Joining the Navy is one of the best learning experiences for a young adult — especially if it's their first time away from home.
When you talk to a recruiter about signing up, they'll likely sell you on all of the positives and leave out most of the less attractive aspects.
That said, most of us don't do enough homework on our own to understand what life is really like in the Navy.
So, check out five things we wished we knew before joining the Navy.
5. All the additional duties
In some smaller naval commands, there typically aren't enough Masters-at-Arms (the Navy's military police) to guard all the bases' gates. What's even worse, there sometimes isn't enough room in the budget to pay civilians to defend those iron fences either.
So, what does the Navy do to fill those roles? They turn to the junior enlisted personnel who aren't even trained to guard a box of coloring books.
The Navy created A.S.F. — or Auxiliary Security Force — made from various Navy rates, like cooks and mechanics, to stand guard duty.
Sailors from commands throughout Naval Station Mayport practice vehicle inspection in a three-week-long Auxiliary Security Force training class. (Image from Wikipedia Commons)
4. The rank of 'seaman' sounds worse when it's yours
Some rates in the Navy aren't even called seamen when they get to the rank of E-3 — so that's a plus. Corpsman who are E-3s are referred to as Hospitalman while Seabees are called constructionmen, so we luck out.
Other ranks don't have that privilege. It can be embarrassing saying, "Seaman Smith, reporting for duty."
Catch our drift?
3. You can graduate boot camp as an E-3
Some young adults score so high on their ASVAB that when they pick an academically challenging rate, they're automatically promoted in boot camp.
There are others ways to get promoted, like earning college credit before enlisting or recruiting other people, which most people don't know.
Seaman Richard Cassube (left) assists Seaman Jeremy Cryer (right) with the proper measurements of the ribbons on his dress uniform in preparation for their upcoming graduation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Susan Krawczyk)
2. All the different bases you can be stationed at
Many people don't know that the Navy integrates with the other branches. In fact, it's not uncommon for a sailor to serve in an office building on an Air Force base. So, not only can you serve on a ship or a Naval base, but you can be stationed on an Army, Air Force, or Marine Base, too.
Also Read: 6 reasons why Marines hate on the Air Force
1. Regardless of your junior enlisted rank, you're going to clean... a lot.
This is the aspect most recruiters (if not all) forget to tell you about. Sure, you will frequently clean your berthing quarters, but you'll clean areas you don't usually occupy during the week.
We're training to go to war, but first, we need to mop the senior chief's floor. Son-of-a-b*tch!
Sailors clean the deck of the lower vehicle storage bay aboard USS Ponce (Image from Wikipedia Commons)