Social life

Social life: Hair down. Knees up.

“It’s more than just a job – it’s a way of life” is something you hear a lot in the Navy. From day one of training, you’ll be making friends who will be with you for life, while enjoying a unique sense of camaraderie that few careers can claim. Think of it as an extended family, there for you whatever Naval life throws your way.

Whether you’re on shore or on deployment, you’ll always have the time to wind down and socialise. That could mean playing ‘uckers’ in the mess (beware of inter-branch differences in the rules), ‘bucketball’ on the flight deck, or if you’re out on ‘Cinderella leave’, stepping ashore for a night with your mates in a new foreign port.

Among the many unique Royal Navy traditions (like the ‘Jackspeak’, or Navy slang, you see below), you can count on a unique social life – while working hard, together, to get the job done.

What to expect

Here’s a handful of examples of our social events.

  • Runs ashore: From Petra to the Pyramids, to the Bahrain Grand Prix, you can make the most of wherever you’re deployed.
  • Flight Deck BBQ: When you’re deployed somewhere hot (and should time allow), the Chefs will get a night off, with a particular mess taking responsibility for lighting the barbecues. You’ll even have the opportunity to enjoy a department sundowner (a few drinks on deck with your mates).
  • Hands to Bathe: Another one for hotter climes, the ship’s engines are shut down so the crew can enjoy a dip.
  • Mess Dinner: Whether it’s Trafalgar or Taranto Night, Mess Dinners give you the chance to get together with your colleagues and let your hair down. There are Mess Dinners for officers and senior rates.
  • Capability Demonstration: Ships often host high-ranking officials and military staff with cocktail parties and tours of the vessel.

Catering Services, Logistics branch

Whilst I'm on board, my crewmates are my family. We have a laugh but we support each other as well.

Supply Chain (Submariner), Logistics branch

Being on a Submarine means you're in close quarters with your colleagues, and because of that, they become your family too.

Warfare Officer, Warfare Branch

You become so close with your crewmates because you have common experiences and can help each other.