T Nation

Joining the Navy

I am thinking about joining the Navy and would like to know what kind of experiences you or somebody you know had. Good and Bad.

damn, hit the keys a little too quick. Anyways, as to a 6 yr Navy experience. It was pretty fun. The best years of my life after high school, but I do miss not going to college and getting a degree.

I was an electronic technician and went to diff. electronic schools for about 18 months before getting my final assignment: Pearl Harbor, Hi. I got lucky because of my school experience and got shore duty for 3 yrs without going to a ship first. I partied a lot going to school for the 18 months and continued to have fun in Hawaii. After Pearl, I went to a Destroyer Tender (repair ship) and we went on its final decomissioning cruise which was a West Pac (western pacific).

Our ports were Oakland, CA (home port) to Pearl Harbor, then to Guam, Sasebo Japan, Hong Kong, Sinagapore, Jabal Ali in Eunited Arab Emerites (northeast Saudi Arabia). That was our first half, on the way back, we hit Singapore again, Phuket Thailand, Bali, Guam, Pearl Harbor and then home to Oakland all in 6 months. It was a blast!

When you in the service though, watch out for guys that are idiots that you might unfortunately have to work for. It’s not like civilian life where you can quick if you don’t like where you work, sometimes your stuck with these jerks till either they or you transfer. You’ll also make about a couple of hundred to thousands of new friends and pretty much there’s always someone willing to go and do something. And finally, cover your own ass. A lot of military guys may seem like friends, but when shit hits the fan, they might duck and let you take the blame. I learned early on to watch my back and learn the rules/ropes so I could bend the rules to suit me when possible, but not get caught. Then again, if i was caught I knew I would have to the penalty for my actions, but that made me a stronger person and I was happy for my experience. Have fun whatever you do and think before you do anything with your career. You can travel a lot on ships, but you need to think about what area of the world you would like to see and pick that side to be based at. If you want a West Pac cruise for the Pacific and Orient, pick the West Coast for duty stations, or if Europe sounds cool, pick the East Coast. Pretty much, once you pick a region, your stuck there unless you get lucky and they can move you somewhere else. If you have questions, let em’ roll.

Laquino1

I was in as an officer. Unless the military is your thing, it was largely a waste. My college education meant nothing in the Navy except that it makes you an officer rather than enlisted. The enlisted guys that were happy were the ones who found something that they enjoyed doing. Also, you have to enjoy traveling and meeting new peoples and cultures. Guys who don’t like structure do not do well. I am a self-disciplined person, so it always rubbed me the wrong way when someone tells me how to do things. You will meet great bosses and some idiotic micromanagers, but the upside is that you get a new one every couple of years. The bad part is if you get a good boss, he leaves in a couple of years. My analysis, 1/3 really enjoy it, 1/3 stay in because of fear of the outside world, 1/3 hate it and leave.

Let me sum up the Armed Forces when anyone asks me about joining. The Air Force is cooperate America. You are in a branch that requires a higher ASVAB score and the officers are sent to the front. They use terms like “manager” and think of themselves as a business. They tend to be a little spoiled. The services were refered to as breeds of dogs by an Admiral once, and the Air Force was a Poodle. Nice took look, well groomed, and a hard bite. The Army is really, really big. Which tends to leave it a little clumsy at times. In terms of leadership and maneuvers. Benefits are good and the training is easily passable. The Army strays away from being cooperate and thinks more about the whole “Ranger” concept. The Admiral classified the Army as a Saint Bernard. Extremely large, sometimes clumsy, but its size makes it intimidating and great on the attack. THE NAVY! Well, they were Golden Retrievers. Good in the water, kids love them, an all around good companion. The Navy is a pretty happy family. When your in the Navy, that’s that… and life is just fine. Be prepared to travel with them. The Navy’s partners in amphibious assaults are the Marines. The Marines were two breeds: Rotweilers and Dobermans. Big and mean, and small and mean. The Marines offer the uniform and good leadership/training and frankly thats it. Not to many benefits. Marines tend to make due with sometimes less than perfect circumstances. They are the smallest service, but the largest family. When you join the Marines you become part of a tight organization. A lot of pride in the uniform. I am in the Marines. I knew 5 years ago that if I was going to join the military, I wanted to be part of the best. Go all the way. And I could not imagine having joined another service. I am going to get out now, not because of poor feelings, but because I want to move on to other things in life. The advice on doing something you enjoy is very important. And make sure the recruiter shows you on paper that you are getting what you asked for! December is early in the fiscal year and you can probably get a good contract now. If you would like to learn a language ask for Intel. In the Marines, and probably all other services (since we are normally the last to offer bonuses), there is something like a $50,000 sign up bonus for Intel last I heard. We need linguist. If you fail the year long course to learn the language, be prepared to give the loot back! And you should pick a language of a country you would not mind living in. If you choose Arabic - ALOHA AFGHANISTAN! Oh and the 50,000 is before taxes. But don’t do it for the money, be sure you choose something you enjoy. Police, computers, audiovisual, administrative, infantry, artillery… The Navy and Marines get oceanside duty stations. The Army and Air Force end up in other place like Alaska or the Midwest. The military is a good way to dust off those kid habits and earn the GI bill for college. I think anyone who is of a sound mind and able body should serve a term and do what is necessary to protect our nation. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I will check this thread again. If you join good luck and God bless.

Wo my friend from my art of combat class just went into the navy seal program and he hates it. It is way to easy for him. He finds himself wishing he never signed that contract everyday and he is in the BEST program!!!

ahhhhh think about that. You will be a number for years that is it… College is a much better decision… Wo think before you sign… all i gotta say

What about working out and food. Did you encounter problems? I couldn’t imagine not eating 5 to 6 meals a day and working out 4 to 5 days a week.

Being in the military does not mean you live in a shelter half - a tent everyday. You live in a barracks or on ship most of the time and eat in dining facilities. I have had some really good military chow before. Air Force chow is the best. You get a special discount at the Commisary (military grocery store). In the Marines we encourage physical activity. I know in my shop, if you want to go the gym you can get two hours for lunch. And the gym is normally close by. Working out and eating right makes a strong, healthy, and efficent warrior. You may find yourself waking up early in the mornings for runs and PT ith your unit, but many times they are more for unit cohesion than speed and intensity. I have had no problem becoming a muscle freak. Every once in awhile you can’t lift or eat the same because of commitments. Like I had to go to Vietnam for 3 months. Needless to say there was no local health clubs there or military bases with gyms. But after that tour I was pumped and ready to go back at it. Don’t let your fear of missing a workout or a meal shelter you from some of life’s gret expieriences.

Ahhhh the Navy. You gotta love it. I went in in 1967 for 6 years as an Ensign and came out as a Captain. Went through flight training in Pensacola. A great town. Became a part of the Sea Wolves which was the insertion and extraction team for the SEALs. It has been disbanded now and merged into the SEAL program. They sent me through Army Ranger training rather than SEAL school since they wanted to ship us out as quickly as possible. Got to Vietnam in time for Tet. Quite an experience! Would I do it again? Absolutely! Would I want my son to do it? No way. I still have dreams of peoples heads blowing up like pumkins when hit by a .50 caliber bullet from my gunship. Not something you want for your kid. The funny thing is when I got out, I flew crews on and off oil derricks in the Gulf of Mexico. I quit because I thought it was more dangerous than Vietnam. Go figure. I’m still looking for a Stoner Systems Model 63 to restore. I should have stolen mine. I miss it. Good luck. The Navy is not a bad choice.

By the way, if you want a normal 9-5, well 0730-1630, job don’t join the infantry ranks. I work normal hours while at my unit. I live in Hawaii with a membership to a local gym. I run with my unit before normal work hours some mornings, and lift heavy at the gym with the Hawaiians after work. Shit, I am in Macedonia right now, just south of Kosovo, and all I do here is eat and lift. I work during the day obviously, but the majority of the time it does not carry into a long night. And the food and the dining facility is frickin’ awesome! I am going to be a rock hard mofo when I leave here in March. I am 225 pounds and still run my three mile physical fitness test portion 21 minutes. With a first class PFT total score. Before I signed up I asked my buddy that was home on leave, “Hey man… I just want three things; earn money to send to my illegitamate son, learn a trade to pick up a career later, and lift weights like a mad man.” (sorry it wasn’t more patriotic than that) And he said, “Sign up for the Marines, you get all that!” He was home on leave from the Marines at the time. And like I said before if I was going to enlist, it would be the Marines for sure.

In the Navy, yes, you can sail the seven seas. In the Navy, yes, you can put your mind at ease. In the Navy, come on now people, make a stand. In the Navy, can’t you see we need a hand. In the Navy, come on, protect the motherland. In the Navy, come on and join your fellow, man. In the Navy, come on, people, and make a stand.In the Navy, in the Navy.

Sorry I couldn't resist. I did have to look that up on the internet so don't accuse me of going to the YMCA for some male sex. The one piece of advice I can give is to read your contract and get what you were promised. My friend lost out on $4000 that he was promised because it wasn't written into his contract.

How did your personal lives (family, wife, etc) get affected by being in the military?

90% of first term marriages end up in divorce. For many reasons. People feel pressured to get married in order to live with their significant other and leave the barracks. Frequent deployments can either save a marriage, or destroy it. Stress from being in the lower ranks at first can be brought home and taken out on the spouse. Many reasons. I was divorced after two years of marriage. When my troops come to me now-a-days and tell me they plan to get married I have a few questions I ask them. 1. Do you love her/him? 2. Do you realize you do not make a lot of money? 3. Does she/he have a good job with good money? 4. How long have you been together? 5. Does she/he know you may leave anytime on deployments? 6. Do you love her/him. There was an old saying once “If the Corps wanted you to be married, they would have issued you a wife.” Well that is not true so much anymore. There is a lot of support for spouses, as well as job and volunteer opportunities on bases. The military tries to help the family with professional councelings if needed and support groups while the spouse is deployed. A good marriage based on love and respect can enjoy a life of frequent traveling (moving every 3 years or so), meeting new people, provided housing, military benefits and so on. A poor marriage will crash and burn very easily.

I was not married while in the military. I married when I got discharged. It only lasted 4 years even though I am still in love with her, I think. I have not seen or heard from her in 26 years. My second marriage is a good one and is going on 24 good years now. I carried too much baggage into my first marriage and my wife was not equipped to handle it (nor should she have been). In combat, I believe that married men are safer to be around. They really want to survive and get home. Single men take too many unessary risks in combat and get people killed. At least that is my personal experience. Good advice from Big D by the way.

In regards to your family life, it is a double edge sword. You may end up far away from them, or you could be stationed near home. In which case you could venture home on the weekends. Otherwise you spend your 30 days a year going home every so often. I have missed out on a lot of holidays and family events being stationed far from home. You have to prioritize. Like getting home to see my sister tie the note was a must (had to see this dude that she was getting hitched to her!) but going home for Mom’s birthday is less important. I would say my relationship with my siblings and my parents is much better now. When I am home we never really argue and I get a feeling that they are proud of what I became in life. It is a good feeling to call home and tell your family about special awards, promotions or accomplishments you make. And believe me, they like to brag to their friends and coworkers about how proud they are of you. If you join the military, do it with a good frame of mind and everything will fall into place. Accept the structure and enjoy it. The military is what you make of it. You can fight it the whole time or you can succeed and exceed expectations. As far as your childhood friends, most will being doing the same stuff everytime you go home. And will usually by you many rounds of beer as you over exagerate you “war-stories.” OUT HERE.

Chris – Depends on what you want. Don’t do it if you are married. I was in 12 years and saw a lot of marriages come apart. Mine held together, but I bailed out when the kids were small. Did 12 years, and the ones where I was single were a blast. Time underway can be tedious, and when it is not, it is usually because something bad is happening. Time in port overseas is the most fun I have ever had. Something to be said for being young, dumb, and full of cum. Get into the best, most hi-tech school you can. I was a sub sonar tech, and for school I was in San Diego for 2 years, school from 530PM to 1130PM Mon -Fri. Rest of my time was mine. Almost partied myself to death, had a big-ass Suzuki p.o.s., and a house with some friends. This was before Aids and Herpes, before drug testing. All we did was fuck, suck, and run amuck. When school was done, though, I spent a LOT of time underwater.
Think about this. Tour some ships. DON’T listen to the recruiters. They just have to fill a quota. I am certain that it is not as much fun now as it was then. It was already starting to go to shit when I bailed. Women just about ruined it - long story, but one that can be told by anyone that had waves working for him.

thanks a lot for the help, guys.