General Entry Officer Reserve

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Royal Naval Reserve
A General Entry Officer Reserve standing

At a glance

What you’ll do

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.

You’ll start your journey at a local unit as a new entry rating and begin basic training, creating solid friendships from day one, in the Royal Navy, it’s a case of join together, train together. From here, you’ll embark on your two-day competency-based assessment at the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) before starting your specialised young officer training. And after that? Make the most of your opportunities to travel the world, from the deserts to the tropics – and beyond.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Complete your basic training and then choose how you specialise by joining your preferred branch from Seamanship to Intelligence to Mine Warfare.
  • Learn management and leadership techniques in an environment that’s far removed from any office, and excel in a career that runs alongside your day job.
  • Develop a wide range of new skills through your military training including firefighting, first aid and weapons handling.
  • Gain professional and vocational credentials like Royal Yachting Association powerboat, dinghy and yacht sailing qualifications.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Leadership and management courses from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • Qualifications based on your role and specialism

Skills you'll develop

  • Determination, discipline, and confidence which will transfer into your civilian life
  • Leadership, responsibility, time management and personal organisation skills

Career Progression

Promotion is linked to successful completion of Basic Training and after that it’s merit based. You’ll begin as an Officer Cadet and progress to Midshipman, then Sub-Lieutenant. After completing your initial professional training in your chosen branch and specialisation, you’ll be promoted to Lieutenant.

Competition is tough, but with experience and further training, you could be selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander and beyond.

What you'll need


  • Aged 18 to 42, or 18 to 56 if you are an ex-regular, when you start training
  • A minimum of 72 UCAS points. These can be accrued from either GCE A/AS levels (or equivalent) or National Diplomas (e.g. BTEC)
  • At least 5 grades A* - C (9-4) which must include English Language and Maths
  • 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

  • Self reliant, well-organised future leaders
  • Problem solvers with a keen eye for detail
  • Team players
  • A willingness to help shipmates
  • A high level of physical and mental fitness
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

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

  • Submit an application

    Your first step is to fill in an online application form. If you have any questions beforehand, you can phone us on 0345 600 3222

  • Presentation

    You will be invited to attend an Initial Maritime Reserves Presentation (IMRP) at your nearest Unit. This is your chance to have a look around, meet the team, ask any questions and find out about life in the Reserves

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA) and interview

    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 more advice here. You will then sit the DAA, which assesses: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA.

  • You will also be invited to have an interview with the medical recruiting team
  • Join your local Unit

    You will then be invited to join your Unit for Attestation. This involves swearing allegiance to His Majesty The King 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

  • Medical and fitness test

    The medical tests are carried out by your nearest Ministry of Defence approved doctor, but eye tests can be completed at selected high street centres. The Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) requires you to complete a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a local approved fitness centre. Check out this booklet for tips on how to prepare

  • Phase 1 training

    You’ll now be a signed-up member of the Royal Naval Reserve as a Phase 1 recruit. At this stage you’ll be given your Royal Navy identification card and uniform, and be able to conduct formal basic training

  • Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)

    This stage is unique to officers and takes place in two parts. A Pre Recorded Interview (PRI) is an online assessment which assesses your motivation to join the Royal Navy as an officer and your awareness of the Royal Navy. The Group Planning Exercise (GPE) is the second stage of the AIB and is an online competency based assessment which will take place on a separate day to the PRI. It will be conducted in a virtual group environment and you will be assessed on your contribution to the team based on your individual performance

  • Training

    During your Phase 1 training you will learn about life in the Royal Navy. This takes place on weekly drill nights. You’ll also spend two weekends learning about life in the military and what it is like at sea

  • Confirmation course

    This two-week course is held at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC). Officer Cadets also have to undertake a pre-BRNC selection weekend to ensure you are ready for the course

Initial training

Training and development continues throughout your career with the Royal Navy Reserve.

Basic training takes place at weekends and on weekday evenings at your local unit. These link in with national training weekends where you’ll train with people from other units. You’ll complete a 1-week weapons course, before attending a 2-week confirmation course at BRNC. There you’ll train alongside officers who are completing their basic training for the full-time Royal Navy.

Training is also conducted online via a Virtual Learning Environment, so you’ll need access to the Internet.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

As an Officer in the Royal Naval Reserve, you’ll have the chance to complete continuous professional training throughout your career. The courses and qualifications available to you will depend on the specialisation or the branch that you choose. 

As a Young Officer you will train for an exam called the Fleetboard, after you pass you’ll be promoted to Sub-Lieutenant. 

During training you’ll learn new skills including firefighting, sea survival and watchkeeping aboard a Royal Navy warship. This is along with how the Royal Navy works, its customs and traditions, leadership and how to conduct yourself as a Naval Officer. 

Once you have passed your Fleetboard, you’ll be able to choose which branch or specialisation you join, depending on your skills and interests, including:

General Entry

  • Above Water Force Protection (Seaman)
  • Communication Information Systems
  • Information Operations
  • Intelligence
  • Logistics
  • Maritime Trade Operations
  • Media Operations
  • Mine Warfare
  • Submarine Operations 

Civilians with Specialist Skills

You may be able to utilise your civilian skills in the Royal Navy if you have existing experience in:

  • Amphibious Warfare
  • Medicine
  • Cyber Intelligence
  • Chaplaincy
  • Diving