University Air Squadrons and University Royal Naval Units

Can you join both a University Air Squadron and a University Royal Naval Unit at the same time? I’m interested in the Fleet Air Arm so RAF would be the obvious option for the flying but I’d like to experience the Navy as well.

More than likely not. Someone will probably be around soon with a quote from a rulebook!

Sadly I don’t have a rulebook to quote from but I’m 99% certain you cannot be a member of both. Since UASs and URNUs are officially considered Reservist units, think of it like a part-time job (which it is): you wouldn’t have two part-time jobs alongside your full-time one. Even if you were allowed, you simply wouldn’t have the time to manage university commitments and fulfilling the basic training requirements of both University Service Units.

I’d say join the UAS outright, but as a current member I’m massively biased. I love the UAS system and the opportunities it’s provided me; I’ve flown in Hawks, Sea Kings, Chinooks, Pumas, Tucanos and of course the mighty Tutor. That said, the URNU do offer opportunities to fly with them, to cater for those wishing to go FAA. Obviously, this is nowhere near on the same scale of the UAS flying syllabus. We have many students on the UAS who are looking into Navy aircrew careers, me included!

Start here and never look back:

If you have any more questions, no matter how insignificant or trivial you think they are, ask on here or send me a message, it’d be my pleasure to help you out.

I can’t give you definitive career advice but can say that through the URNU you can get into the skies! As already said, this isn’t on the scale of the UAS and if flying is your priority then go down the UAS route. I don’t think you can join both as you can claim a bounty for meeting your training commitment, currently 24 days in the URNU, and can’t see why “they’d” let you claim two bounties, even if you are a great time manager! Remember RAF are just as likely to be deployed to HMS Queen Elizabeth in the future so you could be in the RAF and go to sea!!!

Probably not too late for this topic, as it’s still only August…

If you’re looking at a flying job in the FAA, either as Pilot or Observer, I’d head straight to the UAS. The syllabus is more limited nowadays (but the amount of flying theoretically isn’t), but you could find the flying experience valuable in future. I have several ex-UAS colleagues in the FAA as aircrew. :slight_smile:

As a slight derailment to anyone that’s thinking of “UOTC” and the like, Unless your going to do an Aircrew Role and do the UAS or similar flying/aviation themed units, I wouldn’t do either. Bin them off and go Reserves. Why pretend to do it in a glorified cadets, when you can do the real thing.

I detest the UOTC. Not only a drain on the defence budget. But they are jumped up little gobby doorknobs.

1 Like

I agree with it in principal however the ones I’ve met have really put a black cloud over it for me.
When I was training at Cosford there was a officers mess do for members the Birmingham Air squadron and, as we were ACs, they tried to take the piss, wandering off and trying to get back on without IDs. Trying to pull the officer card.
Also at riat this year several of the SACs myself included we trying to have salutes demanded off of us by some of them. I agree with principle but some grapes do sour the bunch.

1 Like

i’m afraid i’ve never come across a UOTC group that didn’t give the impression of being a bunch of braying (some of them falsely…) throbbers. that judgement was formed as a member of the TA, then as a prospective (but only till i met them…) member of a UOTC, then in the regular Army…

joining the UOTC/UAS/URNU rather than joining the reserves has genuine benefits - its much more student timetable orientated for a start - and in particular the UAS offers a training path that no reserve unit will, given that there aren’t any reservist fighter pilots.

however, on balance i would say that those with reserve service, rather than UOTC ‘service’, did better at RMAS, particularly if their TA unit had supported their ambition to commission with some training and advice. its my belief that attitudes develop within UOTC that are very bad for the individual to develop, and that its a minority of ex-UOTC, subsequently commisioned officers who are not complete horrible people.

interestingly, my experience of UOTC people who failed to get into RMAS and who them plumped for service as Soldiers, is that not one of the half dozen or so i got at ATR managed to complete basic training, i took the view that their UOTC ‘service’ had given them an unbreakable sense of wholy undeserved entitlement. they were simply unable to mix or work with - or for - with people outside the ‘officer class’.

i am not, you may be able to tell, a fan…

1 Like

Got to agree with Angus - like them or not, the University units are designed to work around the busy world of student life. The reserves aren’t. The UAS is far more than a glorified flying club these days (I’m sorry, but I don’t really buy the story of UAS students demanding salutes at RIAT - unless they were an APO, in which case they should have been offered the appropriate complements) and should be going through a period of reform as it becomes part of 6FTS.

I have removed posts from this thread that were off topic, inflammatory and didn’t contribute to the thread.

I will be PMing those responsible to ask them to check their behaviour in future.

I’ve kept the thread open in the hope of positive constructive comments. If this doesn’t happen it will be locked.

I have now suspended a user for breaching the above after they received a warning about their behaviour.