Interesting, but seems slightly illogical to my simple mind.Command selection is a three part process: two sets of exams, each culminating in a practical, then a board level sift. All of them need to be complete before being looked at for SO2 Command, which includes being a 2 i/c of an SO1 Commanded unit.
The first set is a fairly big cull, and it's not uncommon for people to fail two or three times before moving onto the next; the later practical has a more successful pass rate, but people still take two attempts to get through it. What is more interesting is the number of people who self-select out by not taking the dozen or so written exams required to get to the practicals.
We have a "dry roster" at SO2 Command level, so if you pass the exams etc, you will be looked at by the board. There is a high selection rate there, but there is a much lower selection rate for SO1 Command.
If people are capable of passing an exam, but often only after multiple attempts then that seems to suggest that either they've under prepared or that the expectations aren't promulgated prior to sitting it. The former would seem to be indicative of a lack of suitability, at least at that time, and the latter seems startlingly inefficient.
Out of interest, what are the qualities the RN looks for in it's boat drivers? I'm assuming a working knowledge of COLREGs is a given but what else?
Actually there's a second question if I may. To what extent does a ship driving background influence one's career trajectory from say 3 ringer onwards? Is there an advantage in being SO1 Plans and other things at Whale Island that is derived from having been a T23 skipper? Can someone who hasn't been a T23 skipper expect to be competitive for SO1 Plans and other things?