My son was told before leaving for RTC that he would be able to request an audition to be in the 900th division. This, after waiting 6 months as DEP for the promise to setup an audition to the Navy Band in Rhode Island, which never happened. He was told he could sign up while he was waiting and then change if he was accepted. The he got to RTC - what he was told was not true. Only MU are able to audition for 900th Division. He is upset, but I am even more upset. Before he signed anything back in November, we were very clear about what he really wanted. Fifteen years of lessons, bands, rehearsals, is life revolving around music (not just a high school band member)... it feels like he was railroaded and all we were told were lies. Since he did so well on the ASVAB, they TOOK him to take an advanced placement. Next thing we know - he is accepted and signed up for Nuclear School... I am so frustrated! This young man has talked of nothing since before he was a tween but being in a military band... he even had two years of a 45,000.00 state college at almost no cost because of Music Department grants and scholarships. They duped him with the promise of all the huge Nuke bonuses. They duped me.
I hope he leaves after this contract is over. I asked if he could change then, and he said he has been told "Nuke will never let me go". So so so sad...
Division 933 in his TG is Ship Staff/Honor Guard. Perhaps it was full when he arrived. Division 932 from the week before and Division 935, which has PIR two weeks after his PIR date, are Triple Threat and contain band members. Some recruits have been able to switch divisions and PIR dates to be in a 900 division when the recruit met the criteria to be in the division.
Just because he is not in a 900 division does not mean that he can't participate in something in band in the fleet. There are sometimes bands at some commands that are not part of the "Navy Band." He would need to check with MWR at his command. Being in a 900 division has nothing to do with anything after BC, except for those with an MU contract. See 800 and 900 Divisions.
http://www.navyband.navy.mil/auditions.html has info on the positions that are available for those joining with the MU rating. Is it possible that his instrument is not needed at this time?
MOZZIE no my son is not Nuke he is APACT. You can send me a private message if you prefer.
WSe were hoping that because they couldn't (or rather wouldn't) get his audition as they promised in the six months he waited to leave, at least he could get through boot camp with having a little musical responsibility as well.
He plays multiple instruments, but his main is Trombone fluently, followed by tuba and sousaphone. We figured at least one of those would be needed. It is just frustrating because it feels like they got him regardless of what he said before he signed the initial papers. Everything after that were excuses and delays.
Nope - not exclusively that. Perhaps you did not understand the total story.
I have plenty of military family, including 7 Uncles/all Brothers who served in all branches around the time of WWII. I am as patriotic as anyone could be, have always been, and totally supportive of him in every way.
Please refrain from replying if you feel the need to insult my intelligence.
The big lesson for others to take away from this sad tale is:
DO NOT SIGN A NAVY CONTRACT FOR A RATING YOU DON'T WANT. DO NOT SHIP TO RTC WITH VAGUE PROMISES THAT THINGS WILL BE STRAIGHTENED OUT LATER. IF IT'S NOT IN THE CONTRACT, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
This aspect of military life does happen and it sucks. I agree with CryptoDad - never sign for anything you are not wanting. That being said, your son made an adult decision about his life. Maybe he was swayed, maybe he wighed the consequences and made a good solid choice. What he did do is join an outstanding field where he will gain a top notch education that will support him for life. It is disappointing when we want our kids to go in one direction and they are not presented the opportunity.
As prior military, I repeatedly recommended not to sign without a rating designation - he went ahead and joined undesignated with the promise that he could change that at anytime. (Not exactly true, but not misleading either)
Whatever the reason why he did what he did, he joined the military and there are no guarantees in the military except they are obligated for the dates they agreed upon. Our job now is to be the support behind the decision and give them positive motivation. Changes might be available later, but for now - love and support your sailor.
Our older son finished his Navy commitment in 2012. He was a nuke officer on a submarine. Besides being an excellent athlete he was also a very good musician. I would recommend to your son to apply to the US Naval Academy. There are a number of slots reserved for prior enlisted sailors.There is even a "preparatory" school (1 year) for those admitted but are behind academically (course wise - not brain wise). Since your son's scores were high enough to get into the nuke program, I assume he would be good enough to get into the one of the military academies. Participation in the band or choir is quite an honor at the academies. There are tryouts. However, he must select and serve in some other "regular" specialty. No one can go thru just being a band/choir member (or just an athlete) exclusively. Or he can look into the Seaman to Admiral program. Or apply to a college with a strong engineering/physics program and get in Nuclear Propulsion Officer Program - go to college, get paid to get his degree, then serve as an officer after completion of college.
My former sailor went thru Officer Candidate School. Haha. He decided after graduation with a degree in electrical engineering and after we paid his way thru college that he wanted to join the Navy. We have another son was attended West Point (United State Military Academy) - so I have some knowledge with regard to the academies and being an officer. I am speak from experience not just from what I read on Navy for Moms.
Your son (with your/your husband's assistance) chose the enlisted route. It is an excellent choice. It offers immediate entrance (with the usual waiting period) into our military and the carrot of financial assistance for his education when his time is up. I caution you to NOT express your disappointment or disapproval to your son too much. He is in a unique position (nuke specialty) that is offer to very few. I would suggest he accepts this challenge with an open mind. Undoubtedly, he could turn DOWN being a nuke and the tempting bonus and see what develops. I know many enlisted sailors in other specialties who are now doing brilliantly in the civilian world or going to college. Perhaps music is true his passion. If so, use the GI Bill to finish up his education later and do what he really wants to do in the music world. By the way, survival in Nuke Program (whether enlisted or officer) is difficult. A number of sailors attempt suicide every year from the pressure. One or two are successful. With our increasing technical world, having been in the Navy nuke program will give him an immense leg up when he re-enters the civilian world.
Lastly, while your son may be an excellent musician and strong academically, making thru boot camp is not exactly a walk in the park. Ultimately his performance in the Navy will test more of his character, determination, ability to work with others than anything he will have done in his life. I am sure with his family's military tradition, he will pass with flying colors. Good luck to your son.
I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful this reply has been for me. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experience. I will definitely share this with him. It is really great advice. When I suggested that maybe after THIS 6 years, he could change course, he cried even more and said that he was told, "nuke won't ever let me go"... You comments will be so helpful and I am so grateful for them. he will be as well!
First off, if you are going to post here looking for opinions, do not insult a member of the group because they don't agree with you, or understand your position.
Your son's first goal is to become a sailor. Boot Camp is not easy and all 900 division does is add on additional work. Your son is very musical, that's great, but again, not the reason he joined.
You mentioned they "TOOK" him to take advanced placement. They "take" all for ASVAB testing. If your son qualified for NUKE that's great, but after Boot Camp, he will hardly have time to practice an instrument.
I am surprised with so many members of the military in your family, one didn't warn you about making sure everything was written into his contract.
We all understand your frustration with how things have turned out thus far, but understand, we've all been there and frustrated at some point in time with Navy protocol.
I'm not sure how you feel you were "duped" on his bonus? If he makes it through NUKE school, he will be rewarded. If he wants out of NUKE, it's easy enough to flunk out.
If you're going to get "frustrated" every time the Navy doesn't do as you wish, or was promised, it will be a very long and "frustrating" six years.