Navy Dads

I have some concerns about my sons career in the Navy. He is slated to leave for boot camp in November. I have heard from a retired Master Chief and a current Warfare Officer that my son does not need to go in 'undesignated' and make sure he has an 'A' school before he leaves for boot camp. He did not qualify for the CT rating when he went to MEPS and they had him to chose the Seaman PACT. Under the PACT he says he wants to go for the OS rating. But I keep going back to what I was told to not let him go in undesignated. I contacted his recruiter and told him that I had concerns because of what I was told but he insisted that the PACT program was the way for him to go. I still don't believe him and am at a point to where I want to tell him my son needs an A school before he leaves and if that means him taking the ASVAB again to get a better score so that he can qualify for the rating he wants then so be it. But he will not be leaving in November until he has an A school. What are your thoughts?

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   Personally, I would want to go in with a chosen rating and a definitive direction.  As sailors say...."Choose your Rate and choose your fate" !!!! PACT is a longer journey with no guarantees. I have heard both good and bad stories.....just my opinion.....

Having been in the Navy, I would not want to join as a undesignated anything.  I was an AT and went to A school, but I've seen a lot of them.  I can verify the "choose your rate, choose your fate" line.  I spent 3 years on the USS John C. Stennis in a climate controlled shop.  As a PACT Seaman, he will more than likely be in the deck department working with the bosun's.  I know the recruiter tells you things like "he will be able to do different jobs and see what he likes...etc etc."  It's all bs!  He will be put in whatever division needs him, doing whatever job they need him to do.  The division would have to approve him going or doing anything other than what he was originally assigned...what do the think the chances of that are?  Most undes strike for the rating that they are working in, and most don't get an A school until after first enlistment.  

Now here's the problem.  If he doe's not leave and fulfill his contract, he will never be able to join the Navy again.  It's an unwritten rule.  The recruiters will not give him the time of day if he does not go. My advice to for him is to get with his recruiter and try to find a rate that he will accept and is qualified for and will let him have an A school.  Unfortunately, in these times, this economy, they have an abundance of qualified candidates to join, you can't be all that picky anymore if you want to join, you have to take what is available.  But I would think long and hard before I put my foot down about him not going unless he has this or that....because he will never get another shot with the Navy if he doesn't fulfill his contract.

Here is the information regarding ASVAB retesting...Looks like 1 month for a retest, 6 months for a 3rd retest....

Push it to the wall.....

His recruiter is right by saying he won't be going directly to the fleet after bootcamp.  He will be going to a three week course in Basic Seamanship.  He will not be learning any other jobs as that happens via On-the-job training in the fleet.  After he graduates the Basic Seamanship course, he will be sent to the fleet via "needs of the Navy".  He will not have a choice at what job he wants to do.  Below is the actual job description the Navy gives for PACT Seaman...

"Performs all basic seamanship functions aboard ship to include: serving as helmsmen and lookouts; repairing, maintaining, and stowing equipment in preparation for underway operations; working in non-engineering divisions of the ship or station; standing security watches while in port and underway; operating sound-powered telephone systems; doing temporary duty for 90-120 days with food service divisions or compartment cleaning; serving as a member of damage control, emergency and security alert teams; participating in naval ceremonies; taking part in underway replenishment (transferring supplies from ship to ship at sea); working with qualified personnel to gain job training and experience. This enlistment program option enables men and women to eventually qualify for one of several Navy ratings (skill specialties) through on-thejob Seaman Apprenticeship training. The program also offers apprenticeship training in a rating that may not be available at the time of enlistment. Seamen are usually assigned to shipboard duties where the Navy needs them the most. Seamen can request, and may receive onthe-job training in a rating that they are interested in, qualified for, and is available at their first command, by completing correspondence courses and personal advancement requirements. They must also be recommended by their commanding officer for the Navy rating they desire. Seamen may also attend Navy schools to learn about general damage control, shipboard fire fighting, preventive maintenance of special equipment, and the use of special tools used in the rating they are working in or seeking. Seamen are taught fundamental skills needed in a shipboard environment. Most training takes place at the first duty station in the form of onthe-job training in the rating for which they are "striking." By "striking" for a specific Navy rating a qualified person may be assigned to a Navy class "A" technical school for further training in that rating."

My son is currently an IT serving aboard the USS Carl Vinson.  When he enlisted initially, he was given AECF Subs.  He talked to the recruiter and had them put in a request to change his job to IT and it was eventually approved.  All is not lost, and he has plenty of time to get something else.  Just be patient and have him stay on the recruiter to get it done.  Some recruiters are better than others, some just need to be bothered constantly if you know what I am saying.

John, my son also dod delayed entry and was going to be  undesignated when he went to MEPS, but he told his recruiter he really did not want to be undesignated and as soon as an opening came up for a rating he took it. He is a Machinist Mate and will attend " A" school at Great Lakes. I would recommend that your son tell the recruiter he would like to get a rating he qualifies for if one comes up while he is waiting to go. 

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