JRoberts

The United States Army

28 posts in this topic

Hello everyone!

I just got back from "bootcamp" in the United States Army.

The process happened like this:

Back in December of 2004, I made the decision to join the United States Army and defend my country. My choice then was to go Active (meaning that I would live on the Army Base and treat the Army like a full-time job).

In late February/early March, I decided to switch to the Army Reserve and continue my education. This meant that I would still aid my country one weekend a month, two weeks out of the year, and standby to be sent off wherever my country needed...while still living as a Civilian.

The process to switch from Active to Reserve, I was told by my recruiter, was a simple one. Due to the fact that University begins August 29th, my bootcamp was "split up" so that I would be able to go one summer, come back to school, and go again the next summer. I was told by my recruiter that this was the "split-option program".

Thus, on June 28th, with my bag packed for bootcamp, I was driven up to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to ship out to my bootcamp destination. We stayed in a hotel that night in a town 2 hours from where I was, and were to awake at 4am to get to MEPS and ship out.

When I arrived at the hotel, I was notified that I wasn't on the list to stay there! I thought that it was a simple problem, so they called up MEPS to begin sorting out what was wrong. However, later on that night (after a fun last meal at TGI Fridays) I learned from my recruiter, who called my room, that not only was I not on the list...I was not in the army! They had discharged me from Active Duty and had not put me back into the Reserves.

Thus I had packed up everything, done all that needed to be done in terms of finances, said goodbye to my family, got up to MEPS-only to find out that I was in fact not a member of the Army!

After multiple apologies by my recruiter and many other members of the Army, I was told that the process would take a few more weeks before they could ship me out (which would push me starting school over a week late!). Needless to say, I rejected any offers and came home.

It is really sad that I still have a desire to serve my country, and my efforts were hampered by the bureaucracy of the Military (seems like a contradiction, no?). So, I will be here the rest of the summer, and hopefully I can find another way to serve my country!

:D

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Why weren't you in the army? Curious if there were anything more specific than the army's "bureaucracy."

The only time I'm going to deal with the the US Military again is when I go to OTS--I'm not even going to screw around with ROTC. My last experience was with the Air National Guard--the military leaders I've encountered, the NCOs are especially, are rotten pragmatists. Again, that's based on my experience.

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As the daughter of a Navy Officer, I can only say....you just picked the wrong force to join! :D

silly, of course.

I'm sorry there was a snafu. I appreciate all you did while you were with them, and admire and applaud your bravery! :D:D:D

I look forward to hearing that they figure out a way to keep you, perhaps next year...

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Why weren't you in the army?  Curious if there were anything more specific than the army's "bureaucracy."

The only time I'm going to deal with the the US Military again is when I go to OTS--I'm not even going to screw around with ROTC.  My last experience was with the Air National Guard--the military leaders I've encountered, the NCOs are especially, are rotten pragmatists.  Again, that's based on my experience.

As I stated, I wanted to be in the Army and thus enlisted. I was in the DEP program (Delayed Entry Program) which is basically the "waiting period" between the civilian world and bootcamp. I had requested to make a switch from Active to Reserve, and this switch (which I was told by my recruiter went well and had been completed) actually did not go well. The switch was essentially lost in the paperwork, and when I arrived up at the Processing Station to prepare to ship out, I discovered that I was not even in the Army! If you are signed up to be Active and are in the DEP program, and desire to switch, they must "boot" you out of the system (Discharge you from Active) and re-enlist you in the other system (Put me back in the reserves). I was not put back into the system, and then told that I had been.

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As the daughter of a Navy Officer, I can only say....you just picked the wrong force to join! :D

silly, of course.

I'm sorry there was a snafu. I appreciate all you did while you were with them, and admire and applaud your bravery! :D  :D  :D

I look forward to hearing that they figure out a way to keep you, perhaps next year...

Actually, you are on the right track!

I still am very eager to join the Military and serve my country. However, I found out just recently that the Army lied to me-again!

The "split-option" program that my recruiter stated I was in is actually a fake!

Here is how it works: Bootcamp is 9 weeks, and then AIT (Advanced Individual Training, or Job Training for your specific job in the military) can take anywhere from 6 weeks (infantry) to 26 weeks (medic). I was going to go in as a medic. This means that, 9 weeks from now, when I would have been packing my bags and preparing to return to college (which I have already signed up for and payed for), I would have been forced to stay another 26 weeks!

Luckily for me the Army messed up my paperwork!

So, I went and talked to the Airforce. They don't have the split-option program either.

The Navy, however, seems as if it will be able to fit around my college schedule. I have already spoken to the Navy twice-and they are coming to my house next week to continue discussions. :D

I will let you know how that goes :D.

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It is really sad that I still have a desire to serve my country, and my efforts were hampered by the bureaucracy of the Military (seems like a contradiction, no?).  So, I will be here the rest of the summer, and hopefully I can find another way to serve my country!

:D

Sounds like you had an extremely frustrating experience. A shame, really, for both sides, since you lost out on the plans that you had, and they lost out on a good man.

Better luck next time around.

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The Navy, however, seems as if it will be able to fit around my college schedule.  I have already spoken to the Navy twice-and they are coming to my house next week to continue discussions. :D

I will let you know how that goes :D.

Don't tell me a recruiter lied! Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

Always remember that the military is a government entity. You will have to put up with bureaucratic red tape as a matter of course. There's a reason why the military has "snafu" in its vocabulary. Dealing with red tape is a skill, to be learned with everything else.

As a Navy brat, and an veteran oldsalt myself, I of course favor the Navy. No matter what service you choose, however, you will run into "pragmatists" and other philosophically skewed people. Surprise! The military reflects the country it serves! On the whole, however, you will find the people to be focused, hard working and generally of good character.

I look forward to hearing more. And I thank you for choosing the hard road of the military, no matter which branch.

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Actually, you are on the right track!

I still am very eager to join the Military and serve my country.  However, I found out just recently that the Army lied to me-again!

The "split-option" program that my recruiter stated I was in is actually a fake!

Here is how it works: Bootcamp is 9 weeks, and then AIT (Advanced Individual Training, or Job Training for your specific job in the military) can take anywhere from 6 weeks (infantry) to 26 weeks (medic).  I was going to go in as a medic.  This means that, 9 weeks from now, when I would have been packing my bags and preparing to return to  college (which I have already signed up for and payed for), I would have been forced to stay another 26 weeks!

Luckily for me the Army messed up my paperwork!

So, I went and talked to the Airforce.  They don't have the split-option program either.

The Navy, however, seems as if it will be able to fit around my college schedule.  I have already spoken to the Navy twice-and they are coming to my house next week to continue discussions. :D

I will let you know how that goes :D.

If you will allow me a few words of advice, do not shop around to long. I would think that all the recruiters that you are talking to work through the same MEPS, and maybe the same recruiting station. So they all know each other and are watching you coming to check on all of them. They will begin to question your integrity and whether or not you will be worth their time. So try and figure out exactly what it is that you want out of the service and then find the most appropriate one. Although you might not know it, you keep the same paperwork and it just gets transferred from one service office to the next. All the commanders look, notice and ask the recruiters, why? Activity like this always sets off red lights, so be cautious.

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Sounds like you had an extremely frustrating experience. A shame, really, for both sides, since you lost out on the plans that you had, and they lost out on a good man.

Better luck next time around.

Thank you very much Stephen.

Hopefully the Navy will work out and I'll still have that opportunity!

Don't tell me a recruiter lied!  Yes, I'm being sarcastic. 

Always remember that the military is a government entity.  You will have to put up with bureaucratic red tape as a matter of course.  There's a reason why the military has "snafu" in its vocabulary.  Dealing with red tape is a skill, to be learned with everything else.

As a Navy brat, and an veteran oldsalt myself, I of course favor the Navy.  No matter what service you choose, however, you will run into "pragmatists" and other philosophically skewed people.  Surprise!  The military reflects the country it serves!  On the whole, however, you will find the people to be focused, hard working and generally of good character.

I look forward to hearing more.  And I thank you for choosing the hard road of the military, no matter which branch.

I hadn't ever heard of "snafu" and still doesn't know what it means :D.

As time goes on, however, I am finding the Navy a much more desirable choice. My only issue currently is ignorance. I still don’t know what the navy does in an age where no other country has a Navy worth anything. I don’t want to feel worthless-and yet I get the impression that the Navy isn’t (or why would they have it?).

Thank you for your support :D .

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If you will allow me a few words of advice, do not shop around to long.  I would think that all the recruiters that you are talking to work through the same MEPS, and maybe the same recruiting station.  So they all know each other and are watching you coming to check on all of them.  They will begin to question your integrity and whether or not you will be worth their time.  So try and figure out exactly what it is that you want out of the service and then find the most appropriate one.  Although you might not know it, you keep the same paperwork and it just gets transferred from one service office to the next.  All the commanders look, notice and ask the recruiters, why?  Activity like this always sets off red lights, so be cautious.

Thank you very much! I had never thought of this.

In one day I went to all of the other branches and basically spoke with them-for informational purposes. I wanted to know if they would work around me being in College. I did not stay long at each office-did not sign any paperwork or anything of that sort. Hopefully I haven't tainted my integrity yet?

And what if I do decide to join the Navy-and prepare to be shipped out. Would it still look weird for me up at MEPS?

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In one day I went to all of the other branches and basically spoke with them-for informational purposes.  I wanted to know if they would work around me being in College.  I did not stay long at each office-did not sign any paperwork or anything of that sort.  Hopefully I haven't tainted my integrity yet?

I wouldn't worry too much about your integrity, I'd worry more about theirs. So far you've done everything that you were supposed to. On the other hand, they've messed up your paperwork and lied to you about the length of your training, something that would have messed up your education.

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This might sound strange considering that this is the 21st century but there are still pirates around today.

They are more hightech than what you read about in stories and have changed a lot since those days if they were ever like that but they still exist.

Around the Indonesian archipelago and in the general Asian region, there are a lot of enclosed bays that make really good hiding spots. There are organised crime syndicates that come out with speed boats, heavily armed to hijack the cargo of container freight ships. If you look closely at some of the ships bound for our region, you will see an electric fence oddly placed on the side of the ship as a defence mechanism.

One of the jobs that the United States Navy does is to help secure the global seas to make them safe for international commerce. Their work, allows citizens all over the world to import and export things knowing their goods will be safe. :D

If chasing pirate ships doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there is always China. They are currently rapidly building a navy to expand their sphere of influence.

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Thank you very much Stephen.

Hopefully the Navy will work out and I'll still have that opportunity!

I hadn't ever heard of "snafu" and still doesn't know what it means :D.

S.N.A.F.U.: Situation Normal, All Fouled Up. Actually, "fouled" is the word used in polite society instead of that other F word.

As time goes on, however, I am finding the Navy a much more desirable choice. My only issue currently is ignorance. I still don’t know what the navy does in an age where no other country has a Navy worth anything. I don’t want to feel worthless-and yet I get the impression that the Navy isn’t (or why would they have it?).

Thank you for your support :D .

Today's Navy is centered around the aircraft carrier, in carrier groups. The Navy is our primary means of rapidly projecting force. The Marines are a part of the Navy and represent its "boots on the ground" forces.

If you want to be a medic, the Navy offers excellent training. As a Navy medic you may serve with a Marine unit on the ground, on board either a warship or hospital ship, in a military hospital or clinic either stateside or overseas, or at an aid station in a war zone.

As for seeing all the different recruiters: Don't worry about it. There is nothing unusual at all about seeing different recruiters. It isn't even unheard of for service members to change which branch of the military they serve. No one is going to question your integrity because you are asking questions and seeking the branch that suits you best. If anything, it shows that you are carefully weighing your options.

Recruiters are in direct competition with each other, which is why they may <ahem> stretch the truth. They love to sell special ops, for instance, because it is the more romantic option that gets the attention of young men eager for adventure. Very few people are suited for special ops. They don't tell you that a large number of service members work in some area of logistics, or in other support areas. On the whole, however, the military will try to put you where you want to go (they didn't always).

To be more specific, a Navy recruiter won't tell you that most swabs (entry level seamen) will do all of the mundane work, such as laundry and other "ships maintenance" onboard ship in their first deployment (a swab is he who swabs the deck :D ). It breaks you in to life aboard a ship. It is how you pay your dues. It is also how the service evaluates your work ethic and ability to function as part of a team, which is paramount in any military organization. (I should add here, that the NCOs and Officers are pragmatic in the sense that they do what works to make a group of individuals function as a unit--the "all for one and one for all" that is required to do the job--and they've had over 200 years to figure that out.) I'm sure the other branches have their own similar traditions of grunt work.

Keep us informed. And good-luck.

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Thank you very much!  I had never thought of this.

In one day I went to all of the other branches and basically spoke with them-for informational purposes.  I wanted to know if they would work around me being in College.  I did not stay long at each office-did not sign any paperwork or anything of that sort.  Hopefully I haven't tainted my integrity yet?

And what if I do decide to join the Navy-and prepare to be shipped out.  Would it still look weird for me up at MEPS?

From what you have explained, you have nothing to worry about. It is perfectly normal to do what you have done. What I was cautioning you about is when people go through the whole MEPS process, as in picking a job field and then deciding to put that service on hold while they duplicate this process for another service. Unlike what other people on this FORUM think this does happen, and recruiters and their commanders do not appreciate wasting their time on people of this sort.

My dad spent 22 years in the Navy (he retired as a Senior Chief), with his last five as a Navy Recruiter. I can guarantee you he never appreciated wasting his time. Questioning a recruiter is one thing, to go through MEPS processing is another.

I also have had many Marine friends that were recruiters, who had a high disdain for the aforementioned activity. These recruiters have specific recruiting goals every month. They are liable for the recruit until he makes it through the first six months (at least this is how it used to be). If the recruit doesn't make it through his first six months the recruiter has to replace him. If these demands are not met, then the Marine Recruiter goes back to the fleet to finish out his time. And forget every re-enlisting or getting promoted. A Marine Recruiter's career hangs in the balance of the people he puts into the Marine Corps. So do not think that he is not looking for people of integrity, when he is putting his career in the recruits hands.

The military is always changing, but the Marine Corps that I spent two enlistments in always held integrity as a high virtue.

As for going in the Navy for a job, they have some of the most advanced skilled technicians in the military. If you want to be a medic, they are called corpsman, then the Navy is a great place to do this. Very few military installations do not have a corpsman, so you could go almost anywhere. My cousin joined the Navy in 1971 as an E-1/corpsman, she is now a 2 Star Admiral, you can go places. If you ended up in the Fleet Marine Force you will have to take field medical training which other Navy Corpsman do not get. What ever you choose I am confident that you will do well.

As the Navy goes I loved it as a child dependent. I also had my dad, three uncles, three cousins, one brother and my wife all join the Navy, so I love the "womens side of the Navy", the Marine Corps is the male side. (This is an inside joke from a "Devil-Dog" to all those "Squids") :D

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From what you have explained, you have nothing to worry about.  It is perfectly normal to do what you have done.  What I was cautioning you about is when people go through the whole MEPS process, as in picking a job field and then deciding to put that service on hold while they duplicate this process for another service.  Unlike what other people on this FORUM think this does happen, and recruiters and their commanders do not appreciate wasting their time on people of this sort. 

My dad spent 22 years in the Navy (he retired as a Senior Chief), with his last five as a Navy Recruiter.  I can guarantee you he never appreciated wasting his time.  Questioning a recruiter is one thing, to go through MEPS processing is another. 

I also have had many Marine friends that were recruiters, who had a high disdain for the aforementioned activity.  These recruiters have specific recruiting goals every month.  They are liable for the recruit until he makes it through the first six months (at least this is how it used to be).  If the recruit doesn't make it through his first six months the recruiter has to replace him.  If these demands are not met, then the Marine Recruiter goes back to the fleet to finish out his time.  And forget every re-enlisting or getting promoted.  A Marine Recruiter's career hangs in the balance of the people he puts into the Marine Corps.  So do not think that he is not looking for people of integrity, when he is putting his career in the recruits hands.

The military is always changing, but the Marine Corps that I spent two enlistments in always held integrity as a high virtue.   

As for going in the Navy for a job, they have some of the most advanced skilled technicians in the military.  If you want to be a medic, they are called corpsman, then the Navy is a great place to do this.  Very few military installations do not have a corpsman, so you could go almost anywhere.  My cousin joined the Navy in 1971 as an E-1/corpsman, she is now a 2 Star Admiral, you can go places.  If you ended up in the Fleet Marine Force you will have to take field medical training which other Navy Corpsman do not get.  What ever you choose I am confident that you will do well.

As the Navy goes I loved it as a child dependent.  I also had my dad, three uncles, three cousins, one brother and my wife all join the Navy, so I love the "womens side of the Navy", the Marine Corps is the male side.  (This is an inside joke from a "Devil-Dog" to all those "Squids")  :D

I'm glad you cleared this up. I had not gotten the idea that he was redoing the paperwork and I wondered at the caution.

Mine is a Navy family now in its fifth generation. I haven't been directly involved since '72, when I had to leave the Navy on a medical after nearly 2 tours in Viet Nam. My first husband was a pilot who was shot down over the North. My older brother retired after 25 as a Chief Warrant Officer, my younger brother retired after 31 years, as a Master Chief. I went in after I had graduated from college, as an RN, was commissioned and retired as a LT. My dad. his father, and his father before him were "China sailors." My older brother spent most of his career somewhere in Asia. I had an uncle who served in the Marines in WWII and Korea.

My nephew is now an Air Force puke. I don't know where my brother went wrong, but there it is. :D

My only contact now is with a few Navy and Marine families. I do some councilling, mostly I just listen. I love them all. I've learned, though, that things have certainly changed, the woman side most especially. The services offer much better support for the families now, as well. My older brother had a fit when I enlisted. "Decent" women had no place in the service; he never got over his prejudices. My younger brother was in on the transition and served with many females. As a Command Master Chief, he had his hands full, but he had no complaints about the work done.

I salute you (even if you are an ol' jar-head).

Oldsalt

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Another thought just came to me about my own recruiter. At the time I called my recruiter's office, my wife was in the Navy and stationed in Maine. I called the local recruiter, who's office was 120 miles away, in Bangor, Maine. On his answering machine was the following statement; "You have reached the office for the recruiter of the worlds finest fighting force. If you think you have what it takes to join me, leave your name and number. If not, don't waste my damn time!" I laughed out loud when I heard this, and I knew this was the type of arrogance I liked. I joined and was gone in less than three weeks.

One further thought, my recruiter drove all the way out to pick me up, 240 miles round-trip. If one thinks that they enjoy doing this, think again. The trip took close to five hours, not including any paperwork and other administrative task. I can guarantee you they do not like doing this for people that are shopping, shopping is not the same as questioning.

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This might sound strange considering that this is the 21st century but there are still pirates around today.

They are more hightech than what you read about in stories and have changed a lot since those days if they were ever like that but they still exist.

Around the Indonesian archipelago and in the general Asian region, there are a lot of enclosed bays that make really good hiding spots. There are organised crime syndicates that come out with speed boats, heavily armed to hijack the cargo of container freight ships. If you look closely at some of the ships bound for our region, you will see an electric fence oddly placed on the side of the ship as a defence mechanism.

One of the jobs that the United States Navy does is to help secure the global seas to make them safe for international commerce. Their work, allows citizens all over the world to import and export things knowing their goods will be safe. :D

If chasing pirate ships doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there is always China. They are currently rapidly building a navy to expand their sphere of influence.

I honestly did not know there were pirates still around! Though of course, it does make sense.

I would love to do a little pirate hunting myself :D.

Surely these pirates are not exclusive to that region?

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To Bryan, Janet_Busch, and RayK, thanks for your support!

The recruiter went and spoke with my father today (who insisted on being a part of this enlistment).

Everything seems to be working out fine!

I should be in the Navy Reserves by Friday.

I just don't know how to approach my Army Recruiter. I have not contacted him about my decision to join the Navy-and he still has my paperwork.

What would you guys suggest?

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I honestly did not know there were pirates still around!  Though of course, it does make sense. 

I would love to do a little pirate hunting myself :D.

Surely these pirates are not exclusive to that region?

As an avid SCUBA diver, I had heard rumors of such pirates who would sneak onto the decks of live-aboards and scurry off with anything of value. Shallow seas burglars, if you will. Indonesia and New Guinea are some of their main stomping grounds. Of course, one has the option of filing a criminal complaint with the pirates' cousins. For a fee. In cash ...

I should be in the Navy Reserves by Friday.

I just don't know how to approach my Army Recruiter.  I have not contacted him about my decision to join the Navy-and he still has my paperwork.

What would you guys suggest?

I'd say call this Army guy back ASAP and tell him that you decided to go with the Navy. As an ex-Army Reserve officer, I'll be the first to say that the Army screwed the pooch on your paperwork. Tell him that.

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To Bryan, Janet_Busch, and RayK, thanks for your support!

The recruiter went and spoke with my father today (who insisted on being a part of this enlistment).

Everything seems to be working out fine!

I should be in the Navy Reserves by Friday.

I just don't know how to approach my Army Recruiter.  I have not contacted him about my decision to join the Navy-and he still has my paperwork.

What would you guys suggest?

I would agree with the post above. Your Army Recruiter should understand, although he will probably try and persuade you back to the Army. Stick to your reasons why and do not let him bully you. Although I do not think it would work on you, he will still try. Best regards on you Navy Career.

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To Bryan, Janet_Busch, and RayK, thanks for your support!

The recruiter went and spoke with my father today (who insisted on being a part of this enlistment).

Everything seems to be working out fine!

I should be in the Navy Reserves by Friday.

I just don't know how to approach my Army Recruiter.  I have not contacted him about my decision to join the Navy-and he still has my paperwork.

What would you guys suggest?

It's too late to offer any advice, but I wanted to welcome you into the Navy family! If you're still able to come here to visit, I'd like to have an update.

If you have questions, as an Objectivist, don't hesitate to come here to ask. As you can see, there are those of us who have experience. It can be a bit disconcerting to run into all of the altruism that is pushed as a part of the push for unit cohesion, for example. I can speak only for myself, of course, but I have the lessons my father taught me growing up as a Navy brat. He was no altruist; he had his own reasons for serving and putting up with things that went against the grain. They stood him well, as they have me and my brothers.

Congratulations on being accepted and thank you for choosing to help protect me and mine. It is important work at any time, but especially now.

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It's too late to offer any advice, but I wanted to welcome you into the Navy family!  If you're still able to come here to visit, I'd like to have an update.

If you have questions, as an Objectivist, don't hesitate to come here to ask.  As you can see, there are those of us who have experience.  It can be a bit disconcerting to run into all of the altruism that is pushed as a part of the push for unit cohesion, for example.  I can speak only for myself, of course, but I have the lessons my father taught me growing up as a Navy brat.  He was no altruist; he had his own reasons for serving and putting up with things that went against the grain.  They stood him well, as they have me and my brothers.

Congratulations on being accepted and thank you for choosing to help protect me and mine.  It is important work at any time, but especially now.

Actually I am not "in the Navy" yet. The Army messed up more than I had thought! I've spent the past month dealing with MEPS, paper-work, doctors, etc. trying to get everything sorted out. What a mess :) .

Hopefully I should be enlisted next week. Once I am enlisted, they said that I would be placed "in line" for bootcamp. On average, there is a "6 month waiting period" for it. So hopefully that will be during my Christmas break when I have the time off from school (my bootcamp is only 17 days...weird).

I'll continue to keep you all updated!

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Hello JRoberts,

Congratulations on your decision to work in the Navy Reserve.

I think you will find working the Navy to be a good choice. I have been active in the Navy for almost two years, and can say confidently from what I have seen myself and what I have consistenly heard from others that the Navy is clearly the best service. The mentality of the other services and the way people are treated in the other services does not compare to the Navy.

I am not saying the other services are bad, just that you are more often treated as a mature adult in the Navy, and resepected as an individual.

Originally, I tried to enter the Army. When I failed the color vision test (required for the job I selected) I had to choose between a different job in the Army or a different service. I can not tell you how glad I am that I called the Navy recruiting office. It's true that the Army was a better deal financially... but there's a reason for that.

The paperwork problem you cited is not terribly unusual. It's a good idea to stay on top of all paperwork and processing you are a part of. By submitting paperwork as early as possible, and checking on it's progress, you can avoid some of the headaches.

All the best,

Steve Carlson

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Hi JRoberts,

What exactly is it that you want to do in the Navy? What ever you decide on I hope that you achieve the most and best regards.

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Thank you everyone for your support!

After a very busy summer, I was officially accepted into the Navy yesterday. I swore in last night at 7:30 p.m. and report for my first duty on September 10th.

I am now a proud member of the United States Military!

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