XP: DH thinking about joining the Navy — The Bump
Military Families

XP: DH thinking about joining the Navy

We are 28 and just had our first LO.  He has a bachelors degree and has been with his company for 5 years but isn't going anywhere.  He thinks he will be able to provide a better life for us by joining, better pay, less of a fear of losing his job, more "stability". 

I'm not going to lie, it scares me to death and I'm afraid about so many things.  What do you ladies think?  What do I need to know?

TIA! 

Re: XP: DH thinking about joining the Navy

  • Before you even worry about what comes with a military life, you and your DH need to go speak with a recruiter. He may not even be able to join. There are a lot of people out the in the military who after many years of service are being denied the option to reenlist and continue in the military due to the economy.
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  • My husband just ETS'd from Active Duty Army, and is now Active Reserves. I don't want to sound like a "Debbie Downer" but the military is all but a stable job. We were pushed around, forgotten and I must say, screwed over by the military multiple times. Yes, the money is nice when you are married and have children, but how stable can a job be when there is the risk of being deployed? Deployment is not even close to anything stable. There are a lot of things to think about besides the paycheck and insurance, those being pretty much the only good things the military provides. Make sure that you and your DH look into this long and hard before making a decision, especially since there is a LO in the picture.

    Good luck! :)

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  • This also. Thank you for pointing that out. It is so true, we were IN the Army and tried to re-enlist for another 4 years, they "lost" our paper work so many times that it came to crunch time and they denied us last minute! Changed out entire life...
  • imageskbiel:
    This also. Thank you for pointing that out. It is so true, we were IN the Army and tried to re-enlist for another 4 years, they "lost" our paper work so many times that it came to crunch time and they denied us last minute! Changed out entire life...

    OOPS!!! I apparently didn't quote the PP like I had meant to... Sorry for all of the posts! Confused

  • imageskbiel:

    My husband just ETS'd from Active Duty Army, and is now Active Reserves. I don't want to sound like a "Debbie Downer" but the military is all but a stable job. We were pushed around, forgotten and I must say, screwed over by the military multiple times. Yes, the money is nice when you are married and have children, but how stable can a job be when there is the risk of being deployed? Deployment is not even close to anything stable. There are a lot of things to think about besides the paycheck and insurance, those being pretty much the only good things the military provides. Make sure that you and your DH look into this long and hard before making a decision, especially since there is a LO in the picture.

    Good luck! :)

    This.  We weren't certain when DH's ship would pull out for deployment until they were actually leaving.  They gave us at least 4 dates before they finally did go; d-day got pushed back so far that they didn't end up leaving after they should have returned!  This is his first deployment and he hasn't met our daughter yet.  DD will be about 4 months old when he gets home, if they get home on time.  Another thing you have to consider with the Navy is that they deploy no matter the state of our international involvement.  I'm sure that isn't true for every job in the Navy, but generally speaking ships and submarines are deployed on a [relatively] regular schedule whether or not there's a war going on. 

    Military service is far more than just a job.  It encompasses every area of your life and leaves you with little control over many things that would ordinarily be up to you to decide.  It does provide excellent benefits and a guaranteed paycheck for as long as your in, but as PPs have said, it may be difficult to get in or stay in. 

    It can and is the right decision for some families, so I don't mean to be discouraging.  Definitely talk to a recruiter and think long and hard about it before you (both) make a decision.  He may be the one signing up, but your whole family will feel the effects.  

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  • I ditto talking to a recruiter and seeing if you are even eligible before any other considerations. My family is Marine Corps, not Navy, but what I hear from my husband is that the quota for Marines has been met, so they are raising the standards for new-joins. So if the Navy is being picky too age might be a factor.

    As far as stable goes....mmm...that's highly debatable. We've moved three times in one year. And we didn't have kids to deal with so it will be even harder for you. Not impossible, people do it all the time, but it might not be your idea of stable.

    The steady paycheck is nice, but you have to decide if 12-15 hour days, deployments, and litterally having no control over your life is worth it.

  • Talk to a recruiter.  With a bachelor's degree, your husband should be able to be an officer.  You've gotten some good advice above, but know that there are some great aspects to military life as well.  DH is an NFO (naval flight officer) and has been in for 6 years.  He enjoys his work and really feels like he is making a difference.  I think that for your military experience to be a positive one, it has to be something your husband is passionate about doing - otherwise, he isn't going to see the upside of deployments and such and you NEED to be able to see the upside in order to get through those long separations.  Also, it needs to be something you're completely onboard with.  There's going to be a lot of lonely nights, a lot of "single" parenting.  It isn't easy, but I find the experience rewarding and our family has been given opportunities we'd never have otherwise (e.g. living in lots of amazing places - currently Italy! - meeting lots of great people we'd never know otherwise).  Don't get me wrong, it isn't all puppies and rainbows and I get plenty ticked off at the military when DS is having one of his days and DH is on the other side of the globe.  And it isn't easy being so far from our families and it takes a toll on them as well because they don't get a lot of time with DS.  But I find that, overall, I really enjoy our life.  And it means a lot to me that DH is so committed to what he does and that he feels really strongly about serving our country.  And we have made some of the best friends with other military families.  We may be far from our biological families, but we have a great support network close by with our military family.  The job security and the steady paycheck and benefits are definitely pros - but if the lifestyle isn't one you're content with, then those things won't matter a smidge.
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  • Everything they all said but for us it's been pretty nice. DH is in a very specilized comand and their is only 3 bases he can be moved to but for 14 years we haven't had to move. We might have to now and it would be 2 months after I give birth to our first child. Yes it sucks and our life is sorta on hold until we know if we are moving or not but I got laid off 6 months ago and it's nice not having to worry about that happening to him to like sone of my friends. I am flexible and pretty laid back but the military life can even test my patience at times. Deployment suck but you'll be surprised at what you can handle. Like they all said it's a HUGE decision and one to make together. The navy I feel is the easiests on a family and if he can get into a specialized field then that is waaaay better!!!
  • You need to discuss what in the Navy he wants to do (the jobs are SO diverse), whether he wants to commission as an officer or enlist, and research the heck out of the lifestyle.

    Also, like others have said, the military isn't a "back up job" anymore.  A good friend of ours with a BS from James Madison University and an MBA from Penn State was recently turned down a commission.  He worked his tail off too - tons of recommendations, interviews, etc.  The economy has made everyone hold onto their jobs with an iron grasp and not as many people are getting out anymore.

    We have enjoyed the Navy.  DH has been in since 2002 (well... maybe 1998 if you count his time at the Naval Academy) and the Navy has provided very well for him.. flight school, a paid-for Master's from Johns Hopkins, Test Pilot School, countless travel opportunties... the list goes on.  We have never felt "yanked around". 

    But the "stability" you crave is all relative.  The military lifestyle requires you to be VERY flexible.  Moving, deployments, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  We feel very lucky to have had the experiences we have had, but we have definitely paid our dues too.  And will continue to pay them.

  • I agree that you need to go and talk to a recruiter with your husband and find out how long the wait to get in is and what he will qualify for after his ASVAB. DH had to wait 9 months from when he signed till he actually left and it was a year from when he first went and talked to them.

    For some the sacrifices are not worth the benefits. Personally not having insurance (despite both of us working full time), struggling financially and not knowing how the economy would treat us was tougher than the moves and deployments of the military. We have already moved twice in the past year and a half and are going through our first deployment and yes while it is very tough we are financially secure, able to have our LO and we have grown so close as a couple. It's not for everyone one but I think it's what you make of it. I try to see the positive in it.

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  • I agree with all the PP. Being military is all puppies and rainbows. And it isn't about just having a stable job and paycheck. It's about wanting to serve your country. The Army owns my husband. He is told what to do when to do it. They say move, we move. It's not stable.

    You have to be prepared for military life. I love it and honestly the thought of him ever getting out terrifies me. I'm not cut our for 100% civilian life.

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  • Thanks for all your insight ladies I really appreciate it. We are going to talk to a recruiter on Monday.
  • imagebabygreen10:
    Thanks for all your insight ladies I really appreciate it. We are going to talk to a recruiter on Monday.

    Please make sure you talk to both an enlisted and officer recruiter.  This is very important.

  • I'm currently a BM3 the military.  My husband is deployed over in the Persian Gulf on a carrier.  IT's hard, I'm not going to lie, but if you are really dedicated you get rewarded.  The military does encompass your whole life, do not take this job lightly.  You could be deployed, you could die, there's a lot of unknowns.  But it's the price you pay.  You are always going to have "lost" paperwork or people you don't like working with.  Long hours, long deployments, and you miss out on a lot of things...but I get out in April, and I'll have done 4 1/2 years and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

     Do make sure you talk to an enlisted and officer recruiter though. 

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