My son (I'll refer to him as Li), who is entering his senior year in high school, met with a recruiter for the second time a few days ago. We were given some responses that raised red flags for me. I have a tendency to be skeptical of information I'm given when it results in a binding contract so I wanted to see what some of you might think!
First off, we were told that Li should probably settle for an ASVAB score of 51. His high school hosted the ASVAB back in April and he scored 51 without any effort for preparation. His idea was to take it then (during his Junior year) to see what it was like, then study and retake it at MEPS when he was ready to enlist. The recruiter told us that 51 is good enough for a lot of MOS, that people tend to do the same/worse when they retake it, and that "you don't want to take it too many times", but didn't explain why beyond saying that he could score lower.
Second, he encouraged Li to go to MEPS and enlist ASAP, the latest within two weeks, "Because there are a lot of jobs open right now but they will be closing soon". It just seemed like a weird push to me. Li wouldn't even be able to go out to bootcamp until he finished his senior year, so why skip the opportunity to score higher and rush to sign the contract within two weeks. Is this something recruiters are known to do in effort to meet quota?
I would love to know what you all think. Am I being overly paranoid?
Recruiters have one job and that's to recruit! I wouldn't "settle" for a score. Have your son do some prep work and take the ASVAB again - I'll bet he can get an even higher score which will open up even more opportunities. He has plenty of time to sign his contract - no need to rush it right now. And BTW just because he signs a contract right now while in high school doesn't mean he's bound to the Navy with that contract. They can back out all the way up until the FINAL swearing in at MEPS which takes place the day before they ship out. Of course the recruiter won't tell them that but it's the truth. They key is to make sure he has the job he wants - the saying goes "choose your rate, choose your fate". They won't change his rate once he gets to boot camp so do your research now with your son and choose a rate he can live with. He has a year to figure it out - use it wisely.
Thanks for your response!
Hes fully invested in enlisting so I don't think he'll be backing out at any point. I think I'm way more concerned about his MOS than he is, which is why its so good to hear confirmation that its critical that he joins under terms that are in his best interest. I showed him your response and he was thankful for the info :)
Better to be safe then sorry......it's a big decision so he definitely wants to think things through.....glad you're involved!
I think your son's plan sounds like a good one, particularly as a junior still in school. He can do a bit of prep and try again. The recruiter is probably tempering expectations - scores don't usually go up a lot on retest. He can retest once after 1 month, but subsequently only every 6 months. Too the single number is just a summary (2 VErbal + ARithmetic + MAth, on a curve). The 9 line scores are, if anything, more important. For example a MA candidate has to have WK >=43 and AR>=55.
There a 2 reasons the recruiter is pushing your son to sign up. 1) to make quota 2) the fiscal year ends Sept. 30th. It may be true that there are a lot of openings right now, but any given visit to MEPS is a crapshoot no matter when, and he shouldn't make big commitments under pressure.
Thanks for helping solidify the idea that he should retake the test. Your advice is well received!
The recruiters in my sons office told him to us "ASVAB for Dummbies" to study. They laughed and said the title sounds bad but its the best book to use. My son did good with it. My middle son is using it now getting ready for the ASVAB.