General Entry Rating Reserve

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

At a glance

What you’ll do

As a General Entry Rating in the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR), 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. If you can do that, you’ll open up the extraordinary. Travelling the world, doing things you never thought you’d do, and seeing things you never thought you’d see.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Basic training in the Royal Navy Reserve is delivered in modules, and can easily be completed in 12 months if you attend training weekends and weekday evening sessions.
  • After you’ve completed your basic military training, you can select a specialism and join an active unit. You might choose to become a Diver, supporting the Fleet Diving Squadron, or an Engineer Reservist who gets hands-on with our state-of-the-art equipment.
  • When you’re mobilised for deployment, you’ll join regular ranks in protecting our nation’s interests all over the world. That might mean working on humanitarian aid operations in the Philippines, or providing logistical support in a conflict zone in the Middle East.
  • 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.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

  • Progressive leadership and management training courses are embedded in your career path
  • You will have the opportunity to take a range of vocational courses, depending on your specialism

Skills you’ll develop

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

What you'll need


  • You must be aged 16 to 42 when you start training
  • No qualifications are required for this 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

  • Problem solvers with a keen eye for detail
  • Team players
  • A willingness to help shipmates
  • A high level of physical and mental fitness
  • An interest in spending time at sea
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

  • 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 HMS Raleigh or Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC). Once you’ve completed this you will go on to specialise in your chosen discipline

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 HMS Raleigh. There you’ll train alongside ratings 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 a rating in the RNR you will undertake continuous professional training throughout your career, the courses and qualifications will depend on the specialisation or branch that you join.

During your basic training you will learn about military life, organisational skills, fitness, drill, weapon handling, life on board a warship, fire-fighting, damage control and sea survival, how the Navy works, customs and traditions, team work and how to be a sailor in the Navy.

Once you have passed your basic training, you can choose which branch or specialisation to join depending on your skills and interests.

General Entry

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

Civilians with Specialist Skills

If you have existing civilian skills or qualifications you may be able to join:


If you are an ex-regular or service leaver with specialist skills you can join the following branches:

  • Air
  • Chef
  • Communication Technician
  • Engineering – weapon, mechanical and submarine engineering
  • Photographer