WHAT TO DO IF I AM BRAND NEW?
You are here because you are looking for answers to questions, looking for support, looking for other members to meet who are a similar situation. Here are some suggestions:
I. Find a GROUP (S) of people
As a new member, you will many many questions. There are a number of groups that will support you through these tough weeks before, during and after bootcamp. The groups have members who are new and members with various experience levels and knowledge to help you.
Just click on the following links and when your are in the groups page click on "+Join..."
1. New Moms Stop Here. A kind of orientation station. We'll direct you to other areas that will help you the most plus we have a panel of advisers "in house" to help you with specific questions.
2. Bootcamp Moms If your SR (seaman recruit) has started bootcamp already, join this group.
3. Deppers/Future Sailors..In but not gone yet If your recruit is waiting for bootcamp, join this group.
If you know the month when your recruit will be leaving, you can join a more selected group based on the month your recruit is leaving. Once you know when our SR's PIR (Pass In Review - graduation ceremony from bootcamp) is, find the group associated with the PIR date - this will be an important group for you to join.
LEAVING FOR BOOTCAMP LINKS:
1. Leaving for Bootcamp in March
2. Leaving for Bootcamp in April
3. Leaving for Bootcamp in May
4. Leaving for Bootcamp in June
5. Leaving for Bootcamp in July
6. Leaving for Bootcamp in August
7. Leaving for Bootcamp in September
8. Leaving for Bootcamp in October
9. Leaving for Bootcamp in November
10. Leaving for Bootcamp in December
11. Leaving for Bootcamp in January
12. Leaving for Bootcamp in February
HOW TO FIND THE GROUPS? Click on the tab GROUPS on the menu bar, then input the keyword in the search box and click the little icon just to the right. Results will be displayed. There geographically based groups, such as Texas' Moms or San Francisco Bay Area Navy Families. There are groups relating to RATING (job specialty) such as Seabee Moms or MAA moms (Master At Arms) and there are friendship/common interest groups such as Girlfriends, Fiancees and Wives or What's an Ombudsman and how to contact them. Once your sailor has been assigned a ship/boat - there are also groups associated with them. As of January 12, 2011, there are over 1400 groups (a group for just above anything and everything). Many contain under 10 members. Find people to share your common interest or needs. It a great way to get used to being a Navy family. Many geographical groups have Meet and Greet regularly. It's a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. There is nothing like meeting other NAVY families in person. For your convenience lists for geographical groups, ratings groups and specialty groups have been compiled and detailed in the following Forum Discussions:
II. TIPS on How To Use This Site
USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION (to find groups, blogs, forum discussions, members). This function should be your new best friend. Before posting a new blog or forum discussion, do a search to see if there is a pre-existing thread about the subject. For example, you want to know about "the first call", click or Forum, you see a input box with a little search icon (looks like magnifying glass). Type in "first call" then click on the icon. You'll find that within Forum, there are 2000+ entries as of today. Obviously, many before you have asked about the "first call."
COMMUNICATING WITH OTHER MEMBERS:
Communications is done primarily by posting comments in the groups, other members' pages, blogs and forum discussions. Members often post comments on another member's personal page (tip - you can also comment on your own personal page but use the "comment back" to reply to a comment from another member). Many members enjoy the CHAT room. The action too fast and there are multiple of conversations going so it's difficult for someone to answer your questions in a detailed fashion - be patient.
Get in the habit of the following:
I have written a number of Forum Discussions under the Category "HOW TO DO STUFF ON N4M? Take some time and scroll the discussions, read up on the suggestions. PLEASE TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN TO USE THIS SITE. We are here to help you. It will take some time to learn how to navigate this site. We are all just volunteers with sailors of our own too. Many of our sailors are out on deployment. Some of us may not have heard from our sons/daughters for WEEKS, or seen them for many, many MONTHS. We all had to adjust, most of us did it without Navy For Moms. It will be an emotional roller coaster. So, take a deep breath, be patient, you will get adjusted too.