Volunteer Naval Force

The Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force is the main arm of the Sri Lanka Navy in the civilian sphere with Naval Training vigilant in readiness to provide the required assistance in the form of expertise and man power in times of national urgency and distress.

Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force comprises of officers and sailors of all branches in Sri Lanka Navy as indicated in the extra ordinary Gazette notification of No.656/25 dated 02nd April 1991.


To pursue in the accomplishment of the envisaged goals of the Sri Lanka Navy of protecting and safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation through determination and concerted efforts of the Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force.


To supplement and to provide the Regular Naval Force with the required assistance in the execution of the role and tasks of the Navy drawing expertise from diverse fields in the civilian strata.


VNF personnel not on active service are required to participate in the weekend camps held once a month and annual camps concluded with Commander of the Navy's inspection.

The Volunteer Naval Force Headquarters is conducting following training programs in view to update knowledge and skills of Volunteer Naval Force personnel who are not mobilized.

* Weekend Training Camp - on every 03rd weekend of each month.

*Annual Training Camp - in the month of September or each year.


The history of the Volunteer Naval Force (SLVNF) is in fact the history of the Navy in Sri Lanka and it is mandatory to make references to Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force (CNVF) and Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (CRNVR) events of which led to formation of the VNF. Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force (CNVF) raised by "Volunteer Naval Defense Force" act 1. of 1937 under the command of Commander WG Beauchamp, VRD, CBE (Later Captain) with 12 officers and 18 sailors. Batches of sailors had been recruited and trained as seaman/lascars, signalmen and gunners with sea training in 1938 and 1939.

14th June 1939 - The new Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force (CNVF) Headquarters is declared open by Mr. D.S. Senanayake, the Minister of the State Council

The CNVF headquarters was first established at Kochchikade two days before the outbreak of World War II, on 11th January 1939. The CNVF was mobilized and deployed especially in defence of Colombo and Trincomalee harbours. Later the CNVF was taken over by the British Navy on 01st October 1943, and renamed as "Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve" and after the allied forces won the war, the CRNVR was again handed over to Government of Ceylon in 1946.

Royal Ceylon Volunteer Force was sanctioned and formed on 09th January 1952 as per the Navy Act 34 of 1950. The officers and sailors of the CRNVR who were not on active service on the date immediately preceding Navy act came in to operation formed the nucleus of the Royal Ceylon Volunteer Naval Force (RCVNF).

With the dawn of new era, gaining full independence and the country transformed into a republic on 22nd May 1972, the Royal Ceylon Volunteer Naval Force became the Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force (SLVNF).


Ladies and Gentlemen with professions in Government or Private sectors or without professions possessing stipulated academic and professional qualifications can join as Commissioned Officers to the branches of Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force viz-a-viz Executive / Medical / Electrical / Mechanic / Electronic / Engineering / IT etc, and they can be proud of shouldering prestigious Commissions in the Volunteer Naval Force being employed in the civvies; and are called out for active service when their services are deemed necessary. Members of the Volunteer Force are entitled for all the privileges in the civilian employment including promotions and duty leave for active service and training by law.


Anybody who wishes to be a sailor in the Volunteer Naval Force can join the respective branch including the main branch of Seaman and can re-engage in every five year and if so wishes can request for leave being released from the active service. Members of the Volunteer Naval Force are entitled for all remuneration like the members of the Regular Naval Force along with the pensions and the seniority is counted accordingly when in active service.

Tradesmen in the world of work of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Technology can join the VNF under the Volunteer Special Scheme and they are too entitled for the said remuneration.