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18 February 2014

What to Expect when Joining the Navy! Before Boot Camp.

                    Many people ask me "what can I expect when I join the Navy" my answer “You can expect almost anything”.   Your Navy experience will depend on many things one of them is your Knowledge coming in.   This post will cover what you can expect and what you should know joining the world’s most powerful Navy……  I will cover this in two parts “Before Boot Camp” and “Boot Camp and After

They lie…… At least they bend the truth almost to breaking point so whatever you do don’t steak your career on what the recruiter said.   A few things I hear a lot that recruiters say are;
·         “You get to pick if you go to shore duty or Sea Duty!”
o   You will not pick where you go.    You will get to make a wish list after “A” school and you can put on there if you want sea or shore duty you can even put on there where you want but nothing is a guaranty except if you put Norfolk on your sheet anywhere you will go to Norfolk. 
·         “Going in undesignated is a good thing you get to learn on the rates then pick!”
o   This could be a career killer if you believe this bull shit.   Going in undesignated are guaranteed to go to a ship and you will be put in to Deck department.  Well at the ship you will be doing all the working parties, all the painting,  all the underway topside watches, and when you hit a port everyone will be leaving 2 to 3 hours before you.  As a Deck seaman people will treat you like a 5 year old, and a second rate sailor.   So if your ASVAB is to low for a rate you want study, retake it and get a rate.
MEPS and Picking a Rating
Well at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) you will be asked to fill out ALL your medical history, your family’s medical history, any scars or tattoos you have and any run-ins with the law you might have.  BE HONEST! just because you might have a history of heart trouble in your family or you have a police record will not mean you’re automatic ineligibility for the Navy.   If you lie and they find out you will be denied entry into the navy and if they find out after you join you could be fined up to 20k and be kicked out, so please BE HONEST.
                After a medical screening you have your ASVAB score you will pick your rating.  The Detailers will sit you down in a little cubicle and pull up your scores and then say “This is what I have for you, which rating do you want?” This is the biggest question you will answer before you join the navy it can effect how your navy experience is,  how you advance and your money.  You need to be ready for this question.  Some tips on picking a rate are ;
·         Learn what the ratings are.
o   There are many ratings and deferent ratings on a ship works in deferent departments. The departments on the ship all run a little deferent due to the deferent missions they serve.
§  IT’s, ET’s, OS’s IS’s work either in Operations or C5I.   Operations and C5I for the most part air conditioned spaces and you stay working inside the skin of the ship. Due to the mission these rates usually will be in a constant watch rotation underway either 12 hour shifts or even a 6 on 6 off rotation it all depends on the ship.
§  LS, CS’s, SH's work in Supply.  Whether your cutting hair or ordering stuff for the ship, Doing laundry or Cooking  every time the ship gets supply’s you will probably be moving boxes (Every rate will help with a working party but Supply gets hit the most).  The perks most rates have standard working hours and if you need something it’s easy to get.  You will probably stay working in the skin of the ship but expect some warm spaces.
§  AB's, AZ's  work in Air Department.  Air rate’s usually work separately from ship’s crew and have their own little world.  They tend to work outside and depending on the flight schedule they may get stuck working 12 hour shifts (Honestly I have only been on one ship with an Air Department so I don’t know too much about what they do).  
§  EM’s, MM’s, HT’s work in Engineering.  One of the busiest departments Engineering take’s care of everything from the Engines to the Pluming.  A hard working department expects a constant watch rotation in and out of port.  On most ships they are required onboard a day or two before the ship gets underway.  But these rates translate in to good job opportunity after the navy
§  Undesignated and BM (Boatswain's Mate) work in Deck.  Deck is the workhorses of the ship.  In Deck you will be painting the side of the ship, pulling in lines, driving small boats and any other tasks the ship needs done.  You will probably be working outside most days and will not have normal working hours.  As a BM you would be in charge of the Undesignated so it is a little better.

Other departments you might work in depending on ship and your rating could be Medical/Dental, Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, Weapons Department, ADMIN.  Look up all the ratings

·         Look and see what rates are advancing you can find this out by searching “navy advancement quotas” looking and see what % is advancing in each rating.  You can also lookup “Undermanned rates“ but this won’t tell you if they are advancing.

·         What are you good at and what do you want to do after the navy?  Are you good at computers then IT would work for you, are you good at paperwork maybe you should be a YN who knows. Just remember the navy is not forever even if you do 20 years you will have to work after the navy so do what you like well you are in.

·         Lastly ask someone in the navy or who was in the navy what ratings are good.

 Knowing what to expect and being ready for MEPS will make picking a rate and your whole navy career better.  Remember there is a wealth of information out there so do your research and good luck.  

Read Part 2: Boot Camp and After
For a Spouse Prospective Click HERE
If you have Questions or something to add please use the comments below.

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  1. is a good place to see more info on Ratings

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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