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Royal Naval Reserves unveil their summer Fast Track Officer Scheme

Royal Naval Reserves unveil their summer Fast-Track Officer Scheme
10 March 2017
The Royal Navy is encouraging reservists to take part in their fast-track officer scheme which trains potential officer cadets to Midshipmen in the Royal Naval Reserves over the summer.

The scheme, known as the Accelerated Officer Programme (AOP), takes potential Royal Naval Reserve officers and puts them through their initial officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and HMS Excellent in Portsmouth, over eight weeks in July and August 2017.

The officer cadets undergo professional Royal Navy training in leadership, sea survival, seamanship skills on the river Dart culminating with time at sea on a naval ship.  At the end of the eight weeks, the successful officers take part in an official pass-out parade in front of dignitaries, friends and family.

Colonel Jeff Moulton, Deputy Commander Maritime Reserves, is encouraging people to sign up, “The training for officers in the Royal Naval Reserve usually takes two years on a part time basis.  By committing to this intense programme over the summer, our potential officers can complete it in eight weeks and become a Midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserves.”

Midshipman Craig Purvis, from HMS Calliope, completed the AOP last year and said, “There were many highlights over my eight weeks and they included boat work on the river Dart, sea time on RFA Argus and taking part in things I would never normally do.  I made some great friends over the summer - and the best bit was that I was paid to do it!

“Now that I have completed this course, I can get onto the trained strength as quickly as possible.  I am currently  completing my specialisation training in Unit and I am looking forward to being able to deploy with the Royal Navy on joint and international operations. It has really been worth it.”

By committing to this intense programme over the summer, our potential officers can complete it in eight weeks and become a Midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserves

Colonel Jeff Moulton, Deputy Commander Maritime Reserves


The AOP takes place from Saturday 8 July to Friday 1 September 2017.

The programme is ideally suited to reservists who can commit to long periods of training over the summer.  Previous courses have welcomed students, URNU officer cadets, those in-between employment and young professionals whose employers are willing to send them on extended ‘personal and professional development courses’.  Participants are paid the corresponding RNR daily rate of pay whilst taking part.  

There are two phases to the programme.  Participants can complete both phases back to back over the eight weeks or, if time is limited, Phase 1A and Phase 1B can be completed separately in subsequent years.  

Phase 1A - Joining and initial training at BRNC

From now to July you will need to apply, interview and prepare, and then complete four weeks at BRNC:

  • Apply via your RNR Unit’s initial naval training team
  • Attend your Admiralty Interview Board (latest applications are to be made by 19 May 2017)
  • Attend your mandatory pre-AOP training weekend on 24-25 June 2017
  • Attend four weeks initial naval training at BRNC, Dartmouth, 8 July – 4 August 2017

Phase 1B - Sea survival course, sea time and passing-out parade

During the four week period between 5 August to 1 September 2017 you will complete:

  • Embarked Forces Sea Survival Course, Portsmouth
  • Seamanship Skills at BRNC, Dartmouth
  • Time at sea on a naval ship
  • Consolidation & passing-out parade, Portsmouth


To apply for the 2017 AOP, you must have already joined, or be in the process of joining, the Royal Naval Reserves and be in a postion to take your AIB in April - June. If you are not already in the Royal Navy Reserves, you should start your application to join the RNR and this will give you plenty of time to complete the process before the 2018 AOP.

You need to be available for either just Phase 1A, or both 1A and 1B Phases.  Previous participants who have completed phase 1A may apply for phase 1B.  

For full details on joining the Royal Naval Reserves, check out the careers section of the RN website:

Reserve General Entry Officer

How to Apply

To apply for a place on the AOP, you should speak to your Initial Training Officer or Permenant Staff Instructor in your Unit.  Applications from URNU officer cadets are encouraged and you should speak to your training staff. Applications need to be processed during March and April 2017.

If you are interested in joining the Reserves call our careers hotline on 0345 600 3222.

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