I would like to take this time to point you in some of the right directions. For starters if you haven't had the time take a look at the right side of any page you click on. There you will find some useful information for you. The links under the about this site will help you with how this site got started, navigation, P.I.R., About us, community guidelines and some links to some of the groups that beginners with a lot of questions will find very useful. There is also a link called Navy Enlisted Ratings, this link will take you to a brief description of the rates (jobs) in the Navy that you can find your sailors rate and find out some information about the rate that they are in.
First and foremost though we are all here for the same reason. We are curious about what our young sailors are getting into and for more information about the rate or job that they will be doing for the next 4-6 yrs. of their lives. I know when I first got here I had lots of questions and there was not a lot of people on this site but they all were either going through the same thing or had been through it and had sailors out in the fleet. Now this site has grown to over 9000 members, Dads, Moms, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, sisters, brothers, girlfriends and boyfriends. Don't be afraid to ask questions of members in here because somewhere along the way we have all had the same questions and asked. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this site with various years of experience in the NAVY either on their own account or through their Sailors.
Again welcome aboard and BRAVO ZULU to you and your son Erik on his enlistment and please thank him for me for making the choice to defend the freedoms that my family, this country and I have and enjoy.
Welcome to NavyDads.com Ed! When my daughter enlisted in 2005 and left for RTC, I had virtually no knowledge of Navy life or how the Navy did things. By the time her PIR rolled around, I was starting to get the hang of things and understand some of the language and abbreviations, but still felt like a fish out of water when dealing with most topics concerning the US Navy. When my son enlisted and left for Great Lakes in 2007, I got serious about trying to learn as much as possible about the Navy. Now, several years into my journey, I’m blessed to say I have two sailors in the family - my son Eric (AM2) was on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), was attached to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37) in Hawaii, and is attached to VAW-125, and back on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. My daughter Kat is now a Navy veteran and was stationed on the carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) as a Mass Communications Specialist(MC3). If NavyDads.com were around in those early days, it would have made my first days as a Navy parent much easier!
I'm sure you'll find NavyDads.com as useful, educational and informative as I have over the past few years. Click How To Get Started for a guide on getting going in your NavyDads.com experience! I hope you take the time to explore the site and make some new friends. Read the discussions and add your comments. Browse through the postings in the various groups or start a new one. If you have any comments, questions or concerns about your sailor and what he is going through...be sure to post them! In my experience someone here can answer your questions or concerns or can point you in the direction to find out. And Ed this is a great place to brag as well! So join in, get active, and be sure to let us know how your son is doing! Please remember that we talk about the Navy here and we must keep the security and safety of our sailors and the fleet in mind. On the right or starboard side of every NavyDads page is an area we call Key Information. Please take a minute and read through the Operations Security (OPSEC) link for some guidelines as to what we should not talk about in a public forum like NavyDads.com.
As a parent of a sailor currently or soon to be at Great Lakes you'll have many questions about what Erik is going through. In the Navy Bootcamp group is a discussion called A MUST READ for all New Navy Parents. Read through this post as it will do a lot to give you some understanding about what your sailor is learning and why. And be sure to check out the videos available in the Bootcamp Group as well and as PIR nears be sure to spend time in the PIR group for hints and helps!