What does a Naval Reservist do?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
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As a member of a country’s armed forces, a naval reservist assists in providing strong, reliable national security by protecting a country’s surrounding waters. This is accomplished by working in various job capacities alongside other active duty naval officers as commanded by one’s superior officers. In some countries, military service is voluntary, while other countries require service. A naval reservist is not generally required to serve full time in a country’s military unless deployed for special detail requiring a full-time commitment, also known in some militaries as active duty service.

In countries where service is voluntary, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, men and women are both equally eligible to become reservists. Before enlisting as a naval reservist, however, certain physical, education and age requirements must be verified. While enlistment ages may vary from country to country, most reservists are required to be at least 16 years of age. An eligible candidate must also be able to prove her or his citizenship. Upon doing so, an individual may be allowed to enter naval reservist training.


After training, a reservist is required to serve periodically throughout the year at a military base or other specified location. Schedules for service vary depending on the country a naval reservist is serving, as well as the reservist’s skill level, length of time in the military and whether or not the reservist is on full-time active duty. For example, a reservist may only be required to serve one day per week and one weekend per month with the obligation to serve an additional full two weeks every year.

Specific duties expected of a reservist vary depending upon an individual’s educational background, experience and level of naval reservist training. A few examples of naval reservist jobs may include specialist divers, information and technology specialists, submarine operators, health care professionals, law enforcement officers and aviation workers. Some reservists may also work as attorneys, recruiters, pilots and warfare specialists.

In most instances, naval reservist jobs are located close to a member’s home. Other job descriptions requiring specialized duties may require a reservist to work at special sites, which may require further travel. As reserve service is usually on a part-time basis, most members also work civilian jobs. The benefits of serving as a reservist may also vary by country, but generally include insurance and retirement benefits, educational assistance, opportunities for world travel, special skills training and a salaried compensation.


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