Hey gang, just stumbled across this site; I like it.
A bit of background; in the spring of 2011, when my son was a junior in high school, he said, "Hey Dad, I think I want to join the Navy when I graduate."
I was all for it, but Mom said, how about finishing high school first and then going to college. Long story short, he finished high school, did a year of college, and then said, "Hey Dad, I don't think I'm ready for full-time college, I want to DO something; I'm thinking about the Navy again."
I was out visiting him near the end of his freshman year and took him to a Navy recruiter, and got him tested and signed up in the Delayed Entry Program. He shipped out for RTC in mid-January 2014 and ended up in the 900 division. Two weeks later he got bumped up to E-2, while also being elected as Boatswains Mate for the PIR ceremonies.
He studied his butt off while in A-School (a novel thing for him), and managed to finish 5th in his class of AD hopefuls, and then ended up getting orders for a 2-year gig to I-Level maintenance in Lemoore, CA; not exactly the choicest of assignments. Initially he was a bit discouraged, but he has made the best of what he had available to him.
His AD-2 was very pleased with his progress and made sure he was bumped to E-3 last fall; he then sat for the Petty Officer Third Class in March, and just today was informed he made the E-4 list. Not too shabby for 17 months in the Navy.
Now the question is, "What next?"
My son is pretty much running a shop which performs the intermediate maintenance on the F-414 engine from the Super Hornet; that's both the good news and the bad news. He originally put in for either a rotary wing or reconnaissance squadron, and that's where he'd like orders to next year. The problem is, he A) has yet to set foot on a ship, and B) is being told he's too valuable in Lemoore to allow him to go anywhere else.
Should he stay in Lemoore for his entire initial enlistment, I'm thinking his options are going to be pretty limited when reenlistment time comes around.
I know it is a bit early yet, but I'd like to offer him some advice on options when it comes time for him to bid on orders late this year.
Thanks for the response Jim,
Given he and I now live some 3,000 miles apart, I rather doubt his going to sea will significantly change how often we see each other; we do talk weekly for the most part, but E-Mail can certainly suffice. As for Lemoore itself, I wouldn't say he's hell bent to get out of there; more like he's afraid an extended engagement there will limit his advancement opportunities.
As for shore duty being easy duty; generally that's true, but with the huge backlog of engines, they're working six and seven days per week, and often more than fourteen hours per day. Carrier duty might actually be a bit easier (although the living accomodations won't be as nice).
He and I talked last night and he mentioned he is planning on completing his Associates Degree before his enlistment ends; assuming he is able to do so, he is thinking of exploring options for gaining a commission.
Assume this is his first enlistment- you generally end up doing and going where the Navy says. If he re-enlists he'll work with a detailer that will try to may his desires with those of the Navy. Three-years of shore duty....something a heck of a lot of sailors would die for! And Lemoore is rapidly becoming of the most important stateside bases the Navy has. And having a Navy vet daughter and active duty son which have done three cruises, life on a carrier "ain't all peaches and cream"
No question how important Lemoore is to the overall Navy operations. That said, have you ever been there?
Last summer my son and I drove from Pensacola to Lemoore, and while there I went for a run; after only six miles I was coughing and hacking all manner of multi-colored stuff due to the horrible cow dung infused air. Like I wrote earlier, he is keeping a good attitude and making the most of his situation, but geez, I wouldn't wish orders to Lemoore on folks I didn't even like.
yeah, I have and if you want to compare small areas we'll take about me living in Northern Nevada for 20 years in mining towns.....and the worst "cow dung infused air" I've ever gone through is just a little south of Phoenix driving from Casa Grande to Maricopa.......20 miles of stockyards.....
All this "cow dung" talk made me think of Harris Ranch in Coalinga (the Cow Dung Capital off I-5) about 23 miles from NAS Lemoore! Probably the constant wind gust blowing towards the base is to blame...
Chances are he will rotate to a sea going squadron or other sea duty. Nobody ever gets back to back shore duty orders and it will be his turn for 36-48 months of sea duty. Because he's already in Lemoore, the detailers might keep him there but attached to a new squadron. You can get orders elsewhere and it is easier for a single guy. It's kind of the luck of the draw and what happens to be open when his orders are due. And yes, it does boil down to needs of the Navy.