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arbayer2

Talking to recruiters for Navy/Coast Guard/Air Force

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Starting the recruitment process tomorrow with the Navy Recruiting office in Virginia Beach to start feeling out my options for a military job while I look into post-high school education and jobs to fit my interests. After the Navy I'll also look into the Coast Guard and Air Force just to be thorough, I'm not interested in the Army/Nat'l Guard as I want to be as far away from any form of combat as possible, I suppose you'd call me a pacifist.

 

Anyway, interesting time in a person's life, don't you think? Wish me luck, guys, and feel free to suggest intelligent questions I should ask the recruiter(s). And, thanks for your support with everything, it means a lot even though I've remained mostly silent about my personal life on these forums. The Detachment is awesome and I'm proud to have at least a small part in it. :)

 

-Aidan

Edited by arbayer2

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Hi. I wish you luck looking into the military. I would point out that no one in the military can truly be called a non combatant. That is why they are called the armed forces. Even in the medical field, especially in the Navy, you may very well find yourself on the front lines with a combat unit. Your ethics should be at the forefront of any decision you make. If you are really a pacifist, you may want to look into another option besides the military. If you really do want to serve your country, there are many other forms in which to serve. Now, if you wish to serve in the military, and don't necessarily wish to serve in a front line or combat role, then the Coast Guard is probably your best bet. They are tasked with guarding the coast lines of our country as well as those around the world. In their ranks are some of the bravest and toughest men I have met. Whatever you decide, I would recommend thinking long and hard about your feelings on pacifism and the military before making a commitment. Even if you are not holding a weapon, the job you do, is often times affecting someone who is. Good luck.

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I loved my time in the military got out too soon. There is a huge difference between the Navy & Air Force. I notice that each service appeals to particular personality types. Pick the one that speaks to you.

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There is a huge difference between the Navy & Air Force. I notice that each service appeals to particular personality types. Pick the one that speaks to you.

 

Most definitely.

 

I'd say that one of the biggest differences between the two services is that the Navy is very tradition-bound, as you would expect from a service with such deep roots. The Air Force, being the newest armed service (formed in 1947) is much less so and tends to have a real love affair with advanced technology. Both offer vocational training and educational opportunities that are easily applicable to the civilian sector should you choose not to stay in for a career.

 

If there is one piece of advice I would give anyone going to see a recruiter, it's this: know what you want to do in the service as a vocation. Have a "top three choices" in mind before you sit down with him/her. The worst thing you can do is say "I'll do whatever" because you will guaranteed be put in the hardest-to-fill, least desirable billet.

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Good luck! Best investment of time I made was three years active Army. Now a Veteran, getting my college paid for and getting an education.

 

Best advice I got was: Be where your suppose be, on time, in the correct uniform.

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Being deployed right now, the only visible difference in service branches that I see is that we eat at different tables in the dining facility & have different colored PT gear. :laugh1:

But really, if you want to learn about the differences in services & specific jobs, have a specific job or skill in mind (something you are interested in) before you visit a recruiter. Nothing against recruiters, but its their job is to fill positions where they need recruits, so thats their angle when you walk in their office. If they put everybody where they wanted to work, there would thousands of personnelists, pilots, and medics, and nobody left to guard gates, cook meals, or fix toilets, but I disgress. Just ask yourself "what would I not get sick of doing for x # of years that wouldn't make me hate the decision to join up? What job offers bonuses? Who deploys to where & for how long? Do I get to go to school? Could I raise a family & do this?". Also, don't discount the Army or Marines. The grass isn't always greener on one side of the fence or the other. Good luck in whichever one you choose. They're all winners. :duim:

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Thanks to everyone for the advice, I'll keep it in mind. I am indeed looking into the services from a more job-centric standpoint, and yesterday I took the ASVAB to help continue down the path. I'm primarily going for the Navy's Mass Communication Specialist rating and I have quite a few other backup preferences in case I can't get that off the bat. My dad helped me contact the Coast Guard for their available ratings but their reply was essentially "we can't guarantee anything until you go through boot camp". I'm currently waiting on the ASVAB score, but I think I did well. I'll keep you posted once things move along, thanks again!

 

-Aidan

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I was a Navy Recruiter for 3 years. Most recruiters out there do want to help you. Watch out for the ones that say "Yes I can guarantee you bonus/job/etc." I always told my guys that I guaranteed nothing unless it was on their contract, aside from the normal military benefits. A lot of these tips are great but a recruiters job is to get you in and helping you during your path to boot camp. Classifiers (the guys at MEPS), their job is to find you a job. Most times the exact job you want isn't there. Mostly because it is unavailable. They will look at your medical record, ASVAB, and criminal history and plug some numbers in to the system, and out of the jobs available out will pop the jobs YOU qualify for. Most times recruits are happy with a job they pick out of those options. Sometimes not. I always tried to help my guys out by talking with the classifiers and such. I was pretty good friends with a couple of them. I wouldn't ask them for anything or special favors. Once my recruit and I got back to the office we would talk. I would tell them to do some more research on the job and if after 1-2 weeks they still didn't like it, I would submit paperwork requesting a job change once X job became available. I always told them that it was still based on whether they qualify for it or not. Most often then not my guys would leave for boot happy with what they have and grateful that I helped them. Two years after finishing my tour as a recruiter I am still happy about my time and happy I never broke a moral code just to fulfill a couple of spots in the Navy. And still two years later I am still in touch with most of my recruits and they still call me with questions concerning their career.

 

Be happy with what you pick. But compromise. The Navy can't always match up with 100% that you want. I threw a girl out of my office because she plopped down into my chair with a high and mighty attitude, "I want a $5000 signing bonus, I want this job, and I want...." I tuned her out after that and once she stopped talking I told her she was in no position to demand anything from me. That when you come in my office, it is for a job interview. And she failed miserably. My exact words were, "The Navy has never needed nor will it ever need anyone so desperately someone with your attitude. Now get out of my office."

 

Think about goals you want the military to help you accomplish. Bigger goals not just having a pay check. Can you deal with something you will be ok to do for a few years if it still puts you on the path to your goals? I don't know about other services but in the Navy you can cross-rate to another job after 24 months and completing requirements for those jobs. So even of you aren't completely happy with what you do there are still options. Take the good with the bad, every job has that. Good luck!

Edited by DarthBrute

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I do career consulting for college kids a lot, as well as people later in their careers, and taught career development at a college. I admire you for considering the military. Most kids I encounter seem to have a chip on their shoulder that they deserve something more than reality allows right out of high school. "I got good grades, I did everything you said was good, so I am entitled to start with higher pay and more X and higher title and whatever." More than who, the 100 other applicants for this job who did the same, or the 10 people who work for me now who have paid their dues and already proven to me that they deserve more pay and better title?

 

By exploring like you are doing, you are on the right path and it shows you have the right attitude to succeed at something. It might take you some time to figure out what it is you want to do, so keep that exploratory open mind. Perhaps consider a job/MOS that isn't going to be the one thing you do for your entire service, or that branches out into different areas of something you have an interest in - something to grow from. Keep learning - learn everything you can. It doesn't have to be formal in-class academic/training either. You'll find a niche where you're stimulated and comfortable and THAT is actually where your career starts. Sometimes that takes years, and sometimes it's just dumb luck.

 

Your future is made up of what you do with your opportunities when they are presented to you.

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Thanks to everyone for your advice, again! It's been fun going through the enlistment process with the recruiters, finding interesting ratings, and so on. An update - I got an ASVAB score of 92, I don't know what I got for each section yet however. I've been finishing my NASIS application the past couple days and should be seeing a contract pretty soon, hopefully. Like I said before, I also have several ratings lined up which interest me, and I seriously doubt I'll find myself job-locked at any point. While it makes me feel a little apprehensive and unprepared, I doubt there wasn't a time in every potential sailer/soldier/marine/guardsman's life when they didn't feel that. I'm doing my best to stay optimistic and objective about it, and from what inside perspective I've heard from my family (having a family with a lot of veterans) I feel I'll be going in with a positive attitude, knowing what to expect, which I think is ideal. I'll keep you posted!

 

-Aidan

Edited by arbayer2

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Another quick update: I got a score of 112 on the DLAB (Defense Language Aptitude Battery), thus hopefully giving me the opportunity to be a CTI in any language. I'm considering switching to that over MC, as I've always wanted to learn a language, especially Japanese which I qualify for now, but we'll see, I may just do MC if available as it's a good all-rounder for me. Also considering CTN, IT, and ET as backups.

 

As for now, I'm just getting my med-docs processed and hopefully I can return to MEPS to file a rating and sign a contract. Question for any current/ex-service CTI folks: how tough would you think "A" school is on that rating? Seeing as it's immersive I may get used to it quickly, but at the same time it's learning a new language and I believe you have to use it as your primary language through the majority of your time in "A" school, so...

Edited by arbayer2

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UPDATE: Well, I'm back in my hometown on the West Coast, having struck out for the moment with the Armed Forces. My package got routed, re-routed, re-re-routed through the Navy's system for nearly a year, and in the end my application was rejected for academic reasons, of which I'm trying to set up a brief stint in college to help resolve. Time will tell if that even happens, much less if it has an impact on my ability to serve, but on the plus side I don't have recruiters to worry about at the moment.

 

As for the branches, I looked into all three, with the assistance of my father, who's in active duty in the Navy, and came to the conclusion that my best chances for picking up MC or an equivalent is in either the Navy or Coast Guard. I have all but settled on MC (Naval Mass Communications Specialist) as it's both a rating I can get into right away with a minimum of general duty beforehand, and it's the most easily applicable outside of the services being an amalgamated kind of rating.

 

Ultimately, for the moment all this is on the back-burner until I can complete some college credits. It's a convoluted way to get in, for sure, and it may not even work, but that's what I'm up to for the moment.

 

Thanks for your support and attention.

 

With Unquestioned Loyalty,

 

Aidan

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Good luck, Aidan!

I spent four years in the Navy, and don't regret one minute of it. Deployments were met with periods of extreme boredom cut with moments of sheer terror, the bonds you'll make while enlisted will be timeless, and the positives without a doubt outweigh the negatives. If you're single, the military is amazing. If you're married with a family, deployments can be rough. If you have any questions feel free to shoot them my way!
 

Edited by Desto

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Good luck Aidan, hope all works out for you in the future :salute:

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I did not see the most important thing to say yet so i will.....rember this,,,,,boot camp is not the real military,,,what ever service you enter it is a good decision....not enough of our young people do this

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I don't have any experience in the military or any special advice for you, but I wish you the best of luck with your decision and your time in the service!

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