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Anyone military here?

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  • Anyone military here?

    My 18 year old niece has been speaking to a Navy recruiter. Apparently there has been talk of her being able to choose where she will be put (I think she thinks she can take her horses with her wherever she is stationed) I really don't think she would willingly be parted from her horses for the next six years.

    They are also telling her that they would want to put her into nuclear power and she could end up pulling in a six figure salary.

    I think that she is looking at things through rose colored glasses and is going into this for all of the wrong reasons....to get away from her parents.

    For those of you in the military....what are the odds of her being able to bring her two horses with her? Odds of being stationed where she wants? Odds of ending up in the job position they are talking to her about? Her grades are OK, just OK, but she scores very high on SAT and other standardized tests.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch

  • #2
    You can go in with a guaranteed job, but usually you pick 3 bases you'd like and they give you whatever they want. I was in the USAF for 8 yrs.

    Pay is based on pay grade for your rank, plus any extra you get for entitlements, like hazardous pay, etc.

    Have her look at a pay chart for each rank (you can google it) to verify pay.

    Have the recruiter and HIS supervisor put in writing that she will definitely be assigned to "X" base for "X" years. I promise they won't be willing to do that. Because you go where the military needs you. Make sure she understands that. There are no guarantees that you will ever go to a certain place for a certain amount of time. In certain jobs, you will only be stationed at certain places just because they may not have your job at some bases (like working on a nuclear station...there are only so many around). But you could easily be transferred somewhere else that has one. Or if you wash out of tech school, they will reassign you to a different job, in a different location.


    • #3
      I wouldn't believe anything a recuiter says because you can see their lips moving. I did a bit of recruiting 'back in the day' and it wasn't even as tough as it is today.

      Jetsmom said it best.
      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Amwrider View Post
        My 18 year old niece has been speaking to a Navy recruiter. Apparently there has been talk of her being able to choose where she will be put (I think she thinks she can take her horses with her wherever she is stationed) I really don't think she would willingly be parted from her horses for the next six years.

        They are also telling her that they would want to put her into nuclear power and she could end up pulling in a six figure salary.

        I think that she is looking at things through rose colored glasses and is going into this for all of the wrong reasons....to get away from her parents.

        For those of you in the military....what are the odds of her being able to bring her two horses with her? Odds of being stationed where she wants? Odds of ending up in the job position they are talking to her about? Her grades are OK, just OK, but she scores very high on SAT and other standardized tests.
        The recruiter has not been telling her the truth. She would be enlisted, earning low pay and crappy job assignments on ships just like anyone else who signs up. If she did very very well in her training, she might get some say in where she goes, but that really doesn't mean anything in mission critical jobs. The ones who make six-figure salaries are the contractors who get pulled in to do the work that the military doesn't have the skilled workforce to do and they have 10+ years of experience. Unless she has a firm grasp of science and math, electronics, and mechanics, she is not going to be considered for any job that comes close to a nuclear reactor and the rigorous tests she will have to take will show that. More than likely, she would enlist and then get re-directed into a different career path once she was deemed unsuitable for it, and I can say with great certainty that she is not a likely candidate from what you say, or she would wash out from basic like many do. That's just the reality of military service.
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


        • #5
          I would advise her to be careful. She can take the horses but the military in alot of stations are shutting down their stables or turning them over to private companies. Also there is no law saying that she will not be deployed to overseas duty or put to sea for three months as soon as she lands in a new duty station. The new military numbers are going towards reduction rather than retention. She might be specialized and have only few options for duty stations but in today's military to be competive for promotion you have to deploy and see action. The horses might be more of a ball chain afte awhile versus a avenue of relief. I say for her to really think about the military. It is true that as a nuclear power person she will earn big money but she still has to remain eligible for promotion.


          • #6
            I'm not in the military, but I am a Navy brat with a lot of military friends.

            The way she needs to think about it is that once she signs up? The Navy will OWN her for the next several years.

            Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it does mean that she won't have as much choice as she thinks she will.

            Sure, they'll tell her she can pick where she goes but that will be out of a tiny list of possible options, "you can go here or here or here, pick one!". And mission trumps desire so if for some reason they really need her at a particular location (like...if she ends up doing the nuclear thing) then she will probably end up at that location even if she'd rather be somewhere else.

            Not to mention she could end up spending a lot of time aboard ship (and I'm pretty sure her horses wouldn't fit in her bunk).

            Can she have horses while in the military? Sure, I know of people who do. But it's not going to be simple and she's going to be away from them more than she thinks, especially while she's in training.
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


            • #7
              If she's talking to a NAVY recruiter she should be aware that there are no stables aboard CVNs.

              Further, that CVN is likely to deploy for 6-9 months every couple of years (more frequently of late). She's going to be separated a lot in six years.

              Most Navy installations are on the Coast (but not all; Naval Support Activity Mid South is in Millington, TN; there's a weapons facility in Indiana; some Naval Air Stations are inland). NSA Mid-South has (or at least had) a stable for many years. NAS Meridian, MS and Oceana, VA have stables. Since most installations are on the coast and land in those areas is expensive then equine care might be more than in some other areas. This is particularly true for PACFLEET on the West Coast.

              If the horses are her primary focus then the Navy is not for her. Ships belong at sea and sailors belong on ships.

              Indeed, she's likely not going to do well with any Service. There are few units anymore that don't deploy to the Sand Box for a minimum of six months at time (most go for a year).

              It's possible to own a horse and be on Active Duty. It's going to be a challenge and the horse will be in second place to the Needs of the Service. If she can deal with this then welcome aboard. If she can't then she is best off to look for other opportunities.


              CDR, USNR (Ret)
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • #8
                I was a nuclear trained Navy officer. Sorry this is long.

                Nukes, even enlisted nukes, can make a lot of money in the service. Not sure about 6 figures, but the enlistment bonus, sea pay, BAH, etc add up. I am a civilian engineer; if I were still in the Navy I would be making significantly more than I am now, by probably about $30K and would be over 6 figures. The military pay scales are public record.

                Baby enlisted folks don't make much - but they don't DO much either. They chip paint, clean toilets, or go to school and make a wage commensurate with that. I would not advise anyone to go in undesignated, that is without a specialty selected. You have to that in writing before going to boot camp. Nukes go up the pay scale pretty quick and are generally an E-4 in a couple years, and make rank faster than other rates. There are pretty agressive Affirmative Action promotions in the enlisted ranks. Navy won't admit it, but they definitely push women over men in the engineering rates.

                Nukes have a pretty good idea where they are going to be stationed. There are only a few bases that have nuclear ships. Since we are talking niece, her choices would be carrier out of Norfolk, San Diego, Bremerton,WA or the GW in Japan. For enlisted sea duty that is it. As long as her choice is a carrier out of Norfolk, she can go wherever she wants

                Nuclear power is a demanding job. It is not for wimps, especially emotional wimps. It is a tough field with tough personnel. If your neice is inclined to need a hug, tell her to go into a supply rating. A lot of days just suck, and the worst of those are in port. The training pipeline is hard, both the curriculum and the schedule. I usually logged 60+ hours a week in Power School, and Prototype is 12 hour rotating shift work.

                The Navy was the best decision I could have made coming out of college. I don't regret it in the least. I did join in part just to get out of Indiana.

                I got my first horse after I got orders to Norfolk and was out of the school pipeline. Since I was on the O side, it was almost 2 yrs of schools, moving every 6-8 months, before I got to a ship. They've changed that pipeline since that time, but there is still a good period of time and a few moves prior to getting a permanant station. On the enlisted side, I think it takes around 12-18 months to get through school. I would not recommend having a horse in school. Too many moves, and not enough time. The Navy will not reimburse you for moving your horse. They will pack your tack up if you have it at home, but horses and trailers are your own problem.

                There are also deployments. Your niece will deploy. Period. She is going in the NAVY and WILL GO TO SEA. To many nubs seem to miss that fact. Having a horse on self care or co-op board while at sea is not an option, full board is the only way to go. She will need to figure what to do with the horse on extended deployments, i.e. 6 months. I shipped my horse back to my parents and she ate cheap Indiana Amish grass for 6 months. As I rose through the ranks, and responsibilities increased, I went from full board to full training because I did not have the time to spend with the horse. The typical carrier work up schedule is 30 days in, 30 days out which is not great for working a horse. There are 6-12 month overhauls every couple years. These are not easy (I preferred being underway) and 12 hours workdays are not uncommon.

                As was stated above, the Needs of the Navy come first. Her boss won't care that the horse needs shoes or the vet is coming. That isn't his problem; the valve that needs to be fixed is. Work comes first. If you can't handle that, don't sign on the dotted line.

                Have your niece email or PM me if she wants.
                Visit my Spoonflower shop


                • #9
                  She won't be having her horses while enlisted.
                  The government owns her for however many years her enlistment is...during active time she'll be deployed at some point.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!


                  • #10
                    My husband is in the Navy in the Nuke program. I would not recommend her joining the Navy if she is wanting to be near her horses. My husband is home about 50% when they are not on deployment.

                    If she wants someone to talk to (besides you) with experience, PM me. I will be more than glad to talk to her with second hand experience. My husband is deployed otherwise he would probably talk to her.

                    If she is looking for something to get her a job in the future to be able to support the horse, that is another thing. My husband could potential get a $100,000+ civilian job, but he is an officer. He did go in as enlisted then went to school and was commissioned as an Officer.

                    Also if she does decided to join, make sure she has a plan for the horses if she gets stationed overseas. I have a personal plan, just in case.
                    Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
                    Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                      I wouldn't believe anything a recuiter says because you can see their lips moving. I did a bit of recruiting 'back in the day' and it wasn't even as tough as it is today.
                      And for the OP, let's put it this way...I used to work out and train dogs with a USMC recruiting branch. Many a times have I heard the recruiters say "no, the crucible is no longer. They had too many complains....no they can no longer yell at you. They have to speak normally....don't worry."

                      And in regards to horses, she had better plan on not seeing them often the time she is enlisted.
                      If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                      DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                      Originally posted by talkofthetown
                      As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


                      • #12
                        Lot's of advise already - I'll just add two more things:

                        I live in a navy area and just because you want in won't make it happen fast. I've heard of some ppl waiting more then a year and still not in.

                        We do have a base with a stable and the wait list is long. Anyone military including dependents can stable there. Lot's have had to go the civilian route of boarding and wait for an open spot.

                        Enlisting in the military is a very noble job, but it's a job. Having horses with no one around to care for them in your absence would make me think more then twice about bring them along. Good luck to your niece.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ddb View Post
                          We do have a base with a stable and the wait list is long. Anyone military including dependents can stable there. Lot's have had to go the civilian route of boarding and wait for an open spot.
                          I never boarded at a base stable. They were cheap, but the facilities and services were not what I would be happy with. Some are co-ops that don't work for active duty w/o dependents. The other boarders scared me - few appeared to know what they were doing. People wandering around horses in flip flops with don't give me warm fuzzies. The fact it was acceptable scared me. Other people may have had great experiences with them, I felt it best to avoid them.
                          Visit my Spoonflower shop


                          • #14
                            One of my good friends is career Navy, though a Seabee not in nukes. She has horses but it's a huge stress for her. Worth it, but not easy. She's had them the entire time she's been in, since she joined right out of high school.

                            I don't know much about the military so I can't add much more. It seems to me that for someone for whom horses are really a priority, the military would not be the best choice. For someone like my friend who loves them but doesn't have many competitive goals and doesn't mind being away from them for 6+ months at a time (and it helps that her family owns a ranch, so she has a safe place to leave them while deployed), it seems possible to do both, but still difficult.
                            exploring the relationship between horse and human


                            • #15
                              My son has done somthing similar, though he went through the NROTC program, has graduated with distinction from Nuclear Power School, finishing up his last 6 months of some sort of nuclear training now, and will be on a submarine in 6 months... would your neice think of going that route? Doesn't have to be the submarine part, but the NROTC part, school is paid for if she qualifies, and life is easier starting out as an officer... The horses will still not be a part of the Navys plan, however...
                              My son loves it, by the way.


                              • #16
                                Women are going into sub crews starting almost immediately, so being underwater for extended times is also possible too. And as others have said on here the reality is the Navy will own her entire life for the duration of her enlistment, and even if they promise her a lot of things they do depend on your niece completing every single course, training and certification all along the way. If she fails at anything then the deal is off, and she will probably be sent to another MOS, and she can't quit because of that. Once she signs on the dotted line she is obligated to spend the term of the enlistment even if she changes her mind. I don't see this plan as an escape, but the old adage about out of the frying pan and into the fire.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                • #17
                                  I am baffled and amazed at some of the comments here, especially from those who have never been in the military. And no, being a wife doesn't make you an expert in all things military.


                                  I was in the Navy for eight years. My husband has been military (currently USMC but served in the Navy for four years as well.) I've been a spouse and/or active duty for 17 years now.
                                  I reside on a military base, and board my horses at a military stables run as a private club.

                                  I will answer your questions as best I can though. And my comments are GENERALLY speaking, and not related to the Nuclear Field.

                                  what are the odds of her being able to bring her two horses with her?
                                  * Obviously, she will not be able to bring her horses to boot camp and any school she may attend. Once she gets to her permanent duty station (be it a shore command or ship command) she will be able to bring her horses to any facility she chooses. If and when she must deploy aboard the ship (ships are typically deployed 6 months, although my husband is deploying soon with a Navy ship for up to 12 months. Yes, Marines deploy with the Navy!) This includes Hawaii, as they have base stables. Overseas, I have no information, but it's possible if she's that passionate about it. There are many, many, MANY active duty personal (from junior enlisted to senior officer) that board their horses. There is ALWAYS someone reliable to care for her horses when she is unable. I do morning care for someone in the Navy now. If she was to deploy, there WOULD be someone to care for her horses. A friend left this week for Officer Candidate School. And guess what? Her horse is still at our barn, being well cared for.

                                  Odds of being stationed where she wants?
                                  *Always a possibility, but the needs of the military comes first. I've been stationed overseas and San Diego. I was enlisted and had horses. LOTS of people do, and manage. Is it stressful? Sure. But most of life is. Being stationed aboard a ship does NOT mean you can't have a life, too. While yes, the Navy would "own" her, I assure you, they do NOT control every aspect of your life. But what do I know? Only been doing this for 17 years.

                                  Odds of ending up in the job position they are talking to her about?
                                  *As military, even as a junior officer, she would never see $100,000 no matter what job she was in (we're talking base pay, not bonuses and extra money.) I'm sure they mean when she got out of the military, she could potentially earn that much in the civilian sector.
                                  She really needs to choose a job that she would ENJOY. Trust me. I was a Radioman, but started my career as a Gas Turbine Mechanic. It's not impossible or difficult to switch jobs (rate) after enlistment.

                                  I see people saying some really ignorant stuff about the military, but I'll just say this.

                                  Like I said, I served a little over eight full years of active duty. Not only did I have horses, but I had children too (and was a single mom.) And I NEVER DEPLOYED OR WAS STATIONED ON A SHIP. I know many, MANY people in the Navy who HAVE NEVER DEPLOYED. Is it good for a career? No. But to say it's a guarantee that you WILL be stationed on a ship and/or deploy simply isn't true. It's PROBABLE that she will, but it's not for certain.

                                  The military life is a GOOD life. In this economy, it's an AWESOME life. It's not without it's struggles and sacrificies, but it's very rewarding.
                                  I've boarded at three base stables.
                                  First was closed down (MCAS Miramar) - no pastures, two arenas, $125/mo for a nice stall with run-in. Full care.
                                  Second was a small facility (NAS Lemoore) and pasture and stall was $25/mo ($10/mo if you wanted stall only.) Self care.
                                  Third is a fairly large facility (MCB Camp Lejeune) $125/mo for nice stall, two rotating pastures, cross country course, miles of trails, two sand arenas, enclosed round pen, dressage arena, trail course, and jumping arena.
                                  I've also boarded my horses at two private facilities.

                                  Has she considered the Air Force? They don't deploy like the USN or USMC.


                                  • #18
                                    The Air Force does deploy. It's not done the way the Navy and Marines do it, but they do deploy.

                                    Of all the services the Army may be the best bet. They offer more guarantees on enlistment than any other service. They are still looking to fill spots. They also have a huge "infrastructure" and much of that does not deploy.

                                    The Coast Guard is another option, but it's my understanding that they are wildly "oversubscribed" and you just about have to be born there to get in. While there are some Coasties in the Persian Gulf and adjoining waters doing anti-piracy patrol most Coast Guard vessels operate in U.S. or adjacent waters.

                                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                    • #19
                                      In today's Military service I don't know anyone who doesn't deploy, and some have extended, repeated deployments. I know people who have children that were told that if they joined either active duty or reserves that they wouldn't deploy, but they all did. In my view there will be cutbacks coming, and the ones who are dedicated, and go to the best postings for the Military's needs will stay, but others may be cut loose.

                                      Some Coast Guard posts are considered hardship postings where I doubt amenities like stables may be available, and I don't know about their move schedules or deployments. Many Army posts may have access to stables, but they are self-care for the most part. Usually there are civilian possibilities available, but remember Army deploys to places like Korea and Germany also, where the availability of facilities and the expense of shipping both ways would make leasing easier.

                                      The Military is not a place to escape to, but a real live career that will probably make many personal sacrifices necessary. Your niece should only go forward with this if she is ready to commit herself to a tough, demanding but rewarding career.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                      • #20
                                        Sailors go to sea. Period. The paper-pushers don't, and every branch needs those rates filled, but her chances of getting that...? My location is in a town that only exists because of a Navy base. No base stables. No affordable housing for junior enlisted that isn't meth contaminated. She certainly wouldn't be able to afford boarding here on her salary.

                                        I'm NOT saying the military is a bad route, it's a great route, even if she does it for four to eight years and then boogies into the civilian sector after getting training and experience, but until she has been in and has advanced, they don't get paid shit. I see junior enlisted on EBT cards for food (food stamps), WIC, etc. Some of them, the single ones with no kids, are ok living on base with no bills other than their vehicles, but some have families and three or four kids and my SO and I (he's a Chief) deliver Txgiving and Xmas turkeys, etc, to them so they get special family meals on holidays.

                                        Oh, and my SO was gone 290 days last year. This year? He's been deployed since Feb 1.

                                        I still recommend the military for teenagers, even with all that. Great experience, great training, excellent way to get into some jobs afterwards (LE gives 10 points to prior military during testing ), and the only time in your life that someone else will pay for you to visit foreign countries.
                                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl