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 rating or officer, you have a unique wealth of skills and experience. And we still have a real need for that expertise, which is why it’s so ideal for ex-regulars to serve with the Royal Naval Reserve. And if you’ve been out of the Royal Navy for less than two years and are part-trained, you can join the Royal Naval Reserve through Project Firefly which allows a seamless transfer from regular to reserve service.

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.
  • Opt for Project Firefly and have two years of non-compulsory mobilisation to settle in to civilian life. That means you’ll only have to dedicate the minimum number of annual training days.
  • 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


  • Qualification requirements vary depending on the role
  • You’ll need to be aged 16 - 56 for a rating role and 20-56 for an officer role
  • 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
  • There are additional requirements for seamless transfers which include a fitness test, medical checks and recommendation for further service. Please contact us on the number below for further information

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 Reserves through one of three ways:

If you are a Service Leaver and just about to leave regular service, you can join the Royal Navy Reserve through Project Firefly which allows a seamless transfer from regular to reserve service.

If you have been out of the Royal Navy for less than two years, you can also join the Royal Naval Reserve through Project Firefly and your application will take into consideration your recent military experience and qualifications.

If you have been out of the Royal Navy for more than two years, you will need to apply online and follow the standard application process via the AFCO. 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.

Follow the links to find out how to re-join as an Officer or Rating.