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Hi, my name is Katie, and I am thinking of joining the Navy. Right now, I'm 21 and enrolled at a community college with a very good GPA. I could transfer to a good school, and probably go without paying any tuition. Still, I feel uncertain about it all. I just don't think I could spend 2 or 3 more years of my life going to classes, and working as a waitress.



My reasons for joining:


I want to grow up, and become independent.


My parents are not doing well financially, because they are having to pay for three of my brothers (and all their mistakes, because they have not become independent). They have simply become burdens to my parents. I'd like to send money back home to them. 


Education.


Possibly seeing the world.


Having a secure living.


The benefits included afterwards, such as the GI Bill.


Meeting new people.


Excitement.



I will go to see a recruiter on Friday with my parents. I have heard they can be much like car salesmen. Basically, I'd like the honest truth about the Navy. What is a day in the Navy like? What will I be expected to do? What are the downsides to life in the Navy? I want to hear the bad side; the stuff the recruiter most likely won't tell me. Then, I can decide if Navy life is for me. I'd hate to choose it, then find it isn't!


Also, I would greatly appreciate any experiences from a mother who's daughter is in the Navy. Are they glad they joined?



Thanks for any replies,


Katie


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ya I know it's just hard to leave my family b/c they are so rockin! so that's the only thing. Did the officer recruiter help any? I feel like my recruiter was nice and told me some stuff but for the most part he made it sound like summer camp with a free vacation 2 weeks out of the year. I'm not even sure what they do those 2 weeks so i'm trying to get a good idea of that! I'm thinking about bringing my dad and seeing the recruiter b/c my dad is tough lol. I hope you figure out the things you need to know. Good luck to you too. Oh we are both in community colleges too and getting good grades. seperated at birth i think so. if we both enlist maybe we can go to boot camp at the same time and be awesome. i don't want to cut my hair :( but it will grow back : )
Same here. The recruiter made the Navy sound like a vacation.

Yep, separated at birth! I'll be your enlisted buddy, lol. I don't know about you, but I am trying to find someone to enlist with if I have to. I think I could clean toilets all day if I had a good friend doing it with me, you know? And yeah, cutting my hair is going to SUCK, lmao. I hope you figure out what you need and want to do as well. :)
oh my gosh me too lol i have a very good friend who is not in school and could probably benefit from the navy but won't do it lol. her and her man have to be together every other day or the world is going to end :) but yea i finally decided to grow out my hair and then found out i would have to cut it if i join! lol i have a lot of time to think about it right now on spring break... it's been a boring spring break! I'm going to ask one of my friends (who's a lot older than me lol) how her husband liked the navy b/c he was in a long time ago. But yea finding someone to go with would be ideal b/c i mean even at work if i have someone i like working with it makes it a lot better! I'm looking into everything right now i just have to think about things for about 2 years Do you know what you would want to do if you went in? I was thinking about being a cook b/c i like cooking and i can wear my heels and pearls!! ha ha that or maybe some sort or religion thing i dunno though i can't be a priest (nor do i want to be) ha so i dunno my options are limited there i think. but i was thinking about teaching religion so i thought doing it in the navy could be cool btw facebook friends ?? http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1200930090 everyone has facebook!
Hi Katie: I just wanted to add some of my experiences to the mix here: My son went to college on a Navy ROTC scholarship. You can look into schools that have the NROTC program - and I'm sure, with your good grades you could win a scholarship which covers tuition, books, fees, etc. All that is left to pay is housing and you also get a monthly stipend for a little spending $$. He received his Officer's Commission at graduation - and it was so important to him, that he chose to skip the college graduation ceremony and do just the Commissioning! He is now a pilot and all the hard work has been totally worth it! He has had great experiences. It is NOT easy. It can be very frustrating - you will learn that a common saying regarding life in the military is "hurry up and wait". He has met people from all over the world during his flight school and the Navy has taken VERY good care of him. You also may join and go into OCS - Officer Candidate School. An in depth meeting with a recruiter is important and you should not feel uncomfortable about asking direct questions - and be prepared to challenge the answers until you have the entire picture. There are good recruiters and there are not so good recruiters - it's the luck of the draw. Your best bet is to speak directly to people who have joined the Navy - and speak to as many as possible. I would also encourage you to examine all the different branches of the military to see which one offers you the most opportunities. Our daughter is one week away from graduating from the Air Force basic training. She had about 1 1/2 yrs. of college under her belt when she decided to go in, and it was THE BEST decision she has ever made!! Life in the military is something you need to feel passionate about! I wish you the best of luck and would tell you to follow your gut! Do this for you, and only for you! Please keep in touch - I would love to hear what you have decided and how you are doing!
Joey
Thank you for that wonderful reply, Mamajoey! Your son sounds like he got a great deal and deserves it! Your daughter, too (I have been thinking of the USAF, as well). I may end up doing the same thing as her. I wish her the best of luck in finishing boot camp (I really admire her for getting through it)! Your children sound like they are definitely something to be proud of - that's what I want. I want my parents to be proud of me. So, I'll take your advice, and call the Officer Recruiter tomorrow. We'll see what he says. I'll keep in touch, and please let me know how BC goes for your daughter! Thanks again. :)
Katie, I don't have a daughter in the Navy (21-year-old son), but I think I can shed some light on a few of your questions and concerns. Before my son told me that he wanted to enlist in the Navy, I could not believe my ears. For the past few years before he enlisted, he was very unmotivated, dependent and (sorry, son) lazy. I prayed every day that he would find his place in life. HE DID ! I had my doubts about how he would survive bootcamp. You know what? He Loved it! It provided most everything he was in dire need of at this stage of his life -- discipline, hard work, and the rewards that come with those things: self-esteem, independence, self-discipline and pride in his accomplishments.

As far as recruiters go, looking back I can see that at times they were not totally upfront about some things. But not about anything that really and truly mattered as to whether or not their recruits could survive bootcamp. At least not my son's recruiter. Like I think you are, my son is very intelligent, and when he took his ASVAB, he scored so high that his recruiter told him that he would be scooped up for the Nuke program. I thought -- yeah, yeah. yadayadayada. But you know what? They did. He is now in A school training to get his sub. He is happier than I have seen him in a long time.

Bootcamp is hard work, but my son never ONCE complained when he sent letters home. The first time he was able to call me, he sounded so upbeat and confident. When his dad and I took him out for a thick steak after his graduation from Great Lakes, his dad asked him, "What was the one thing that was your hardest challenge in bootcamp that you were afraid might keep you from passing." My son said, "Honestly, Dad, it was making my bed." HAH ! Of course, that came as no surprise to me. He did not mind the physical training, etc., at all. "Sure, dad, there were several guys who didn't pass, but it was because their minds and hearts were not in the right place. If you are there for the right reasons, and you do what you're told, it's not that hard."

One of your goals was to become independent and "grow up." That is why I wanted to reply to you, because I think that is one of the primary reasons my son enlisted. And let me tell you something. (Sorry ladies, I know you are getting tired of me saying this, but Katie might not have read my posts where I spoke of it before.) I said goodbye to a boy when I saw him off for bootcamp. I had lunch with a Man after his PIR. I was amazed at the transformation.

Regarding your concerns about the "down sides" of Navy life, I guess I can only say that I think that is something that is unique to each individual. But I thought their would be many down sides as far as my son was concerned -- he is not a big guy, tended to shy away from hard work in his "previous life", could manage to cop an attitude at the drop of a hat, and never seemed to be able to stick with anything. ALL of those things worried me terribly after he left for bootcamp. But, none of them ever was an issue. He thrived on the experience. He made a lot of friends, one of whom who is in A school with him now. He also earned a lot of respect, both from his fellow recruits in his division and from his officers.

Well, that's about all I can offer. I hope it helps you in some small way.

By the way. My daughters' name is Katie.

Good luck, sweetie, and let us know what you decide.
Hi guys! My name is Lindsay, I just found this site/forum, and I saw this thread and all the wonderful advice you've given Katie and was hoping you could do the same for me...I don't mean to be a "hanger on" or a pesky mosquito and take over anything, if that's what will happen-I'll move it, so your stuff doesn't get ignored Katie. If you don't want it here even, just shoot me a message/comment/email and I'll take it away. :D I graduated from college last May, I'm 23 and I've been considering joining the Navy for the last couple of months as well and while I'm nearly sure that it will be what I am looking for and what will fit me best right now, I'm wondering about the direction I should go. My GPA isn't as good as Katie's; it's not awful, it's just not super great and it doesn't accurately represent me, my love of learning or my work ethic at all. I don't know if that could be a problem when trying to get into OCS if that's the way I go. I also was wondering what kind of physical shape you need to be in when/if you sign up and head off to boot camp? Thanks in advance for any suggestions, pointers etc.

And like I said, I saw all the great advice you were giving, so I thought I'd ask too, I'm not trying to get in the way. Thanks again!!
Thanks and don't worry, I've wanted to join the Navy since I was three and while it will definitely be better than a min wage retail job, it's not something I take lightly. Thanks again!
I really enjoyed reading your post. Your son sounds just like mine. My son is in college now but will be going to basic next spring. My son's signed up for the Nuclear Program and I hope he enjoys it as much as your son.
I would like to thank everyone for their comments and input, all of which will be taken into consideration - and is deeply appreciated!

I have decided to enlist for many reasons. As of right now, I have one week left of classes, so I am very busy! However, once I am done I'll start studying for the ASVAB, and getting the ball rolling! For back ups, I have applied to one college far away that I would like to graduate from (in case I fail MEPs and cannot enlist). You never know! Then, I will apply to another closer to home in case I'm in DEP forever, so I can get some more classes done before I have to go. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks, again!
Katie, I think you'll do big things in or out of the Navy, but I'm glad you chose it anyway ;) Congrats on everything and good luck with your last week!
Thank you so much! That makes me feel even better. I am positive you'll do big things, too! I may be saluting you in the future!

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