The Maritime Reserve was established in 1904 to augment the Royal Navy in times of national crisis, when manpower was in demand and regular roles were at risk of being gapped.

With a total of 42 Units located in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Maritime Reserves current strength is 2770. The Maritime Reserve covers a broad spectrum of employment with 6 branches open to Reservists.  They are: Warfare, Air, Engineering, Logistics, Medical and Royal Marines.

Follow us @RoyalNavalReserve on Instagram and Facebook - and @RNReserve on Twitter

maritime reservists

In simple terms a Royal Navy or Royal Marines Reservist is a part-time member of our Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

Naturally, it follows that their initial training is a condensed version of New Entry Training at HMS Raleigh for Ratings and Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth for Officers or at The Commando training Centre for Royal Marines Reserve Officers and Men.

In addition, they conduct continuation and specialist training across 17 specialisations which equips them to perform their roles alongside their Regular counterparts, integrating seamlessly, on exercises, on operations and when deployed at sea.

There are currently 344 Reservists employed in ships, units and headquarters around the world.  The footprint in support of the Royal Navy and UK Government objectives is global, from the Arctic to Antarctica and from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Mediterranean and Middle East.

In addition, Royal Marines Reservists have been recently engaged in the Deserts, Jungles and Arctic wastes of Africa, North America, the Far East and Northern Europe.


Reserves Day

The contribution our Reservists make to our Armed Forces can often go unrecognised. As such an annual Reserves Day was created to highlight and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to our Armed Forces.

Reservists are everywhere, but you might not know it. So on Reserves Day, our Reservists wore their uniform in their civilian life – we hope you saw them this year on Wednesday 27th June.

Who are they?

For some it’s a chance to develop skills, knowledge and personal qualities that help in their civilian work. For others it’s an opportunity to meet friends, stay fit and travel.

Meet some of our Reservists below and find out what it means for them to be a part of the Maritime Reserves.

Joe Ayres


Matt McPherson


Chris Clarke-Brown


Charlotte Kertrestel


Melvin Wrightson


Jo Young


Emma Cutler


Nicola Triggs


gaining new skills

Meet Midshipman Matthew Bate. In his civilian job he's an Operations Director at a university. He says "Completing the fast track officer training programme at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2017 was an achievement that I'm really proud of, and my confidence has improved no end as a result."

Meet Sub Lieutenant Laura Schofield from HMS Ceres, in Leeds. She is a recent graduate from Hull University and she is also a Reservist for the Royal Navy.  Discover what Laura gets up to in her spare time as a Reservist for the Royal Navy.

@RoyalNavalReserve INSTAGRAM


@RoyalNavalReserve Facebook


@RNReserve Twitter


Interested in joining What could you do?

Find a Role

thank you to employers of reservists

A big thank you to all employers of Reservists. Your support is greatly appreciated and is essential in enabling our reservists to do what they do for the Royal Navy.

One such employer is global high technology company Leonardo which employs a number of Armed Forces Reserves personnel. It values the military skills and training the reservists bring into their civilian workplace. 

Meet Nicola Triggs, a Senior Project Manager at Leonardo and a Leading Hand from HMS President, our London training unit. Watch as she sums up what she loves about her spare time career in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Being with the Navy I could be shooting guns, driving a boat, parading for the Queen... and I love it!



Each year the Maritime Reserves enter a team into the annual Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity Brickwoods Field Gun Competition. The Field Gun competition, which dates back to 1907, has its roots in the Boer war, when naval guns were mounted onto carriages and transported cross country for more than 100 miles to relieve the siege of Ladysmith.

This year, 23 teams entered the competition from across the military, including places as far as Naples, Gibraltar and Cyprus. 

Crew members need to be physically fit to take part in ‘the gun run’ as it requires grit, determination and a level of team work which exceed those in any other sport. For the Maritime Reserves, this means a series of training weekends followed by an intense two-week training period at HMS Collingwood prior to the competition.

Following two weeks of intense training and a series of heats, the Maritime Reserves Crew qualified for the 3rd plate final, running against crews from HMS Raleigh, Gibraltar, Naples and ARRC. In what was one of their best runs of the season, the crew crossed the line a fraction of a second ahead of HMS Raleigh, and went on to win the Soapy Watson trophy for the first time. 

READ MORE ► Maritime Reserves Field Gunners

prev next

Latest News

HMS Forward officer retires after over 30 years

HMS Forward officer retires after over 30 years


Tyne and Wear twins complete navy training


Tyneside garden buzzing thanks to Reservists


Reservists honoured by Wolverhampton



General Entry Rating Reserve

Join us

Ex-regular Reserve

Join us

Royal Marines Reservist

Join us