A friend and I want to enlist in the navy, together, via the buddy program. We want to know if by enlisting at 17, without a high school diploma just yet, will we be able to go into the navy as active duty as soon as we graduate? Its our junior year and we just turned 17. Is it ok to enlist now, or should we wait until we graduate? What about senior year?
I would wait awhile. You can only be in DEP for 364 days. If you enlisted now, it would give the classifier (Based on June graduation) about a two month window for your job. Also I would forget the Buddy Plan. The buddy plan only puts you in RTC at the same time, insisting on the BP. could result in either you or your friend, accepting a job you don't want.
It is quite typical to visit the recruiter as you start your senior year. That will let you get slotted for boot camp shortly after graduating high school. However, you will need to finish high school. Most likely, you would be dropped from DEP if you failed to graduate. The military is in a downsizing mode right now and they have no reason to take people without a minimum level of education.
As Dave said, unless things have changed back again, forget about the buddy plan. It used to get you stationed at your first PDS together but that was back when a large number of people went to boot camp and then straight to the fleet. Just stay in touch with your buddy and you might end up getting stationed together in the future or you just both end up having good stories to swap.
Ya know, I didn't have a great many. But I had a few folks I put into the Coast Guard on the buddy system.
You ship to recruit training together, and are placed in the same recruit company. However, if you get put back in training for any reason, that's the end of it. When I went through, they gave your buddy the option of going back with you. But it wasn't that way when I was recruiting. Anyway, usually the buddy who wasn't being put back said "No thanks."
The manual said it was a valuable tool for helping to make the transition from civilian life to military life. Everyone is nervous when they leave for recruit training, you're facing one of the biggest unknowns in your life at a young age. It's nice to have someone there you know. I was going in with someone on the buddy system, but my friend failed the physical.
One problem I can see, like mturnb mentioned, is a recruit going to A school straight from recruit training. Say you have a guaranteed aviation machinist's mate school. Your ship window is from July 10, 2012 to no later than July 22, 2012. Maybe your friend has a guaranteed damage controlman school, and his ship window is from Aug 21, 2012 until no later than September 5, 2012. That would cause of problem with joining on the buddy system.
And then again, I had potential buddies where one failed the ASVAB, physical, or both and the other passed. Like I mentioned happened with me.
My record was four recruits who joined on the buddy system. Pretty amazing that all passed the ASVAB and physical and shipped. They were from a small town in northeast Texas. The local paper did an article. That article turned out to be one of the best recruiting tools I ever had.
I joined the CG with two buddies. We all enlisted shortly before we graduated. All ended up in teh same company.....at first. One was dropped back a week fairly early in the 12 weeks. I ended up being held back a few days right at the end when I failed my swim test.
All three of us ended up in different places for our first duty stations. In fact, I never saw them again while we were in the service.
I was going in with someone on the buddy system, but my friend failed the physical.
Once again, another similarity. My friend called me from New Mexico and said he was going to join the Navy. He asked me if I wanted to join with him on the buddy system (I was in Dallas). Off I head to the recruiter the next morning. Three days later I was on the plane to boot camp and he was still sitting at home because he failed the physical.
Buddy system stories. We dubbed the four I put in "the four amigos". I sent them a letter addressed to one of them and wrote "C/O the four amigos" on the envelope. During mail call, their CC yelled "Four Amigos, front and center" and they knew they'd been had. Did some PT for the letter, and the name caught on.
After recruit training, they went to all four corners of the world. A couple got 378's, one went to fire control technician school. So the FT probably ended up on a 378' later. A couple years down the road, an MK1 buddy of mine called the office out of the blue. He said "Hey Bert, I've got one of your four amigos here with me at Station Grand Isle, Louisianna. So I spoke with the amigo, and got an update on the other amigos.
I put in two other buddies who lucked out and got Station Bodega Bay, California after recruit training. It's a nice station, and for historical trivia, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "The Birds" was filmed on location there.
Ha ha. So is it ok to go to the recruiters station together, but not mention the buddy system. because my friend and I are tight, and we wanna keep in touch. We both want the same career. But were not holdy handsies or nothing. We just look to each other for support. We dont mind not being together, were just young and dumb, and have no idea what were doing, so we figured the buddy program would keep us together long enough to get where were going. So is it cool if we visit the recruiter together?
You know that Recruiters sarcastically call that program the "F" your buddy program because inevitably someone pulls out sticking the other guy with the enlistment. Just letting you know, it's pretty common for that to happen as well so be prepared to go forward with your enlistment if it happens to you.
I never thought of buddies enlisting as the "Bobsey Twins" or anything like that. In fact, as with many other applicants, I looked across my desk and in many ways, I saw myself 12 years earlier.
But since Erich brought it up, there can be problems.
I can remember times when two people came into my office, and one was disqualified right off the bat for one thing or another. They'd usually start arguing with me, but I wouldn't budge. Sometimes the DQ'ed prospect would want to leave and the other would want to stay. That did not make for a good interview, to say the least.
There were two examples of a buddy system fiasco I saw at the Coast Guard Recruit Training Center that were not good. One example concerned two young men, the other two young women. In each case, one of them was lukewarm about joining, the other gung-ho to go. Well, the gung-ho recruit did not pass the pre-training physical and was put in discharge hold. Now the lukewarm recruit wanted the hell out of dodge too. In both cases, they were both discharged. My friend the Minneapolis Coast Guard Recruiting office put the women in, and he was really POed about the whole thing. He's driven one hour each way to talk with them, and gone all out to help them.
On a happier note, if you can find one more buddy, one of you can be enlisted in pay grade E-2. One recruit in the case of the "four amigos" got enlisted as an E-2. The others agreed that he came up with the plan in the beginning.
OK! Thanks! Another question I have been wanting to ask, is taking AP classes and some college credit courses, and I dont plan to go to college. But I have been told by the recruiters that come to my school, that taking those kinds of classes, I boost my chances of getting chosen for the career I want. Is that true?
I kind of figured that the ASVAB had more to do with it
More like the ASVAB has everything to do with it!
I will say this though. Sometimes the civilian training and experience you bring with you into the military can be a big help.
I served with one guy who grew up on a farm in Georgia. He was always fixing tractors, farm equipment, putting tin roofs on sheds, etc. He became a machinery technician, and his experience helped him in the school. Even the stuff he learned on the farm and not in class helped him quite a bit on the job.
Another friend of mine took electric shop in high school. It helped out when he was in electrician's mate school.
Much of the stuff you learn through work/life experiences you can plug in when you go into any branch of service.
So if I wanted to be a Navy SEAL, would things like playing football, weight lifting, and running cross country be considered work experience? Or do I need focus elsewhere? Like on scholastics or some other area? Im sorry that Im bugging you with all these questions!!! I know I should just talk to a recruiter, but its easier and more available. Sorry!!!
It's sort of like that Friedrich Nietzsche quote "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
I don't know anything about SEALS other than what I've read and seen on documentaries and the news. But they all say that it was being tough mentally that got them through the training. From what some of them say, the training borders on impossible.
Participaton in sports is a good thing to be involved in, and not just for the SEAL program. It helps to build team effort and physical training. Aside from high school gym class, I did not participate in any school sports. But some of the guys in my recruit company who did said the company commanders were, in some ways, not much different than their football coaches in high school.
It's good to try and prepare, but don't knock yourself out. It's also very important to avoid injury. I had a young man fail the physical because of injuries to his knees he incured while playing high school football.
Do the best you can in school. Anything you learn can help you not only in the military, but in the civilian world too.
Thank you sooo much for replying to my posts. You have been very helpful and have been very insightful. Ive read a lot of other posts on this topic and other people have not been so kind in their replies. I dont blame them. I have tried to be specific and not ask redundant questions, so I thank you for taking the time to answer my posts. Next time I have a question, Ill know who to ask!!! Thanks!!!