I'm brand new here and so glad I found this site. I have a son who is approaching his 17th birthday. He's wanted to be in the Navy since he was about four-years-old. When he was 12, he became a US Navy Sea Cadet and is still in the program. He has now requested that we allow him to enter the Navy when he turns 17-and-a-half. He wants to forego high school graduation, get his GED and enlist. (He doesn't really like high school much.) I'm not really leaning towards letting him join that soon and neither is his father. We want him to finish school. Does anyone out there have a son or daughter who enlisted before the age of 18 or is anyone thinking about this with their son or daughter? How do you feel about it?
Thanks for your input.
First of all has he taken his ASVAB to determine if he is qualified? If he has and based on his score what job (rating) did he qualified for?
If he is doing this just to avoid high school, please look into having him finish his high school at a local junior college. In my local area, we have a program designed for high school senior who do not want to in a high school setting any longer. They can still walk during the graduation ceremony but they take classes at the junior college (or a combination of going to jc and high school).
My personal believe is that your son should wait not only until he finishes high school but until he can qualify for a job he wants. It sounds like he would make Navy his life career - in which case, it's even more important for him to start off on the right foot.
Good luck to your son.
Thank you, BunkerQB! Yes, the program at the JC is exactly what we're looking at for him. We have a meeting next week to get him enrolled for the fall semester. We're so fortunate to have that program in our area. I'm not so certain that he just wants to avoid high school altogether; maybe. He doesn't like the structure of high school and has always had friends a bit older than he is. I think this is part of the problem.
As far as ASVAB, he hasn't done that yet. He's meeting with a recruiter to talk about options. I'm open to letting him weigh all options, but we want him to stay in school. It's my hope that the recruiter will also stress the importance of staying in school.
You're also correct about my son wanting this for a career. I feel like you know him just from what little I posted. I'm just smiling right now. I'm sure my son is not the first to feel this way. He really is a great kid. He always puts our family first. He spends time with his grandparents, sister and niece, and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. He's generous and considerate, always lending a helping hand. He enjoys working on his truck, hanging out with his friends, martial arts classes, Sea Cadets, and the Explorer program with the Sheriff's Department. He's such an intelligent young man. Just doesn't like high school. I suppose it could be worse. :)
All-in-all, we have an amazing son and we're so proud of him. He's wanted the Navy all of his life, and eventually that dream will come true for him. Like any mom, I'll miss him, and worry about him, but I want him to have his dream.
Thanks again for your response.
There are a number of technical ratings which require a high school diploma, not a GED. I had a GED, and had to use my college credits toward a "real" diploma from the community high school to qualify for ET (AECF now). Definitely use the jc program instead of just taking the GED!
Check with a recruiter for current policy, of course.
Thanks, Anti M. I'll make sure he gets to see your response. The opinion of other people may mean more than mine.
He'll be seeing a recruiter soon, but we're really pushing for the JC program.
I thought a high school diploma was required now to enlist?....
edit: I guess not exactly
Success in any branch of the Military depends on a good education, and a high school diploma is most desirable. Candidates with a GED (General Education Development certificate) can enlist, but some Services may limit opportunities. It is very difficult to be considered a serious candidate without either a high school diploma or accepted alternative credential. In any case, staying in school is important for entering the Military.
Here is a recent article he needs to read
Your son should join this group for himself. It was created and is run by Craig, former Navy. He has two kids, a son (Navy) and a daughter in the military. The group is designed for the recruit - not moms, dads, other loved ones.
NAVY DEP.com (clickable link)
I have encounter a number of young men who couldn't wait to join the armed forces right out of high school. Given today's competitive environment in getting into the Navy I would stress to him the importance of making sure his ducks are lined up and giving himself the best chance possible. I'll bet he would not have any difficulty in getting thru physically. He might not like school and his grades point average may be less than stellar but he probably is a smart kids who doesn't like sitting still and can't see himself sitting behind a desk. It's OK. Everything in the world is more technical - which means jobs that are desirable all require a degree of technical competence. He will not be able to avoid studying. Some of the guys in the nuke program have never study so hard before in the entire life - I am talking about hours and hours of it.
The opportunities are immense, especially in using the Navy to further his education. Cryptodad can give you a run down on how his daughter wisely use her "down" time to simultaneously pursue her bachelors degree. Of course, it might not be more difficult w other ratings.
And Concernedad can tell you first hand the obstacles you might encounter w your son when you tried to talk some sense into him.
Later on click on this link to our survival guide. Scroll down to Step 2 Boot Camp Videos. You and your son should watch this together.
Remind him that his ranking and opportunities will all be based on his ASVAB score. The more he learns now and the better he does on the test can make a difference in his Navy career.
Thanks for all of that great information. It's so helpful. I'm a bit confused...you say to have my son join this group as it's not for moms, dads, or loved ones? I thought this was a site for us. I'm sorry if I stepped on any toes. I've been getting some great advice here and mu son is actually paying attention.
This site is for mothers of kids in the U.S. Navy and for Moms who have questions about Navy life for their kids. This is what is stated on the home page. This is why I thought this site was for parents. Again....sorry. I'll see if my son wants to sign up for the site.
Two different sites. One for loved ones. One for the DEPpers themselves.