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Thread: My daughter wants to join the navy

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    Default My daughter wants to join the navy

    My 18-year-old daughter spent last year at the University of Evansville studying business, economics and Spanish. Now she wants to join the navy rather than going back in the Fall.

    Her biggest complaint is that college wasn't challenging and she had ridiculous amounts of free time even when working 20 hours a week off-campus. She had a full load and was in the choir, but still spent only about 5 hours a day in class or working on assignments.

    They made her read books that she a) has already read, or b) doesn't want to read. (She was assigned The Scarlet Letter for the 4th time in her life.) She says, "I'm going to read books anyway, and I'd rather choose what I read myself than be told what to read by a stranger." She suffered through 2 semesters with a really snobby and nihilistic professor who basically said that if it hasn't got **** on it, it isn't literature.

    The navy will pay her to study, give her opportunities to travel, and add structure and activity to her days. She expects to take advantage of the college possibilities, which are available even aboard ship. She wants to work in cryptology, which would be conducive to a job later in Spanish or any other language

    I'm trying to think through all the angles of this. I'm not worried about my daughter taking care of herself (she has traveled halfway around the world by herself several times, beginning when she was 13.) But I fear she might find after she makes the 4-year commitment that she's not going to get as much opportunity as she expected.

    I understand why she's dissatisfied with the level of conversation around the dormitory (hair, movies, boys, hair, clothes, hair, boys, etc.). But what if she joins the navy and find that the mess room conversation is even worse? What if the requirements of the service prevent her from really studying effectively, so she ends up 4 years from now with a smattering of courses that don't add up to a degree? What if she doesn't qualify for cryptology, so instead she has to do something dull?

    If you know about life in the navy, please tell me what you think. What questions should we ask before the decision is made?
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Putnam, my main concern would be we're in a war.
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    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    True, but in general (save mainly the USMC) Navy personnel runs a relatively small risk compared to say ground forces, but I know what you are saying.
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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    I don't know anything about the navy, but has she considered trying a different college? Pretty much every college nowadays will have that basic level where they offer the "kiddy stuff" for everyone who just wants to get their degree and GTHO as soon as possible, but it's been my experience that if you seek profs out they will work with you and find interesting stuff for you to do. I'm working with an English prof right now on a project, and later this year I'll be working with one prof in logic and with another in fiction-writing (and possibly another if I can convince him to study Borges' work with me).

    I can understand her frustrations, and cryptology is definitely pretty fascinating, but it sounds like she's noticed the poor quality of most colleges nowadays and might be doing something unnecessary to do work that she finds engaging + challenging. I don't know much about Uni of Evansville, maybe it's filled with those Big School, Research-Oriented, Dun-give-a-****-bout-no-students profs, but at the smaller colleges it's pretty easy to find professors who are enthusiastic about stuff their students are interested in.

    I'm only saying this because I was pretty disappointed after my first year of college, too, and tried to do something similar. But my parents convinced me to give it at least one more semester, and while the things I detested didn't go away, I did find ways to make things bearable and then even engaging + productive. I think I would have really regretted quitting when I wanted to.

    What were the blocked out words from the nihilistic (ugh) prof? I can't figure it out.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Tell her to transfer to a better college. If the workload isn't enough for her at U of E, she is studying business so a transfer to Kelley shouldn't be difficult.
    However, if what she really wants to do is be in the Navy, then I'd say let her do it. I'd hope my parents would respect my wishes in the same way.
    Granted, I've never said I don't find college challenging.

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    Fear my small avatar Gyron's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    The Military in general provides a lot of opportunties, and if she's qualified for it, she'll likely get what she wants to do.

    However, unless something has changed in recent years, the Army is the only service where you are garunteed to get the job you sign the contract for.

    In all other branches, while they try to get you into the school of your choosing, if they have an urgent need for you somewhere else, you will get stuck there.

    Now, thats the negative.

    For the positive, if she wants the things you described above, the military in general is the way to go. My brother has taken college courses while he's been in at local colleges all paid for by the Army. He could not however take them when he was deployed, probably different from the Navy.

    Some other questions, Does she REALLY like the water? Does she get Sea sick easily? That would be another question for a Possible Navy entrant. My Uncle was in the Navy and he had spent most of his life on a boat in one way or another, but he told me even then, there were some days if you were out to sea and a good storm came up, the sea sickness could not be avoided and it was harder to get rid of because you can't just get off the boat at the end of the day. You live there.

    Also does she have thick skin? I mean in a way of taking critisim and getting yelled at. No avoiding it in Basic, but even beyond that you run into a CO thats just a dick.

    I was in the army and have never regretted for even one day that I served my time. I think its an experience every kid coming out of high school should do or have to go through. It would teach a lot of kids responibility, respect for authority and pride in their country that many kids don't have coming out of high school, especially today where so many of them seem to be spoiled brats.

    Some things she should ask when talking to a recruiter:
    1. What are the chances that she will get the job she would like to do after she finishes basic training?

    2. Where are the typical locations for that job? Is it most commonly deployed, stateside, and where? You would hate to find out, the only place they use your job is in a small post in Antartica.

    3. She needs to take the ASFAB. What score is required for the job she wants. Doubt this will be an issue for her as she sounds pretty smart, but its a question to ask.

    4. What kind of signing bonuses are available right now? This could be significant, because they may have other jobs that she really likes with higher signing bonuses.

    I'll think of others later, but this may at least be a start for you.

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    Fear my small avatar Gyron's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood View Post
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    I don't know anything about the navy, but has she considered trying a different college? Pretty much every college nowadays will have that basic level where they offer the "kiddy stuff" for everyone who just wants to get their degree and GTHO as soon as possible, but it's been my experience that if you seek profs out they will work with you and find interesting stuff for you to do. I'm working with an English prof right now on a project, and later this year I'll be working with one prof in logic and with another in fiction-writing (and possibly another if I can convince him to study Borges' work with me).

    I can understand her frustrations, and cryptology is definitely pretty fascinating, but it sounds like she's noticed the poor quality of most colleges nowadays and might be doing something unnecessary to do work that she finds engaging + challenging. I don't know much about Uni of Evansville, maybe it's filled with those Big School, Research-Oriented, Dun-give-a-****-bout-no-students profs, but at the smaller colleges it's pretty easy to find professors who are enthusiastic about stuff their students are interested in.

    I'm only saying this because I was pretty disappointed after my first year of college, too, and tried to do something similar. But my parents convinced me to give it at least one more semester, and while the things I detested didn't go away, I did find ways to make things bearable and then even engaging + productive. I think I would have really regretted quitting when I wanted to.

    What were the blocked out words from the nihilistic (ugh) prof? I can't figure it out.

    U of E is a pretty small private college. But from what I hear (I went to USI in Evansville) from a lot of friends who went there, U of E trys to weed out a lot of people in their freshman year with that mundane crap. She may find it more interesting in her second year once she gets past the freshman requirements as well.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    How high did she score on her ASVAB and other testing? The higher the score the more choices she will have. She should know if she qualifies for crypto before she goes in i would think. My brother origionally went into the Navy to be in the nucular school and knew he would be going before he signed up. The Navy's need for crypto people would obviously be the deciding factor in her placement.

    I never served in the military, an old sports injury kept me from joining the AF, but have heard that it can be rather boring. My wife knows of doctors in the clinic that she used to work in that had all of their medical school payed for by the Army and will be debt free when they leave the service.

    As for the war/safty angle, I would think that the Navy, other than Seals/special ops or pilets, would be the safest branch to be in right now.

    As for her outlook on college, in my opinion, the first year is always the worst. As she progresses into her major classes they usually get better.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    What were the blocked out words from the nihilistic (ugh) prof? I can't figure it out.
    It's an allusion to Monty Python and the Holy Grail: How you can tell it someone is a king or not.



    I appreciate all these comments. Keep them coming. Ken, she scored at the 99th percentile in the ASVAB.



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    Last edited by Putnam; 07-01-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by Gyron View Post
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    U of E is a pretty small private college. But from what I hear (I went to USI in Evansville) from a lot of friends who went there, U of E trys to weed out a lot of people in their freshman year with that mundane crap. She may find it more interesting in her second year once she gets past the freshman requirements as well.
    That, too. Theoretically what most colleges offer as fresh requirements isn't too bad, it's just that most profs view them as **** classes and don't put any effort whatsoever into them. Combine that with the widespread apathy among most students nowadays and it makes for one hellish bunch of hoops you've got to jump through to get into second year.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    The English class I took freshmen year was an absolute joke as were a lot of my other gen ed. classes. Sophomore year though pretty much every class I took was time consuming, and with her choice of majors its definetely not going to get easier.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 07-01-2008 at 03:56 PM.

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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    I still don't get it. I even googled.

    Edit: OK, found the quote. Must be something I need to see within the context of the movie.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    A CTI in the Navy...the cryptologic filed you're talking about...interprets intercepted communications. The trainees go to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, which is a big deal.

    BUT, they're not looking for Spanish...they want Spanish, they got Spanish in the form of millions of Hispanic Americans. They're looking for Urdu, Arabic, SerboCroatian, etc...if your daughter wants to learn one of those, the field would be a good choice. If you've already taught her Kyrgyz, she's a lock.

    And the barracks / shipboard life will include conversations that are crude in the extreme, while being as shallow as a sheen of sweat. If she can't get along with college freshmen, she's going to experience the same, if not worse, in the service. I'm not saying she has that problem...

    The educational opportunities can be restricted in the service. You're right to be concerned. The Army is my background, though I worked with Navy folks often. It is not uncommon on an Army post to not have much beyond business admin and criminal justice degrees available locally. (This is overseas, you understand.) Shipboard, I guess, could be better?? I don't know.
    Last edited by kester99; 07-01-2008 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mourning View Post
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    True, but in general (save mainly the USMC) Navy personnel runs a relatively small risk compared to say ground forces, but I know what you are saying.
    Interestingly, we have Navy personnel here where I am. It must have been awful getting here through the desert from the Persian Gulf. It always surprises me to see them. I think they were lied to about shore leave.

    A couple of things I would ask.

    How long are deployments? AF seems to have it somewhat easy with 4 month deployments whereas the Army and Guard are here from 12-15 months.

    Is there a delayed entry program? I think going into the service as an officer would be a great path AFTER graduation. Of course, a lot go into the service to to get education benefits.

    Make sure benefits are etched in stone. There are a ton of guys over here who feel like the recruiters weren't quite honest with them.

    I suppose if it was my daughter I would tell her to face boredom in lieu of other things and enter as an officer if she decided the military was for her after college.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Our best friend's daughter just graduated HS and is headed for the Navy. She is to go to Texas for languages.

    If you'd like the contact info for her I will give her your your's and she can establish contact with yor daughter that way.

    I salute your daughter.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    I don't mean to be blunt, but your daughter is most likely way too smart for U of E. You're really intelligent yourself, and if she's a chip off the old block to any extent, she needs a more intellectually challenging environment. I'm not knocking on U of E at all because some really smart people from my high school went there but some of the people there probably quite aren't up to her level.

    Try to get her to look at Kelley as Indy said, or maybe even an intellectually challenging liberal arts school like DePauw or even a bigger challenging school like Notre Dame. Or maybe even Georgetown, I'm sure being a legacy helps? Or, honestly, if she shows any interest in going to DC and likes the looks of George Washington, let me know, I worked for the university and have contacts there. A big city school and all of the intellectual events in a big city might help. I know the Navy will give her structure, but I am not sure it will give her the intellectual challenge you are alluding that she needs.

    I don't know much about the Navy but committing to anything at 18 is kind of a crapshoot.
    Last edited by idioteque; 07-02-2008 at 12:14 PM.

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    I have to agree with DCPacersfan. One of my close friends/roommates was in the Navy during college and the kind of things he did don't seem to align with the type of things your daughter seems to be looking for.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    These are all good comments. I don't think it is my business to talk her out of it, but I need to make her think very carefully. I appreciate the comments from both sides here. On the one hand, some of you are saying she should refocus on college and maybe a more challenging program like Krannert at Purdue. Others are saying the navy could be good, but be sure and ask ALL the questions.



    The kid was accepted to Notre Dame, by the way. She chose UE because she liked the study-in-England program they have there and because Notre Dame costs $40K a year.

    I think her biggest concern is she wants to do something REAL. As much as I try to talk about the real economy and the workings of society at the dinner table each evening, she still is more attuned to novels than current events. (It didn't help that we raised her in a foreign country.) So "reality" to her is Jack Aubrey, Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann, the crews of Farscape and Firefly, etc.

    She has the idea that she isn't really good at anything (at the adult level) and she likes the way the military promises to each everything necessary to do the job.


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    Last edited by Putnam; 07-02-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    As most of you know my son is interviewing his colleges right now. I thank those with the comments about U of E because he brought that one up yesterday as having a good music school. However, he is also carrying a 4.3 GPA in High Honors program at Cathedral....so I'm going to warn him about the boredom issue. In fact, I think I'll let him read the thread.
    Thanks again.

    One thing tho.....she does realize that whatever college she goes to there will be alot of downtime between classes, right? I mean, that's not ONLY U of E like that. This isn't like the HS she may have been used to....7 hrs of classes and then go home.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    As most of you know my son is interviewing his colleges right now. I thank those with the comments about U of E because he brought that one up yesterday as having a good music school. However, he is also carrying a 4.3 GPA in High Honors program at Cathedral....so I'm going to warn him about the boredom issue. In fact, I think I'll let him read the thread.
    Thanks again.

    One thing tho.....she does realize that whatever college she goes to there will be alot of downtime between classes, right? I mean, that's not ONLY U of E like that. This isn't like the HS she may have been used to....7 hrs of classes and then go home.
    True, but most colleges make up for that by making sure you have a lot of work to do outside of the classroom.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    One thing tho.....she does realize that whatever college she goes to there will be alot of downtime between classes, right? I mean, that's not ONLY U of E like that. This isn't like the HS she may have been used to....7 hrs of classes and then go home.
    That's why you drink.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    The downtime is great though. When else would you actually learn things? Unless you're in an uberspecialized program (like I imagine some of the business, pharmacy, etc. programs are) that features THE THING that you really want to learn most about, classes are usually a nuisance. Especially with some of the majors that can very easily become a nonrigorous, bull****ty kind of thing--like, say, English. I die a little inside everytime I have to sit through a Melville class and listen to everyone yap on about how his sentences are just too long, man.
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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    When I first saw this thread, the title was truncated to "My daughter wants to join the..." and I made up the rest before I clicked on it. I came up with "...the French Foreign Legion." The US Navy doesn't sound too bad compared to that.

    Classic boredom? I too wonder if daily life in the Navy isn't boring as well.

    The freshman year is really just the pits. You get crappy courses, crappy instructors. It improves later. It does sound though that she would prefer to be focused on one thing -- cryptology -- and there's a lot of merit in wanting that. It would make her feel that she's doing something more important than reading the same book for the 4th time. Surely it would help her self-esteem and confidence, two things usually lacking at that age and a good military background would certainly help her decide what to do next.

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    Default Re: My daughter wants to join the navy

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I think her biggest concern is she wants to do something REAL.
    I think in this case you need to advise her to be patient. She is encountering something every ambitious kid in their early twenties or late teens encounters: the fact that you think you're pretty smart and understand complex issues, but you're still too young and inexperienced for anyone to trust you to do any substantiative work that will allow you to utilize your skills in the real world.

    Maybe she would be helped by some summer internships in a big city or something like that? There are a lot of programs in places like NYC, DC, and LA that would allow her to utilize some of her skills in a real world environment.

    She has the idea that she isn't really good at anything (at the adult level) and she likes the way the military promises to each everything necessary to do the job.
    She may not have all the practical skills she needs right now but with how you've described her before, there's a 99.9% chance those will develop over time with internships and other opportunities to utilize practical skills.

    I just don't think the Navy would be that intellectually satisfactory for her. As smart as she seems to be she would be better served intellectually at U of E, or even a school like Notre Dame. She should apply to schools like that as a transfer student and see what kind of aid she gets. But all just MHO of course.

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