Ex-regular Forces Reserve

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Royal Naval Reserve
Royal Navy Reserves in uniform.

At a glance

What you’ll do

We know that as a former Royal Navy Officer or Rating, you have a unique wealth of skills and experience. And the Royal Naval Reserve still have a real need for that expertise. If you left the Royal Navy under two years ago and were fully-trained, you would be eligible for the Firefly Scheme, a fast track process that takes into consideration your rank and valuable experience.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Use your Naval background to open up specialist jobs that will provide opportunities to serve at sea, as well as ashore.
  • Use your existing discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills to get the most out of civilian and military life.
  • Travel the world, experiencing a wide range of new environments. You’ll be making a vital contribution to the essential operations that help us protect our nation’s interests.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Continuing your professional military education
  • Professional and vocational qualifications depending on your chosen branch and role

Skills you'll develop

  • Enhance your professional military skills
  • Opportunities to pass on your skills and experience through leadership, mentoring and instruction

What you'll need


  • You’ll need to be aged 16 to 56 for a Rating role and 20 to 56 for an Officer role
  • Qualification requirements vary depending on the role
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Motivated to continue service 
  • A desire to be part of a team
  • A need for adventure
  • Maintained physical and mental fitness
Check Eligibility

Joining process

If you have previous military service you can join the Royal Naval Reserve through one of three ways:

Still in Service or about to leave
If you are a Service Leaver and just about to leave regular service, you can join the Royal Naval Reserve through the Firefly Scheme which allows a seamless transfer from regular to reserve service. To do this speak to your Commanding Officer who will be able to direct you to the appropriate careers advisor. 

Left the Service less than two years ago
If you have been out of the Royal Navy for less than two years, you can join the Royal Naval Reserve through the Firefly Scheme as an Ex-regular and your application will take into consideration your recent military experience and qualifications. To apply this way, select 'Request You Application' on this page and you will be able to enter your relevant careers experience on the form. 

Left the Service more than two years ago
If you have been out of the Royal Navy for more than two years, you will need to apply online and follow the standard Royal Naval Reserve joining process. You will need to complete a new application form and undertake new medical, security and fitness checks to ensure you are up to date. As long as you completed basic training during your former naval service, you can join up to the age of 56. Visit the joining section to find out more about applying via the standard route.