specific qualification requirements. Find out more below.
  • You’ll need to be aged 18 to 42 for most specialist roles.
  • You must be British, Irish, Commonwealth or dual citizenship.
  • You’ll need to be medically fit.

I'm an ex-regular Army or RAF

  • You will need to be either fully trained, part trained or untrained strength from a former service time.
  • To join the Royal Naval Reserve, you’ll need to be aged 16 to 42 for a rating and 17 to 42 for an officer and for the Royal Marines Reserve you’ll need to be aged 16 to 32. 
  • You’ll need to be medically fit. 

Want to start your journey?

Choose the entry option that’s right for you, based on your circumstances, qualifications and experience.

Apply as a rating

As a General Entry Rating in the Royal Naval Reserve, you’ll be taking a step out of your comfort zone. A step that will start an adventure. You don’t even need any previous Naval experience, just the commitment to complete your basic training alongside your day job.

APPLY NOW

Apply as an officer

Go beyond the everyday. Push yourself further. Become a leader. Joining the Royal Naval Reserve as a General Entry Officer is your opportunity to use your skills and interests in a wide range of specialisms and world-class training courses, from mine warfare and submarines, to media or intelligence.

APPLY NOW

Reservist specialist roles

If you have a specialist qualification you can join the Royal Naval Reserve directly into the following roles.

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows

1

REQUEST YOUR APPLICATION

Choose from one of the roles to enter above and request your application on the role page. You will be asked a few basic questions to check you're eligible to apply.

2

Visit your local unit

Book a place at an informal presentation evening or live event at your local Royal Navy Reserve unit, where you’ll learn more about us and the options open to you.

Find your unit
3

Interview and Naval Service Recruitment Test

You will be invited to your nearest Armed Forces Career Office (AFCO) for an interview, where we will check your eligibility and outline the joining process. See how you can prepare here. We’ll also arrange for you to take the Naval Service Recruit Test (NRST), which covers basic English and Maths, problem solving and mechanical reasoning. You can practice here.

Practice test
4

Join your local unit

Join your local Unit for Attestation. This involves swearing allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen and signing the Official Secrets Act. At this point you’ll be a Phase 0 recruit, and will attend weekly drill nights, however you won’t be able to start formal training until you pass your medical and fitness test.

5

Medical and eye test

You’ll need to take a medical, an eye-test and the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT), which is a 2.4 km run on a treadmill at a fitness centre near you. Make sure you get yourself into shape, both to pass the test and prepare for your initial training.