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What Should I Know? Careers in the Navy..

mr14young

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Hey guys,

So, I'm looking into joining the Navy, but I'm really not sure what career I want to pursue...
Now, BEFORE YOU GO AFTER ME, I just want to here some advice from people who are currently in the Navy, and personal experience with different roles on a ship.
I was originally looking into being a steward, but when I did more research I really wasn't interested in serving anyone, but rather do a different role (no offense to anyone who is a steward - I respect your job choice).
Anyways, I'm more interested in a job that would entail being part of boarding parties, perhaps more of the tactical side of it? Honestly, not really sure and it's driving me crazy, but it's so hard to just find some good, solid information and advice anywhere. I apologize if I come off sounding nieve, but I am lol
Any information would be greatly appreciated!
 

Lumber

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Oh geeze. You're going to have to be more ALOT more specific as to what kind of things you are interested in. What do you want to do? Do you have/want a degree, or no? Do you want a technical trade (fixing thing), or no? Do you like to work with your hands, or do you prefer to plan and organize and let others execute your plan and directions? There are like... 20ish different trades that serve on ship, and some of those trades are actually like a conglomerate of several different trades mashed together (W ENG TECH and MARTECH). Those trades are (in no particular order):
Naval Communicator (NAVCOMM)
Naval Electronic Sensor Operator (NESOP)
Naval Combat Information Operator (NCIOP)
Sonar Operator (SONAROP)
Boatswain (BOSN)
Weapons Engineering Tech (WENG TECH)
Marine Technician (MARTECH)
Steward (STWD)
Supply Technician (SUPP TECH)
Cook (COOK)
Human Resource Administrator (HR Admin)
Financial Administration (Fin Admin)
Naval Warfare Officer (NWO)
Marine Systems Engineering Officer (MSEO)
Combat Systems Engineering Officer (CSEO)
Logistics Officer (LogO)

I can tell you a little bit about every trade. However, if you are interested in boarding party, the answer is "it doesn't matte". No one on the ship, no trade, is specifically assigned to the Naval Boarding Party (with the exception of one specific Naval Warfare Officer). The NBP team is considered "secondary duty" and is made up a mish mash of all the different trades. We do try insure that included in the team is at least one person who is advanced military first aide qualified (usually a Steward or a Cook), and at least one Engineer. Now, if you want to do boarding party FULL TIME, there is NTOG, or the "Naval Tactical Operations Group". It's not a "trade" however. Once you've been in the navy for a couple of years, you can apply to join NTOG. If you are successful (and it is NOT easy) you join NTOG, do a bunch of training, and become a member of of an "advanced" boarding team that does nothing but do boarding (or practice boards... they do a lot of practice and a lot less real boardings lately). The point I'm trying to get at is that ANYONE can apply to NTOG. It doesn't matter what your trade is. So, if NTOG is your ultimate goal, pick another trade you think you will enjoy, because you might never get into NTOG, and even if you do, you only do a few years in NTOG before you parent trade (the trade you officially belong to, i.e. NAVCOMM) starts screaming for you to come back an continue to fill much needed NAVCOMM positions.

 

211RadOp

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Also, some of those trades Lumber mentioned are "Purple" trades, meaning you may end up posted to Army or Air Force units:

Steward (STWD)
Supply Technician (SUPP TECH)
Cook (COOK)
Human Resource Administrator (HR Admin)
Financial Administration (Fin Admin)
Logistics Officer (LogO)

NAVCOMM can also deploy to wonderful places in the world in support of missions (I had one in my Troop in Afghanistan).
 

Halifax Tar

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211RadOp said:
Also, some of those trades Lumber mentioned are "Purple" trades, meaning you may end up posted to Army or Air Force units:

Steward (STWD)
Supply Technician (SUPP TECH)
Cook (COOK)
Human Resource Administrator (HR Admin)
Financial Administration (Fin Admin)
Logistics Officer (LogO)

NAVCOMM can also deploy to wonderful places in the world in support of missions (I had one in my Troop in Afghanistan).

Yes and no. 

Stewards are not a Log trade (Purple trade) and are hard sea.  Like all hard sea trades they have inland postings.

As well, and as has been explained in every RCN Log Succession Management and/or CM brief for the last 5 years or more, your uniform matters.  Up to the Master Sailor level you can be moved around in elements, from PO2 up you need to be employed in RCN positions and sea going positions if you wish to become a Cox'n or Dept CPO or higher.  If you have no or little time in your element you will be looked over for those SM positions, so it behooves you to either work within your element or change DEU to fit where your experience is.

The purpleness of Log seems to be dying.  And thank god for that.
 

211RadOp

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Halifax Tar said:
Yes and no. 

Stewards are not a Log trade (Purple trade) and are hard sea.  Like all hard sea trades they have inland postings.

Was not aware of the change in Stewards.  Mind you last time I saw one was when CFE Lahr was still open.

The purpleness of Log seems to be dying.  And thank god for that.

Don't want to go back to JSR?  ;D

 

Halifax Tar

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211RadOp said:
Was not aware of the change in Stewards.  Mind you last time I saw one was when CFE Lahr was still open.

Don't want to go back to JSR?  ;D

I loved my time with the Army.  But its detriment to career progression now when out of element. 

Did I hear retirement is coming soon ?  If so big congrats!
 

mr14young

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Lumber said:
Oh geeze. You're going to have to be more ALOT more specific as to what kind of things you are interested in. What do you want to do? Do you have/want a degree, or no? Do you want a technical trade (fixing thing), or no? Do you like to work with your hands, or do you prefer to plan and organize and let others execute your plan and directions? There are like... 20ish different trades that serve on ship, and some of those trades are actually like a conglomerate of several different trades mashed together (W ENG TECH and MARTECH).

(Sorry - don't know how to get out of the quote thing)
Thanks so much for the detailed reply! As to what I like to do, that's the problem... I like everything. Maybe there's a job that's a lot more widespread with lots of variation?
Also, what can you tell me about a NAVCOMM? How much time is spent doing what, and what tasks outside of NAVCOMM specifically would one have?
 

mariomike

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"Also, what can you tell me about a NAVCOMM?"

https://navy.ca/forums/index.php?board=123.0
 

stoker dave

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While it is has been some decades since I left the Navy, I must point out that the Navy has ships and ships go to sea.

So whatever you choose, be prepared to spend A LOT of time away at sea.  You will be away from your friends and family.  You will miss their birthdays and anniversaries and weddings and funerals.  You may be away at Christmas and New Year's and you may not be able to take vacation when you want.  It is a demanding lifestyle. 

BUT

It is an excellent learning environment.  You may travel to exotic places.  You will make friends for life.  You will be well paid for what you do and have generous benefits (you won't think so, but really you do). 

If you are 100% committed, it will be the best thing you will ever do.  If you are not (like everything else in life) 100% committed, you may not like it. 

It's not like a 'regular' job.  It is both much better and much worse. 
 

mr14young

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And I completely understand and am prepared for that. With my current life situation I miss a lot of those milestones anyways, and see most of my family via Skype.
Also, the whole part about being on a ship and at sea is why I wanted to be part of the Navy - I grew up on the water and it's my favourite place to be.
 

mariomike

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My father joined the RCN in 1943, when he was 17. He served on three minesweepers , and one frigate.

I'm sure a lot has changed since then. But, he told me he learned about machinery , about how men behaved under pressure, and about his fellow Canadians from across the country. He made friendships that lasted 60 years.
 

bretzky

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Hello I'm in the process of joining as a NESOP.  I've researched the role thoroughly and seem to have a good idea of what it entails, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me some hands on experience of what life is like day to day? Any little intricacies or tips that will help me out? I'm 35 and this is my 2nd career, and i'm really fired up to give it everything I have.  Thanks in advance. 
 
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