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Hello all,

My daughter went to MEPS for the third time and passed the asvab (yayyyy).  They told her that she only qualified to be a culinary specialist.  I do not know her scores but I have been told that we are entitled to know them.

She is not interested in cooking.  But, she already signed some paperwork.  I don't know what to do or who to reach out to.  I want her to be successful and this is her lifelong dream to be in the Navy.  I don't want her to start off with a career that she has no interest in.

Anyone experience this?  How involved should I get with this?  She is only 18 and I feel that I should step in and help.

Thank you, in advance, for any guidance.

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You could try reading through the posts on this group and see if there is anything there that makes this rate more interesting to her. Other than that, I don't have any suggestions.
CS (Culinary Specialist) Moms
( search under groups to find it)

Thank you so very much!

First and foremost there is nothing wrong with being a culinary specialist (which I'm sure you know!).  Everyone has to eat in the Navy.  However, with that being said if she has no interest in this (and I fully understand as I don't enjoy cooking either!) then she should NOT sign a contract for that.  She has every right to wait for something else to open up.  Sometimes recruiters just want them to sign and be done, but this is her life and she needs to be doing something that she will be happy doing or is at least interested in.  She needs to have a serious talk with her recruiter.....and just because she signed something nothing is official until the final trip to MEPS the day before she ships.  She can actually back out of going all the way up until that time.

Hi, please know that I did not in any way mean to offend anyone or say that being a culinary specialist is a bad thing.  I am so sorry if you took this wrong.  I just meant that they only offered her one position and that is not what she is interested in.  

I do appreciate your advice and agree 100% that this is her life and she needs to be doing something that, at least, will interest her.

Here's the link to the CS group:

CS Culinary Specialists Moms

You need to do the hardest thing for a parent to do: let your daughter make her own choices. Resist the temptation to step in. Ask questions to find out what she is thinking, advise her about being careful what she signs, encourage her to honor commitments, but try not to lead. What you want is of diminishing importance. Let her stumble into things. That is where resilience comes from. Having a plan is nice, but life is full of surprises and career development rarely goes in a straight line.

Your daughter could do a lot worse. The Navy can provide the structure that a lot of kids that age need, give her some grit and set her up for a successful life. She will be self-supporting, will be gaining skills and responsibilities, and will be eligible for educational benefits.

Most 18-year-olds are still working on who they are. She is still discovering her interests and has a lot of leeway, so don't take "what she is interested in" as definitive. She may find she loves it, she may not. At the same time, she is only 18: if this is the wrong choice for her it isn't very wrong. There are many, many places it could take her, both within and after the service. 

Culinary Specialist is an important job, key to the morale and the effectiveness of the ship. I would encourage you to look it up on cool.navy.mil. Too, the rating is only a primary role, sailors do other things. Also, they gain broader responsibilities as they advance. It starts off with preparation, but a senior CS could run a restaurant, or a small business. COOL related-credentials has some things I hadn't even thought of, such a Project Management and Quality Control.

Semper Gumby!

Thank you for taking time to respond.  Again, I apologize for my wording as it sounds as though I am saying a culinary specialist is not important and I do not feel that way at all.  

I did look this up and saw that they get to sometimes take care of some very important people.  It sounds exciting to me!  But, it was not what she pictured herself doing.

My point was to look at the positives and be flexible about what you and your daughter "picture her doing". My son is on about his 4th iteration of what he pictured himself doing. I've lost count of my own.

She can always talk options with her recruiter: there is a process to change while in DEP, though that doesn't always work, and options may be limited based on her line scores. She should be prepared to follow through with whatever she agreed to. If that is the case, a positive, optimistic attitude will carry her a long way. Even if it isn't the ideal situation, she can make the best of it and you can help her with that.

She should have a copy of her paperwork, you can take a look at that and help her understand and navigate that part of things. You may be able to talk to the recruiter as well to help you better understand the process so you can support and advise your daughter.

While it is policy that requests to drop out of DEP are always granted, doing so may have repercussions if she wants to try again.

One of the things I noted was how many seemed to join a ship and be deployed right away. Lack of deployment/ chance to see the world is one reason my sailor is leaving the Navy at the end of his contract. Everyone has their own reasons for joining and there are different opportunities available ( more/less likely) with each job. It's not only a question of what but also where the job is performed

Kassmom, 

So if she doesn't want this job then she needs to talk to her recruiter. Does she have one job that she really wanted to shoot for? If so find out what she needs to score to do that job, and talk it over with her recruiter about retesting. She needs to be vocal because if she doesn't speak up now and goes in and total hates it. It will be a really rough time, while she is in.It doesn't hurt to help her but she does need to be involved and help herself advocate for what she would like to do. 

This is also coming from my personal experience. I let the recruiter talk me into going in as undesignated and though I did enjoy my time in the Navy. When it came to striking out to the rate I wanted it was stressful, frustrating and many hurdles. I have also seen both side of the coin, where someone had a job they thought they would totally hate and ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Also, I have seen where they ended up hating it and wanted out .

Also Culinary specialist is not a bad rate. If she works hard enough at it she can make it up to working in the officers mess, where it is more like being a chef and they get specialized training.

It was really hard for my husband and I to stand back when our son was going through this process. But as we kept telling ourselves, we were not going to be there for boot camp or while he was in the fleet. He needs to learn to do this own his own. Not to say that we didn't also communicate with the recruiter a time or two...lol. 

I do not know about your daughter recruiter but my son recruiter encourage our son to take it another time to see how he would do. Also there are ASVAB flash cards out there that can work wonders. 

Dont lose heart, just communicate with the recruiter and see what you and your daughter can do to get her a better fitting job.

Best of Luck

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