The first thing I need to define is what is a GENERATION?  Normally there are four generations in a century in a family, each one being measured at 25 years. However, I am going to choose a NAVAL GENERATION.  To do that I am going to take the typical senior ratings career as being 22 years, and the typical officers career as being 32 years resulting in an average of 27 years, choosing to ignore the ratio of men to officers and that the warrant officers service pulls the ratings 22 year marker a little higher. So with journalistic licence [and lots of it]  a "generation ago!!!" should be taken as meaning twentyseven years ago.

Just over a generation ago in 1976, I was a New Entry Divisional Officer in Kelly Squadron, HMS Mercury.  One of my jobs was to write a short and easy to read paper on Naval Engagements, suitable for printing in a little booklet to be given to newly arrived recruits.  These recruits had finished their part 1 training in HMS Raleigh [Torpoint] and were about to start their part 2 training to become Communicators.  It was also designed to give to the class instructor's who were by and large petty officers.  New entrants got the part coloured yellow and the instructors got the whole thing, parts yellow and green.

Very few knew just what they had let themselves in for, which quite amazed me.  The majority arrived  treating everything as a new adventure, but one or two of them came with a great want to leave as soon as they could. They were aware of a 'way-out' known as PVR [Premature Voluntary Release], where, for a small sum of money, one could return to civilian life with no more ado. 

Do you remember PVR?  If you do, you are getting on in years [!] because PVR
finished
IN THE FLEET on the 1st of October 1976, some 28 years ago.

However, despite this cessation, the name continued but with a suffix added to it, and it became known as PVR[R], where the [R] referred to RECRUITS. Thus, all recruits, irrespective of age on joining could either leave the Navy for free, or for a small amount of money in a given and specific time-frame.

Just in case such naval history is lost, here is a glimpse of the little booklet. Remember we are talking about male recruits only.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR TYPE OF ENGAGEMENT IS AND YOUR RIGHTS TO ALTER THAT ENGAGEMENT?

JUNIORS  [16 to 17]

If you joined the Navy BEFORE you were 17

You came in on a Long Service and Reserve engagement for Juniors called an LSR[J] engagement    

ADULTS [17 to 33]

If you joined the Navy AFTER you were 17

You came in on a Long Service and Reserve engagement called an LSR engagement 

OR

You came in on a Long Service and Reserve Notice engagement called an LSR[N] engagement

Before we continue with what you have let yourself in for , first make sure that you are happy with the definitions of each engagement.

1. LSR[J]  A LONG SERVICE engagement with the Royal Navy and LIABLE to FURTHER SHORTER SERVICE with the Royal Fleet Reserve for all young men joining the Operations Branch under the age of 17.  As you will see, when you reach the age of 18 you get a choice to alter your engagement.
2. LSR[N] A LONG SERVICE engagement with the Royal Navy for 9 YEARS from the age of 18 [or later if you joined the Navy after you were 18] with the LEGAL RIGHT to give 18 months NOTICE to leave the Navy.  This NOTICE can only be given AFTER you have completed 18 months service from the age of 18 [or, if you joined after 18 years of age, 18 months from the date you joined PLUS 8 months]. You earn less pay on this engagement than you would were you serving on an LSR engagement because you have not fully committed yourself to the Navy. 

Example One

A man joins the Navy when he is 18 years of age, and chooses an LSR[N] engagement.

Over 18 on joining - date joined 1.4.76 - date he becomes a trained man [date joined plus 8 months]  1.12.76 - date on which he can hand in his Notice to leave [18 months after he became a Trained Man] 1.6.78 - date on which he leaves the Royal Navy [18 months later] 1.12.79 [aged 21 and 11 months]. Note. You are liable to 3 years service in the RFR  

Example Two

A junior joins the Navy when he is 17 years of age, and joins on an LSR[J] engagement. At 18 years of age [more about that later] he chooses an LSR[N] engagement

Under 18 on joining - date changed from LSR[J] to LSR[N] [18th birthday] 1.4.76 - date on which he can hand in his Notice to leave the Royal Navy [18 months from the age of 18] 1.10.77 -date on which he leaves the Royal Navy [18 months later] 1.4.79 [aged 21]. Note. You are liable for 3 years service in the RFR

Many more examples could be given to meet YOUR OWN particulars, but it can easily be seen that you must come under example one or two and therefore you can do your own simple sums.
3.  LSR  A LONG SERVICE engagement with the Royal Navy for 9 YEARS from the age of 18 [or later if you joined the Navy after you were 18] and LIABLE to a further 3 years service with the Royal Fleet Reserve.  You have NO legal right to give notice. Serving on an LSR engagement earns you more pay than on an LSR[N] engagement simply because you have committed yourself more to the Navy.
Now, back to our recruit.  You recall that if a man joins between the ages of 16 and 17 he joins as a junior, and if between 17 and 33 [yes, 33] as an adult. Further, we said that junior's join on LSR[J] engagements and that adult's have the choice of LSR or LSR[N].  Let us consider the junior entrant and see how he commits himself to the Navy.
From the day he joins up to attaining the age of 18 he stays on the LSR[J] engagement, even though at 17 years of age he becomes an RO2 and therefore an adult in rate.  Approximately one month BEFORE his 18th birthday, the ship's office will send for him to sign a form.  This form is VERY IMPORTANT because by completing it he makes a decision which affects his pay and the number of years he has to stay in the Navy.  Simply, he has a choice of changing from LSR[J] to LSR[N] or to LSR. When he has made his choice at the age of 18, the form is kept in the Captain's Office for one month AFTER his 18th birthday in case he wants to change his mind - he therefore has a good two months to think about this important decision and to seek advice.  IF HE FORGETS THE FORM, IT IS AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED THAT HE IS OPTING FOR AN LSR ENGAGEMENT.

The adult case is EXACTLY the same for those adults joining over the age of 17 but under the age of 18.  

For those adults joining over the age of 18 years, they remain on the engagement for which they originally opted for, and no paper-work is required.

So far so good.  Now we have ALL Operations Branch personnel at the age of 18 and over serving either on LSR or LSR[N] engagements until they reach the age of 27 years or over, when they have yet another option open to them - more about that in a minute.

Circumstance often change and people are wrongly advised, so obviously there must be some flexibility built into the system
CHANGES OF ENGAGEMENT
Changing from LSR[N] to LSR This can be done at any time. You LOSE your legal right to give 18 months notice BUT you do get FULL COMMITTAL PAY from the day the Commanding Officer approves your request to change engagements.  As a carrot, if you transfer between 18 months and 4 years from the age of 18 or date you became a trained man if joining after the age of 18 [namely between 20 and 23 in example one above, and between 19 and 22 in example two above] you will receive a lump sum in your hand of approximately 130-00 [September 1976 figure] which is the equivalent to 9 months back full committal pay.  
You will also receive committal pay if you complete 7 years on an LSR[N] engagement - 25 years for a man joining before aged 18.
Changing from LSR to LSR[N] This can only be done AFTER completing 3 years service from the age of 18 or from the age of becoming a trained man if joining after 18 [date joined plus 8 months].
The rules are simple for RO1's and RO2's but become complex if you want the professional courses which help you to become a Leading Radio Operator or a Radio Supervisor.  When you reach this stage in your career - promotion that is - seek further advice.  The Navy guarantees your right of change but may delay it by up to 6 months if it is in the Navy's interest.
Can you change your mind once again?

 Believe it or not, the answer is YES - as follows.

REPEATED TRANSFERS
Changing from LSR to LSR[N] then BACK to LSR Can be done at any time but you DO NOT get a COMMITTAL BONUS - of course!
Changing from LSR[N] to LSR the BACK to LSR[N]
You can do this AFTER you have served 9 months of your LSR engagement
What happens when I leave the Navy?

If you hand in your notice when serving on an LSR[N] engagement you simply leave the Navy when the time comes.
If you opt for the LSR engagement [namely you leave the service on your 27th birthday or later if you joined after 18] you are ENTITLED to 28 days paid leave plus a civilian resettlement training course.
If you opt for the LSR[N] engagement and complete 5 adult years of service [5 years from 18] you are ENTITLED to 28 days paid leave and a civilian resettlement training course.

Can I continue in the Navy after having attained the age of 27?

Yes, right up to the age of 50 if you become an officer and 45 if you become a Fleet Chief Petty Officer.  For Chief Petty Officer's and Petty Officer's the present retiring age is usually 40.
The rules are complex and inappropriate in this booklet.  However, it is of interest to you to know that you always retain your RIGHT to give 18 months notice.

How much is career Committal Pay?

Example is for the rate of RO2

At the time of printing [September 1976] UNCOMMITTED LSR[N] = 4.41 per day, after deductions

COMMITTED LSR = 5.16 per day after deductions

Therefore, after deductions, it is 0.75 a day.

Premature Voluntary Release [PVR] finishes on the 1st October 1976.  How does this affect me as a New Entry?

It doesn't. PVR has finished in the Fleet, but PVR for new recruits still holds good under the old existing rules, and is now known as PVR[R] - Premature Voluntary Release [Recruits]. To refresh your memory the following rules apply.

If you joined before you were 17. You can leave the Navy ANYTIME during your first 6 months and it is FREE.  After 14 days from seeing K1, you can leave.

If you joined over 17 but under 17.  You can leave the Navy ANYTIME during your first 6 months, but it will cost you 20.00.  After 14 days from seeing K1 you can leave.

If you joined over 17 but under 18. You can leave the Navy ANYTIME BEFORE you reach the age of 18. It will cost you 20.00 and you leave the Navy 14 days after having seen K1.

If you joined over the age of 18.  You can leave the Navy ANYTIME during your first 3 months and it will cost you 20.00.  You will leave the Navy 14 days after having seen K1.

WHEN THESE TIMES HAVE EXPIRED, YOU STAY IN THE NAVY UNTIL YOU ARE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE.