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Old 04-13-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,719 posts, read 47,472,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by facts101 View Post
What are the reasons why someone would not be an officer when they join the Navy with a Bachelor's degree?

Do many people join the Navy with a Bachelor's degree and not become an officer right away?
On subs it is fairly common to see crewmen with college degrees.

When I reported aboard my first boat I was among the first wave of recruits to not have a college degree.

During the VN draft many guys went to college, while in college their number may have been drawn but by being in college their draft was 'deferred'. So long as they staying in college they had a deferment from being drafted. The problem being that once they finished their Bachelor's degree they would soon get a letter requiring them to report to the draft board. What some of them did was in the last few weeks before graduation they went to a Navy recruiter and had a conversation. They signed-up for subs and enlisted before they graduated from college. Then after their graduation ceremony they went directly to Navy Bootcamp and eventually onto a sub. It was a manner in which they could 'dodge the draft' and avoid being cannon-fodder in VN.

I came of age and enlisted soon after VN, so when I hit the fleet what I saw was the Silent Service was predominately college grads [former 'Draft Dodgers'].

During my career it was very common for submariners to get a college degree. I often heard that the easiest degree to get was in Psychology, you read books and understand some theories, but there is no right or wrong. So long as you can understand a bunch of over-lapping theories [which could all easily be wrong in the first place] and write essays on each of them then your good.

I took a lot of correspondence courses on different things.

Many of our officers have PHDs, so to pad their resumes and 'Professional Evaluations' they will teach various college courses while underway. I attended many college courses while underwater.

The DOD awards a contract to a University to provide correspondence courses for a couple years. Then the DOD gives the contract to a different university every couple years. The effect being that we collect a lot of credit-hours on transcripts from different schools, none of which will recognise the others. I had to get my degrees via matriculation.

Degrees are fairly common among sub crews.

I have seen a few guys who did submit packages for selection into OCS programs.

One friend of mine [Victor] already had a B.S. in Math from a WV college, and was selected into an OCS program at Purdue. He spent 4-years in their NROTC program studying physics, in his last semester he flunked his classes. By the time the program dropped him back into the fleet, he had already made up the flunked classes and had a clean transcript. Back as Active Duty enlisted in the Navy he only had a year left on his enlistment, that was when I met up with him once again. A year left on his original enlistment and he still had 4-years of GI bill due to him, so he planned to go back to college to use up his GI-bill. I have no idea how many degrees he finally finished.

The Navy is very specific in what fields your degree must be in, in order to be a 'Officer of the Line' [or commonly stated a Line-Officer].

The only officer allowed on subs that is not a Line-Officer is the Chop, and he must have an accounting degree. As Chop his career is limited, he will never climb above CDR.

Our Line-Officers are mostly Engineers with a few Physicists. Their career path is very difficult. Every year a third of the O-1s [ensigns] are thinned out, they have a specific window in which they must make advancement to O-2 [LTJG] or else their commission will not be renewed. Roughly at each pay-grade it works about the same, they each have a 3-year window in which they must make advancement, or else they lose their commission. So it gets very cut-throat. Any black-mark from among the men who work for you, and your career can be over.

Life underwater can be very stressful, life in the weird room is far worse.

One common misconception is about pay. High ranking officers, O6 [Captain] and above with over 20-years of service, do receive a lot of base-pay. However junior officers do not receive as much, and they do not qualify for all of the allowances and bonus money that enlisted men get.

On my last boat, as an E6 going to sea, I earned more pay then each of the officers we had onboard below O5 [CDR]. One of my duties was 'Command Financial Specialist' and 'Tax Preparer' which meant that among other duties I filed income tax forms for nearly all of our crewmen [and our officers]. I saw every-one's income and I facilitated workshops of investment planning strategies and tax-shelters. For many of us, to have pushed a package for OCS and to be selected we would suffer a significant drop in pay.

Among the fellow crewmen who had degrees that I knew, very few wanted that extra level of stress and the pay cut.

There have been a few different OCS programs where an enlisted man can submit a package and possibly be selected for a commission. Usually these programs make that servicemember an LDO [Limited Duty Officer]. Subs do not have any LDOs so these men disappear from our fleet. I really know very little about LDOs.

LDOs are limited in how high they can be promoted up to, and since they are not Line-Officers they can never command any vessel.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Uncharted island
291 posts, read 890,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
You get an automatic pay raise if you enlist with a Bachelor's degree. I think they start you as an E4.
For the Navy, it's E3, seaman. The ARMY will give you E4 at Specialist, but it's the only branch I know that starts you off so high.

My buddy went in as enlisted because he wanted to be with the men. He sought comradery and a brothers-in-arms kind of culture. Now that he's got a few years under his belt and has gained the respect of the other guys in his unit, he feels ready to put in his package for OCS. I can't think of someone who would make a better officer than someone like him.

Having a few years enlisted experience under his belt gave him time to understand the military structure, with all the BS and whatnot that's involved. I've seen cocky new OCS grads go into the fleet, strap some butter bars on their collars, and think they run the whole damn ship. The prior enlisted know better. Having worked alongside the men for several years, they have the humility and wisdom to know that perhaps an E4 with 6 years knows more about sonar tech than they themselves would, or they've seen an Ensign verbally humiliate a well-respected Senior Chief only to lose the respect of all of his men and eventually, his command.

Most people in the military would agree (though not aloud) that 2nd LTs are probably the most useless bunch in the whole military. Their jobs CAN effectively be done by an E6 or higher. Someone once quipped that you only start becoming useful at 0-3 or higher, and I don't think that's too far from the truth.

Anyway, it's not a bad idea at all to go in enlisted and learn your way up. It's up to you. Not all brand new O1s are bad. There are some fantastic ones as well. It really comes down to how well you know yourself and your leadership ability.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:35 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,129 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinsonCrusoe View Post
Most people in the military would agree (though not aloud) that 2nd LTs are probably the most useless bunch in the whole military.
I learned very early in my 22 year career to not to make such assumptions. I try to judge people based on their accomplishments not on some outhouse talk. I have a good friend, now passed away, who was a US Army Air Corp Second Lieutenant. He received a battlefield commission. He seldom spoke of his military experiences, but I learned a lot from him.

I don't allow anyone who is part of the team to be useless...

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 04-23-2010 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:18 AM
 
409 posts, read 2,378,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
I think it is safe to say that you'll have a hell of a lot more credibility as an officer if you come out of OCS with some enlisted time under your belt.
I enlisted in the Air Force with a Bachelor's Degree. The reason I did it was the waiting time and for what MrSykes points out. In addition, I do not have the proper letters of recommendations that are needed to apply successfully. I might have a shot but it is not likely i'll make it given the current circumstances.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
You get an automatic pay raise if you enlist with a Bachelor's degree. I think they start you as an E4.
They start you E3 max. Unless you did ROTC, have a degree in Military Science, or have a lot of experience in the field you are going in to.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: NoVA
1,377 posts, read 2,194,231 times
Reputation: 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksnee View Post
Go check out a PSY OPS world.....enlisted have masters degrees....
I know that some enlisted have degrees, far be it from this college-going prior service enlisted man to debate that fact. But do enlisted jobs require degrees? No, and that's the point I was making. That's not a bad thing of course, just saying.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:19 PM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
Reputation: 6784
Quote:
Originally Posted by ♪♫♪♪♫♫♪♥ View Post
I know that some enlisted have degrees, far be it from this college-going prior service enlisted man to debate that fact. But do enlisted jobs require degrees? No, and that's the point I was making. That's not a bad thing of course, just saying.
Depends....honestly.....

Try to make E-8 or E-9 without a degree.....

Try to make 0-4 or 0-5 without a degree.....

Technically NO job, Enlisted or Officer requires a degree...

Do they make you get a degree to make rank, yes....

Just an opoinion of a retired E-7 that has/had a degree....
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,225,911 times
Reputation: 1049
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksnee View Post
Depends....honestly.....

Try to make E-8 or E-9 without a degree.....

Try to make 0-4 or 0-5 without a degree.....

Technically NO job, Enlisted or Officer requires a degree...

Do they make you get a degree to make rank, yes....

Just an opoinion of a retired E-7 that has/had a degree....
I beleve you are incorrect.

To my knowledge all officers in all branches require a 4 year degree.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:58 PM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
Reputation: 6784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balad1 View Post
I beleve you are incorrect.

To my knowledge all officers in all branches require a 4 year degree.

You are not understanding what I am saying....

I'm saying that as an Officer, you NEED a degree for rank....that is why they have DEGREE Completion (you take 18 months off while on active duty to complete your degree). You DO NOT have to have a 4 year degree to become an officer....initally....

Last edited by chucksnee; 04-13-2010 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:07 PM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
Reputation: 6784
Quote:
Originally Posted by ♪♫♪♪♫♫♪♥ View Post
One of the COBs on my boat, an E9, had no degree. Was he an exception? Maybe, maybe not, I won't claim to know that. What I do know, is that entering into the officer's arena does require a degree of some kind or another, no technicalities, no exceptions. They might slightly relax the degree requirements a little, for instance my dad entered the Army's WOCS back in Vietnam with an associate's but even then, he had to eventually get a bachelor's to be promoted at all. Mind you I'm not talking about senior ranks, I'm talking about just entering the field, which implies starting out at the bottom through the junior ranks.

Find me one officer billet that requires no degree whatsoever, provide verifiable supporting proof, and I'll retract everything I said.

Depends on when he came in....if he/she made E9 15 years ago then no...
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:11 PM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
Reputation: 6784
Quote:
Originally Posted by ♪♫♪♪♫♫♪♥ View Post
for instance my dad entered the Army's WOCS back in Vietnam with an associate's but even then, he had to eventually get a bachelor's to be promoted at all. Mind you I'm not talking about senior ranks, I'm talking about just entering the field, which implies starting out at the bottom through the junior ranks.

Find me one officer billet that requires no degree whatsoever, provide verifiable supporting proof, and I'll retract everything I said.

Thank you for proving my point....
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