Considering joining the navy...
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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Considering joining the navy...

    So I randomly decided to research the navy because my younger cousin joined right out of high school and I learned of some pretty cool sounding jobs in the IT field, especially for people with computer science degrees (I am currently in school for a CS degree). Now I am considering joining after I graduate. I know it's not going to be as fun as they make it sound on their website but I think it would be a really good experience. It would help me keep in shape, gain some discipline, and I would possibly get to travel to some really cool places, not to mention the great benefits you get from it. Anyone here currently enlisted in or a veteran of the navy or any other branch of the military? I'd love to hear personal experiences and advice.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    I'm not a veteran, but I have both enlisted and officer friends, veteran family members and I trained with the USMC for awhile in another occupation.

    It isn't for everyone by a long shot. You can keep in shape on your own, you can travel on your own, you can gain discipline in other work fields. You have to have a burning desire to serve the country, to spend a lot of time away from your loved ones including your dogs, and to be put through hell in training. I think you are female so one thing to consider is the issue of sexual assault and harassment which is, unfortunately, far more common than it should be. If you can find some female vets to talk to, they could be a great resource in deciding your path. Being on a ship for 6 months is very different that being on a base in San Diego for 6 months.

    If you do join, make sure that your career field is part of the contract. I'm not sure how much the Navy guarantees anything, but if you are set on a specific field, then you don't want to be stuck in something very different because the service decided that is where you would serve them best.

    Another path to consider if you desire to live or travel abroad while working in IT would be civilian federal jobs with the State Dept, DOD, DIA, CIA, etc.

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    Senior Member momtolabs's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    I've had family in the military. 3 in marines 4 army 1 navy. It was hard for them to be away from there family. My teacher was in the navy not sure what she did but she has some neat stories,lol. A question. I'm sure you thought about it but since huskys are considered "large" by some is it going to be easy traveling with them etc??

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    My husband hits 10 years in April. He's army, so I'm sorry I do not know a thing about the navy. He started as a truck drive (he did what's called a delayed entry program, so he went to basic in between our junior and senior year of high school, and there was only about three jobs he could choose from). He did that for three years in the reserves. Then he went active duty and went back to AIT for black hawk mechanic. He did that for about 4 years and had a tour of Iraq in there. When he was in Iraq he got accepted to flight school. He's now a chief warrant officer in Afghanistan, flying Blackhawks . He loves his job, he lives to fly. So that part makes all of it worth it. This is our first deployment with a child and it pretty much killed my husband to have to leave us. So I'm not sure how much longer we will do this. It's hard. There's ups and downs. Although I give a lot of credit to the army for how strong our marriage is. We have been together since we were freshman in high school. If it wasn't for the separations, I'm not sure how good our marriage would be. It really makes you appreciate the things you have when you are separated.
    So that's my story. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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    Senior Member SydTheSpaniel's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    I was in the Air National Guard for a little while. I joined when I was 20, I had no where to go, nothing going for me... so I enlisted, took an oath and went to BMT. Honestly, it's really for a certain type of person, not everyone can make it in the military. Many people join because they just have nothing going for them, or they have no where to go, like me. For the short time I was in, I learned A LOT about myself, I realized things I never knew I was capable of, and I became a stronger person because of it.

    One word of advice though, make sure you want it, one hundred percent. Think very deeply about the decision, it's not easy to get out if you suddenly realize it isn't for you. Air Force and Navy are both the way to go, if you want to steer clear of a strong possibility of combat, especially as a woman. (Also, Air Force has the best bases. ) I almost chose Navy, but ultimately went with AF.

    It sounds like you intend to join as an Officer as opposed to Enlisted? If I were to get back into military life, I would 100 percent go with Officer, after college. It's an over all better experience, from what I've heard. It's not fun at first, for anyone. You really have to just push through the hard times, work from the bottom up and they give you all of the tools to get there.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    See, I know that it would be a very tough thing to go through, and that is why I am interested. My coworker's mother is in the navy and I was talking to her last night and she said it's tough, but that she (and her husband who is also in the navy) still loves it. My cousin has only been in for a few months but he has been through boot camp and is now on board a ship and is really liking it too. My grandfather was in the coast guard so my mother's entire family is familiar with military life and they don't have anything negative to say about it other than the being separated for long periods from family.

    I am confident in my ability to handle boot camp, and I can handle being away from family. I have not figured out what I would do with Faolan but I know Legend would have a home with my family. Not sure they'd want to keep Faolan for me as they're more small dog people. My cousins might be able to keep him for me, they'e had Newfoundlands and they have a lot of land so they could handle the hair and the larger size (he's still half the size of a Newfie lol). The jobs I was looking at on the navy website that really appealed to me were these:

    http://www.navy.com/careers/informat...-engineer.html

    http://www.navy.com/careers/informat...n-warfare.html

    http://www.navy.com/careers/informat...pecialist.html

    They just sound like such bad@ss jobs, and they would qualify me for potential employment with the CIA or FBI after the navy.

    EDIT: Just looked at the air force website and they have a lot more really cool stuff:

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...sance-operator

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ms-officer-cso

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ration-officer

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ems-operations

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ity-assessment

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...igence-officer

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ons-management

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ic-maintenance

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...yst-specialist

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...nce-specialist

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ission-systems

    http://www.airforce.com/careers/deta...ems-operations

    Now I have to think about whether I'd want to join navy or air force...
    Last edited by Daenerys; 01-23-2014 at 09:45 AM.

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    Senior Member melaka's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    My dad was in the Navy, way back in Vietnam, and my boyfriend was in the Army during the first Gulf war. I think being in the service shaped a lot of who they became as people, but there have been a lot of negative effects too (physical, emotional and psychological). Both of them were in combat and were hurt during their time in the service. My dad was hurt pretty severely, actually, and is considered a 100% disabled vet. My boyfriend enjoyed his time in the Army overall but also was glad to get out.

    I'm not sure what the policies are with women and combat, but I wouldn't wish their bad experiences on anyone, even their "good" combat experiences. I have a lot of respect for anyone who chooses to serve. I just know too many people - extended family and friends too - who have been injured or who have had a hard time dealing with the aftermath of what they saw and did while in the service.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Yeah, I do worry what would happen to me if I were to get sent to a combat zone or something. But national defense is a very important job and I think having a job with such an important goal as defending my country would give me a great sense of purpose.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Have you considered the Coast Guard? Less long term deployment, less travel but still building skill, discipline and experience.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    Have you considered the Coast Guard? Less long term deployment, less travel but still building skill, discipline and experience.
    I have considered it because that's what my grandfather did, but I haven't researched it much. I like the idea of going overseas and the coast guard doesn't do that.

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    Senior Member jsca's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    I can't speak for the navy, but my husband is active duty army and we both hate it and regret the decision constantly.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    I have considered it because that's what my grandfather did, but I haven't researched it much. I like the idea of going overseas and the coast guard doesn't do that.
    They do, just differently. They work in Latin America for drug interdiction, they have polar icebreakers in the Arctic and Antarctic, do merchant ship rescue globally and such. It is more of a law enforcement and physical safety (rescues, keeping shipping lanes open etc) thing.

    One reason I suggested it is because while they do work with the Navy and USMC during wartime, their operations on the whole are often more about saving lives and protecting ships/sailors rather than fighting an "enemy"

    Don't get me wrong, I think the military can be a very good career, but I'm also pointing out negatives to get you thinking.

    Do you like the idea of going overseas for the experience of another culture? For the chance to learn another language? The interaction between active duty military and locals is FAR different than the interaction between a civilian expat or traveller and local citizens.
    For example, when I lived in Korea, the military members were very restricted to base, they had curfews and travel restrictions and were often dismissed and resented by locals which made really seeing the country and learning about the culture nearly impossible. Whereas as a civilian, I was able to learn the basics of the language to a conversational level, travel over most of the country and sincerely get to know people.

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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    My dad is a 20-year Navy veteran. I grew up on overseas Navy bases (Japan). My dad was gone like half the time, but so were all the other dads on the base and it's not like I knew any different. Air Force does have better bases (we used to go to the AF base to shop because it was so much better). My dad says he only joined so he wouldn't be drafted into the Marines or Army (he joined during the Vietnam war) but he kept re-enlisting so he must have liked something about it.

    First thing is: recruiters lie. A lot. Lie their butts off all the time. They can't promise you a particular job (well, they can promise all day but that doesn't mean it'll happen). And once you're in, you belong to the US Navy and they'll put you wherever they darn well want to, even if you have a degree they can make you do something that has nothing to do with your degree and that you hate. But you have no say in the matter. So don't count on a particular job, especially at first.

    Women weren't allowed on ships back when my dad was in, but from what I've heard it isn't easy for them. They're basically told that their safety is their business, they shouldn't walk around the ship at night or alone or in secluded areas (nice if you just got off duty and have to get back to your bunk. . .magically?). If I were going to join some branch of the service I think I'd go with the Air Force. Seems more female friendly.

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    Senior Member melaka's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    For example, when I lived in Korea, the military members were very restricted to base, they had curfews and travel restrictions and were often dismissed and resented by locals which made really seeing the country and learning about the culture nearly impossible. Whereas as a civilian, I was able to learn the basics of the language to a conversational level, travel over most of the country and sincerely get to know people.
    That's really interesting. My BF was stationed in Korea for a bit and he really liked it there. He doesn't know the language as well as you do, but picked up quite a few words. We have a few Korean acquaintances, and they always have a lot to talk about.

    Then again, I can see why it would stand out as a fun time in his Army career when most of the rest of it was spent in Iraq.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    They do, just differently. They work in Latin America for drug interdiction, they have polar icebreakers in the Arctic and Antarctic, do merchant ship rescue globally and such. It is more of a law enforcement and physical safety (rescues, keeping shipping lanes open etc) thing.

    One reason I suggested it is because while they do work with the Navy and USMC during wartime, their operations on the whole are often more about saving lives and protecting ships/sailors rather than fighting an "enemy"

    Don't get me wrong, I think the military can be a very good career, but I'm also pointing out negatives to get you thinking.

    Do you like the idea of going overseas for the experience of another culture? For the chance to learn another language? The interaction between active duty military and locals is FAR different than the interaction between a civilian expat or traveller and local citizens.
    For example, when I lived in Korea, the military members were very restricted to base, they had curfews and travel restrictions and were often dismissed and resented by locals which made really seeing the country and learning about the culture nearly impossible. Whereas as a civilian, I was able to learn the basics of the language to a conversational level, travel over most of the country and sincerely get to know people.
    Yes, I know that about the coast guard. I refer to that as more like the "ocean police force", lol. And I know that going overseas with the military is a lot more restricted, but I can't afford to do it as a vacation. And even though it is more restricted, you do have opportunities to explore the area around bases sometimes. And I just like traveling in general, just going to new places, so even if I am not experiencing the culture of the country I am still experiencing a new place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
    My dad is a 20-year Navy veteran. I grew up on overseas Navy bases (Japan). My dad was gone like half the time, but so were all the other dads on the base and it's not like I knew any different. Air Force does have better bases (we used to go to the AF base to shop because it was so much better). My dad says he only joined so he wouldn't be drafted into the Marines or Army (he joined during the Vietnam war) but he kept re-enlisting so he must have liked something about it.

    First thing is: recruiters lie. A lot. Lie their butts off all the time. They can't promise you a particular job (well, they can promise all day but that doesn't mean it'll happen). And once you're in, you belong to the US Navy and they'll put you wherever they darn well want to, even if you have a degree they can make you do something that has nothing to do with your degree and that you hate. But you have no say in the matter. So don't count on a particular job, especially at first.

    Women weren't allowed on ships back when my dad was in, but from what I've heard it isn't easy for them. They're basically told that their safety is their business, they shouldn't walk around the ship at night or alone or in secluded areas (nice if you just got off duty and have to get back to your bunk. . .magically?). If I were going to join some branch of the service I think I'd go with the Air Force. Seems more female friendly.
    Good point about recruiters and not getting the job you want even if you're promised. I have also heard that the air force is more female friendly, plus it looks like they have a wider range and variety of careers, so maybe I should go with that branch instead.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by melaka View Post
    That's really interesting. My BF was stationed in Korea for a bit and he really liked it there. He doesn't know the language as well as you do, but picked up quite a few words. We have a few Korean acquaintances, and they always have a lot to talk about.

    Then again, I can see why it would stand out as a fun time in his Army career when most of the rest of it was spent in Iraq.
    It varies how much restrictions are on the service members; when international tensions rise or local tempers flare, they tend to lock down the basis. I was there at a particularly high alert time.

    Different countries respond to the US military members differently also. I don't just mean countries that we are actively fighting, but places with bases or favorite R&R locations. In some countries, you will be actively hated by the local population vs ignored in others vs actively welcomed. I remember seeing the signs "Welcoming" the navy crews at a port city in Thailand but I also knew that they created a lot of problems for the local population and were welcomed mainly for their wallets.

    The State Department has IT careers and the financial benefits of being posted abroad with State are very nice. It is very competitive to get hired, but you should look into it.

    Willowy's mention about women and safety relates to what I mentioned about assault. There are many very honorable service men of course, but there is also a problem of hard drinking, hard partying, cover-ups and chain of command problems in dealing with assault. I've been drinking and clubbing with Marines and soldiers in several countries through work and friend connections and I can say that I appreciated the fact that as a civvie, if I defended myself physically against a drunken lout, I had a whole different set of legal protections then if I was also enlisted.

    One of my friend has a husband whose been Air Force for about 10 years and they love it. BUT, he hasn't been deployed much and she has a job which is easily transferred from base to base and in high demand so it is easy for her to find work. Another friend is AF JAG and also loves it but JAG is quite different then the average job in the service.
    I also know of several broken marriages from deployment after deployment.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Well, I am single so no need to worry about marriages or romantic relationships. What is JAG?

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    Well, I am single so no need to worry about marriages or romantic relationships. What is JAG?
    Judge Advocate General. They're the lawyers. Like the doctors, their jobs are guaranteed when they join up so it isn't like a lawyer is going to find himself assigned as a truck driver basically.

    Just cause you are single now doesn't mean you won't be in a relationship at some point in the time you're serving so it is something to consider.

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    My sister in law is in the AF and she loves it. I personally think the AF takes care of their people better then any other branch. Especially if you plan on having a family. I wish my husband was AF (but AF pilots are ****s). There is a lot of dual military. Heck my brother in law and sister in law are both in-but he's army and she's Air Force!
    JAG wouldn't transfer well to civilian life, that's the only thing I'd be afraid of. Their policies are so much different. Even military Drs can't practice outside the military and vice versa.
    Like someone said about recruiters is nothing is for certain unless it's in your contract. If you have someone in the military that can go with you-that's the best. Otherwise they can get your head spinning and agree to just about anything. So go over your contract with a fine comb!

    Also for your dogs, they do have programs that you can foster your dog during deployment. It's called guardian angel or something, I'd have to look back on my emails. But there is specific people that sign up for this to care for animals of deployed soldiers.

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Considering joining the navy...

    I was in the Air Force for 2 enlistments (8 yrs). I did Air Traffic Control. Loved the job. The military was ok. I'd recommend it to someone that is willing to do something stupid, just because you are told to do it, if you know that by doing so, there can be some great benefits for you. (mainly applies during basic training and Tech school, but there are stupid regs afterwards as well.) But you get a great education, decent health care, chance to travel, meet some interesting people.
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