This article looks at how Armed Forces Recruitment works for the Royal Navy and RAF.

Royal Navy Recruitment

In times of conflict or peace, the Royal Navy is key to the prosperity of Britain and the stability of the high seas. The Royal Navy need to recruit a significant number of people each year to meet operational needs. The Royal Navy need to attract, engage and convert potential candidates

In 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 on physical events became known, the Royal Navy had to change from physical to a bespoke virtual events solution to ensure a continuation of the recruitment pipeline.

This process is common for all the fighting arms of the Royal Navy; the Royal Marines, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Reserves, the Surface Fleet, the Submarine Fleet, the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Royal Navy Recruitment Events

The main target audience for Royal Navy recruitment is 16 to 24 year olds. This demographic is typically hard to engage with in a competitive market as they are heavily influenced by their parents.

There are a range of events from intimate local recruitment events, through to exciting outdoor experiences for the Royal Marines, up to the production of large scale, comprehensive outreach and engagement stands.

The future direction of the Royal Navy events programme evolves into a hybrid model of both physical and virtual event solutions to help us engage with the target audience more effectively.

RAF Navy Recruitment

For over 100 years, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has defended the skies of Britain and projected Britain’s power and influence around the world.

Each year, the RAF need to recruit a significant number of people to meet operational needs. This needs an events programme which has a requirement to be flexible, agile and scalable.

In 2020, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on face-to-face and in-person events became clear and the events changed from physical to virtual for the RAF, to ensure that the recruitment pipeline could be maintained.

RAF Recruitment Events

The RAF’s main target audience is also in the 16 to 24 year-old demographic which often shielded by gatekeepers.

The RAF use a variety of ‘attractors’ at events to enrich the visitor experience and increase the level of interest and conversion rates for potential candidates. These attractors are managed and deployed by Identity across the event calendar. They can be both physical, such as full-scale replicas of aircraft like the Chinook helicopter or Hawk aircraft, or digital, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), interactive touchscreens, holograms, games and more.

For major events (where the RAF compete with global brands such as BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and General Dynamics), an immersive experience demonstrating life in the Royal Air Force, to rise above the exhibition noise and drive target audience footfall is created.

This approach continues to evolve with the planned evolution towards a hybrid delivery model – a blend of intimate in-person and amplified digital events – already underway.

Average time taken was to process applications to join the Armed Forces

Naval Service

At the end of Recruiting Year 2019-20, applicants to join the Regular Naval Service took a median of 244 days from the point of application to being offered a start date for basic training. For the Maritime Reserve, the median was 256 days.


At the end of Recruiting Year 2019-20, applicants to join the Regular Army took a median of 176 days from the point of application to being offered a start date for basic training. The average for Army Reserves is not measured.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

Recruiting Year 2019-20 (Regulars)

Average Days between Application submission to Entrant

  • Regular Officer: 469
  • Regular Other Rank: 315
  • Regular Senior Non-Commissioned Officers: 425

Recruiting Year 2019-20 (Reserves)

Average Days between Application submission to Entrant

  • RAF Reserves Officer: 618
  • RAF Reserves Other Ranks: 437

The data provided for the RAF spans the time a candidate fully completes their application form to the point that they commence phase one training.

Armed Forces Recruitment Phase One Training Kit

Following Armed Forces Recruitment, Supply Drop are determined to provide a tested, complete and correct kit package for basic training that can easily be bought all in one place, at the click of a button and for an unbeatable price.

Supply Drop is undoubtedly the only trusted supplier in the market to offer this solution and is a proven success with recruits, saving them the time, money and stress of having to find all the correct military kit.

Our Complete Package contains all the essential items required on the military basic training kit list sent out by the AFCO.

Supply Drop also provides smaller broken down packages which all together equate to the Complete Package; Ironing Package, Essentials Package, Washing & Cleaning Package, Sanitary Package and the Boot Care Package.