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Hi all-- 

I'm new around here, so forgive me if I missed a discussion somewhere. 

My son signed his contract for S-PACT back in October. He's currently in DEP and doesn't ship out to basic training until the end of July. I'm hearing such mixed things about being a PACT Seaman that I'm starting to worry for him. First, I was under the impression that the apprenticeships were set up for him, and that he'd spend a prescribed amount of time in each section, enabling him to find where he'd fit best. That doesn't seem to be correct. Then we heard that, no, he'll be given the jobs no one wants on the ship and that the whole "apprenticeship" part of the job description isn't accurate. I haven't been able to really uncover the truth. 

Having said that, my son scored on the lower end of the ASVAB. He told me that he didn't have a lot of choices and that he felt that this would be the best path for him as he is more of a "hands-on" kid. I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that he won't be stuck in a dead-end track for 4 years. Any information and insight would be appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion

I will share my daughters experience and hopefully that will help a little.  My daughter is S-PACT. When she was in Boot Camp I also started hearing very negative things and got really scared for her. I have asked her if she is sorry she signed as undesignated and  she said no. She is currently in San Diego on the Amphibious base. She works with the Sea Bees and really likes it. When she first got there she had some jobs that she did not like but even kids that have jobs do things they do not like. Why is she okay with being undesignated?  Because she gets to learn about different jobs and then try to strike a rate for something she "wants" to do. She said if she had gone in with the job she though she wanted she would be very unhappy. There are also ASVAB classes they can take and then take the test again to try and get a better score. Then they have more opportunities. 

Thank you for this. Makes me feel a little better. My daughter signed up undesignated also. She leaves for BC May 18th. Hopfully she will have many wonderful experiences, and grow from the not so great ones. I know she will find her way to what she is meant to do!

Thanks for sharing because I have been worried about my son going in undesignated..and you are probably one of the few that I have heard something good..

I am just now getting back on- sorry everyone for the late replies... My daughter got married Saturday night and now I can finally catch up on other things! My son is also in the PACT program like splash and Michael's mom. The three of us were very worried and read way too much negative info. My son has been in for over a year now and just completed his first deployment. Now his ship will go into dry dock. He also is glad he didn't get the job he wanted at first because he realized that is not what he wanted. He was first sent to the ordinance department. He realized he wanted AD so he worked very hard and made a good impression. Then he put in for a transfer. They finally decided that if he was willing to work so hard at a job he didn't want, he should be given the opportunity to work at something he liked. He will have the opportunity to strike for the job next month I think. He has had to do rotten jobs but those with rates have had to do rotten jobs as well. I think the people they work with have a lot to do with whether or not it is a good experience - as it is with all other jobs in life as well. Hang in there!

Thank you all for your responses!

I'm feeling better after reading your responses. It sounds like as long as he works hard, he'll be good. I'm thankful he's not averse to hard work!

Again, thanks for easing my mind.

My husband Aced the ASVAB and he is a FN PACT and he is ok with it. He is in boot camp now and he get bored with things sometimes. This way he can try many different things and be able to get something that will always challenge him. Have faith, and just be happy

Don't always listen to negative people some people don't feel good unless they are being negative only the person can make or break there job in the navy. It depends on you to make the most of it

My son is in on an S-PACT and is currently working on the deck crew of a ship.  He loves it.  He has several ratings he is interested in.  His only frustration was that he has to wait an entire year before being able to strike for a rating.  Other than that he is okay with his decision.

My daughter is in DEPS and leaves for BC on August 7. She will be in the S-PACT program and like others I have heard mixed reviews. After reading all of your posts I feel better now. Basically it's like any job with pros and cons but she will have a chance to experience a lot of different rates and then go for one she enjoys. Thanks everyone!

Good Morning!   Our son is also S-Pact, and like you, when he signed up, I thought "you'll be scraping paint and scrubbing toilets for years".   Ugh!  He is glad he went undes.  He is currently underway and is seeing the world!  As a 20 year old to be able to do these things is wonderful.!  Last we spoke, he is happy.  He likes his ship, shipmates and also said the Chief is an old salty AWESOME guy.  I think, as with anything attitude is what it's about.  He works hard, is likable, and takes pride in what he does.  As for advancement, I don't know.  He just started.   He would rather be scraping paint while sailing the deep blue waters, and seeing the world, than stationed on a base.  And, our hearts swell with pride!  The greatest team on earth "The US Navy"! 

Oh this makes me so happy to hear! That is what I want for my daughter, she just turns 18 next month and I hope she gets to see the world while having a job she takes pride in and not to mention serving our country, lol.

Is ANYONE'S kid currently in under the NEW A-PACT program?  It is so hard to get information because the changes to the program are so new (June 1, 2018).  My daughter is currently in BC with a PIR of August 24th.  About the only thing I know is that she will be going to school in Pensacola, but it isn't an "A" school (I don't think) and then she goes out to the fleet.  The new program allows them to designate in 12 months after reaching her duty station and they also offered a nice $$ incentive.  Very nice.  They are trying to get new sailors to try it because the old program had so many kids discouraged.  But I can't seem to find any other parents whose kid is in under the new program :(

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