Any advise on the pro's of joining the navy?


I hope someone can help.

My 17 year old (18 next month) is a bit of a nightmare towards his family (you may know him from another post thats been long running!). He tried to join the army 9 months ago and did not pass his medical when he got to Lichfield. They put him on a bike for 10 minutes and measured his breathing. He had a cold at the time and they said that due to him having asthma as a child the lung readings were not enough and they sent him home. he has not had asthma since he was 5!

He was gutted as he had all his hopes on this and when I looked into things it was suggested the navy may pass him. However when he mentioned it to his friends they made fun saying you have to be gay. He then refused to look into it further.

Well forward 10 months and hes going nowhere. currently on the princes trust 12 week course. no qualifications. Awful to live with but that said he is only awful to the family he lives with. If you met him out of the home you would think he was a nice lad.

I really believe this would be the making of him and the start of the rest of his life.

Can anyone give me any advise as to the following questions.

1. Do you think without qualifications the navy would accept him?
2. If so what options are there for the non - qualified?
3. What are the main plus points for joining the navy?

I am after honesty and will not take offense at anything.

Thanks for reading.



  • edited 16 August 2009 at 9:40PM
    SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    edited 16 August 2009 at 9:40PM
    Hi Nikki

    I cannot say for certain if the Navy would or would not accept him but I will try and find out. I was in the Navy when I was mid-diagnosed with Asthma and it hasnt prevented me from progressing my career in areas where lung problems and previous history of Asthma is rigorously investigated.

    No qualifications is NOT a problem but of course he would have to take an aptitude test at the careers office, undergo a medical and pass a series of interviews. A member of my family to wanted to join the Army as a nurse and she was knocked back because of a history of Asthma.

    Plus points for joining the Navy? Whilst you operate in dangerous environments all the time especially as a Submariner, you are not being shot at on the front line day in day out. I would think job satisfaction would be a plus point due to the diversity of employment. There are several jobs he could do.

    PM me if you have anymore questions. Certainly nothing ventured nothing gained.

  • Thank you for your imput.

    I have just been on the MOD wedsite with him watching the videos and hes very interested in joining now. :j:j:j:j:j

    he really likes the landing the fighter planes job (technical term!)

    How hard is the aptitude test?

    Also he loves and plays for a very good local team in football which is his love. are there opportunities for him to play on teams when there?

    Thanks so much for posting.

  • ICATQICATQ Forumite
    664 Posts
    lennymfo wrote: »
    Hi Nikki

    Whilst you operate in dangerous environments all the time especially as a Submariner, you are not being shot at on the front line day in day out.

    Dont want to shatter any illusions here, but despite being miles from the sea, there are quite a few Navy in Afghan and yes, some do and have been shot at!!

    It is obviously trade dependant. If he were is a trade that is only on a ship or boat then he wouldnt see Afghan, if that is a concern.

    The worst that can happen is he gets to the AFCO and he is still medically unfit. There are lots of career options and the base medical standard is the same, although can be more prescriptive for more advanced trades/careers such as pilot.

    If the cold affected his test - re take it in good health and see what happens. I know several people with asthma, hasnt stopped them (not Navy though).
  • Don't even consider the submarine service if he has a history of asthma, the medical exam for the escape training is very thorough and someone with a history of asthma hasn't got a chance.

    The better he does in the aptitude test the more choices he will have when picking his branch, choose wisely because once your in it is quite a long process to change. Also don't forget that the careers advisors job is to steer people into branches that are undermanned (think why they are undermanned) so if he has choosen a specific branch be prepared to wait a while (I waited nearly a year) for a position to come up.

    Make sure he chooses a branch that is usefull in civvy street, I know loads of good sonar operators but what sort of job will they transfer there skills into when they want to leave the forces?

    Being in the submarine service I didn't have much to do with them but aircraft handler is a pretty cushy number I think... if he is set on that pray that they are recruiting that branch!

    There is no doubt about it the forces will change him for the better, I was lucky and had an old hand take me under his wing when I joined up and he showed me the ins and outs... PM me if you need any more help and I will do my best.
  • In terms of sport, there are plenty of opportunities and, if he's good enough, he'll be able to represent the RN. :) I play RAF Cricket and get plenty of time off to play and have visited some lovely sunny places! Also, when on shore, he can play for any civilian teams he his own time.

    Per Ardua Ad Astra
  • Don't know if the navy would accept him but there is an excellent navy site, If you go to the forum called newbies there are people there, including recruitment officers, who will be able to answer any queries you or your son may have.

    I've read your other posts and has he thought about the discipline aspect of armed services life? Has he thought about joing the Royal Navy Reserves in the meantime?

    btw navy men gay .........................never!!!
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  • What about the airforce? Airload master is a well paid job after training, also there is lots of ground trades, fixing the aircraft etc.

    Air Loadmaster was what i was personally going to go for, I would like to be a pilot, but I havent got the eyesite :(

    I was in the Air Training Corps also, i believe you dont have to be quite as fit for the air force.
  • My little brother joined the RN as soon as he was old enough to be accepted.

    Everyone that knows him in a before RN and now sense say how much it has changed him for the better. It has done so much for his confidence you wouldn't believe he was the same lad. At school, teachers said he wouldn't amount to much etc... he's apparently officer material 2.5 years on :)

    I'm quite sure he didn't have great GCSE results as he originally wanted to join the RAF but they weren't good enough for that :dunno:

    Plus points in the current climate - it's a job ;) little bro is currently on a 6 month deployment going round Falklands, Rio, Chile is pretty good for a school leaver

    Our mum is a member on the NFF (Naval Families Federation) which has been really useful to her as a parent - sorry can't turn off italics
  • Sorry my partner showed me the post didnt give it a full read, i checked on the RAF website and basically

    -Air Loadmaster (or Weapons Systems Operator (crewman)) needs 5 GCSES at C or better, mind you i had a mate go for this but he says the maths test was hard.

    -Ground Technical roles only need 3 GCSES

    -RAF regiment Gunners dont need anything.

    So this might help :) Oh well im not allowed to post a link, but googles RAF Careers, i just thought the RAF might be better if he was getting wound up for the navy.

    He shouldnt let his mates wind him up, most likely if he joins the forces within a few years he will be on better money than them, seen more of the world and done all sorts of stuff.
  • adouglasmhoradouglasmhor Forumite
    15.6K Posts
    RAF regiment gunners work bloody hard and have similar training and fitness to soldiers. Might find the physical standards are as high as the army ones.
    The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head. Terry Pratchett

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