What could you do in the Reserves?

There are 80 roles available across all branches, including warfare, engineering, logistics, medical and chaplaincy, so you can choose one that’s based on your civilian skills, or train for a role that is completely different to anything you’ve experienced before.

Your role could include:

  • Protecting Royal Naval warships in foreign waters
  • Giving vital logistical support to crews of ships
  • Sending detailed signal information to submarines
  • Supplying safety information to merchant ships

Reservists, like regular personnel, can join as officers or ratings, depending on qualifications. You could be taking the lead on some vital operations, or providing the extra manpower we need all over the world.

Levels of entry


Earning as you’re learning, gaining qualifications and travelling the world. That’s life as a rating. With on the job training you’ll develop a range of skills and have the opportunity to work on our world-class warships. How far can you go, and how high can you climb? That’s down to you. As a General Entry Rating you can undertake diverse specialisations, and all promotions are on merit.

Becoming a Rating

For those with no previous military experience, you’ll generally join the Royal Naval Reserve as a rating. As in the Royal Navy, ratings are the Royal Naval Reserve’s workforce, trained to do specific jobs within the team. We’ll expect you to maintain the same professional standards and levels of physical fitness as your full-time colleagues.


Joining as a General Entry Officer is your opportunity to use your skills and develop new ones in a wide range of specialisms, from mine warfare and submarines, to media and intelligence. You’ll begin your journey with a two-day competency-based assessment at the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) before starting basic training. And after that? Make the most of your opportunities to travel the world, from the deserts to the tropics - and beyond.

Becoming an Officer

During the recruitment process you may show you have an interest in becoming an officer. If you have the right qualifications and are suitable you could be identified as a fast-track commission candidate. However, whatever your qualifications, you’ll need to complete the new-entry officer training course so that you understand the basics of naval life. You can either be a General Reserve Officer or a Specialist Officer if you’re a qualified civilian doctor, nurse or minister of religion.


We know that as a former Royal Navy regular, you have a wealth of skills and experience. And we still have a real need for that expertise, which is why there’s never been a better time for ex-regulars to serve with the Royal Naval Reserve. And if you’ve been out of the Royal Navy for less than two years, you can join through Project Firefly, which allows a seamless transfer from regular to reserve service.

Serving with the Royal Naval Reserve is the ideal way to put your hard earned skills and experience to real practical use, and keep in contact with Royal Naval life after you’ve left the service.


After you do your initial training, you can chose to specialise in a branch that suits your skills and interests.


With powerful support from the air our fighter jets and helicopters extend our reach, all over the world, whether it’s a peacetime or combat mission.


Chaplaincy in the Royal Naval Service is a long way removed from civilian life. For a start you’ll have the opportunity to travel the world providing support to around 30,000 highly trained individuals. The unique challenges faced by them and their families make your job all the more vital.


The Engineering branch keeps the Royal Navy moving. From our aircraft, ships and submarines, to weapons and comms, our engineers are essential to global operations. Because our world-class kit is only as good as the engineers keeping it in top working order, world-class training comes as standard.


The Medical branch is medicine’s frontline. You’ll push yourself further, providing specialist care in NHS hospitals, at sea, or in a field hospital. This is your opportunity to care for the people who protect our nation’s interests, being deployed to where you’re needed most and using your existing skills.


The Warfare branch is about expert seamanship, above and below the waves. We have specialists who analyse, plan and execute essential global operations. In the Warfare branch, you’re right on the frontline. From the Persian Gulf, to the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be in the thick of the action.

Royal Marines Reserve

The Royal Marines Reserve is made up of a special breed of people who use their spare time to become elite amphibious soldiers. Earning the green beret is the ultimate achievement, and as soon as you have completed all the training, you’ll be deployable alongside your regular counterparts, all over the world.

Find your Royal Naval Reserve role

Enter your Age

Education I have achieved, or hope to have achieved when I apply

I want to work with

0 roles available

Naval Nurse Reserve

Provide world-class medical care to safeguard our people in challenging environments, all over the world.

What you'll need:
  • An Adult Nursing Diploma, ideally with a specialism
What you'll get:
  • Travel, skills and experience beyond civilian nursing
Find out more

Chaplain Reserve

Provide multi-faith spiritual guidance and support that’s as diverse as the people who serve as Reservists.

What you'll need:
  • A theological degree or recognised qualification from a Bible College
What you'll get:
  • The opportunity to work with a unique global congregation
Find out more

Cyber Unit Reserve

Use your cyber skills to develop truly unique ones in this ground-breaking part of our nation’s defence.

What you'll need:
  • Proven, in-depth technical skills in your specialism 
What you'll get:
  • Training and experience you simply won’t get anywhere else
Find out more

Ex-regular Forces Reserve

Use your existing experience and expertise to make a vital contribution to essential global operations.

What you'll need:
  • Naval experience and the motivation to continue service 
What you'll get:
  • The best of both: combine your home life with military adventure
Find out more

General Entry Officer Reserve

Develop specialist skills to lead the teams that make a difference, every day, in a career that’s far from the everyday.

What you'll need:
  • The motivation to push yourself and learn new skills
What you'll get:
  • The best of both: combine home life with training, travel and adventure
Find out more

General Entry Rating Reserve

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 need:
  • Problem solvers with a keen eye for detail
What you'll get:
  • Determination, discipline, and confidence which will transfer into your civilian life
Find out more

Medical Officer Reserve

Play an essential role on the frontline of the medical profession, supporting vital naval operations, all over the world.

What you'll need:
  • General Medical Council registration, with no restrictions, plus a specialism
What you'll get:
  • Medical experience and practice that’s far beyond civilian medicine
Find out more

Nursing Officer Reserve

First-class care meets challenging conditions, as you play an essential part in safeguarding our people, all over the world.

What you'll need:
  • A Degree or Diploma in Adult Nursing 
What you'll get:
  • Training, travel, adventure – and making a difference 
Find out more

Qualified Medical Technician Reserve

If you’re an ODP, Biomedical Scientist or Radiographer, you’ll provide essential medical support to global operations.

What you'll need:
  • A Degree or Diploma appropriate to your specialism 
What you'll get:
  • Training, travel, adventure, and experience far beyond civilian medicine
Find out more