The US Navy offers more than 360,000 sailors and officers the opportunity to learn life skills and secure a niche education in the many diverse fields in which the Navy is invested. Navy recruits serve in a variety of different job positions in areas such as computer science, photography, electricians, radio operations, and even medical specialists. The career possibilities are enhanced by the thrilling locations many Navy personnel get to work in including submarines, on Navy vessels, and in the air. The many locations of Navy bases around the world also offer opportunities for global travel throughout your career.
Qualifying for Enlistment
The United States Navy enlists men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 34 years old. High school seniors aged 17 years can also be recruited into the Navy with a signed parental consent. High school graduation for Navy recruits is highly recommended.
Those interested in enlisting in the Navy must be United States citizens or have the proper immigration/naturalization papers to be eligible for Navy enlistment. All enlistees will be required to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and have a physical health examination done for qualification.
When new recruits enlist in the United States Navy, the initial term is four years. The Navy also offers two-year, three-year, and six-year enlistment terms for specific programs. New recruits may be put into the DEP (Delayed Enlistment Program)which allows recruits to start training while they complete their high school education or tie up loose personal ends until they are required to report for duty. Earning advancement in the Delayed Enlistment Program offers recruits to also earn a higher rate of pay when they begin their basic training in the Navy.
The Navy has a solid reputation for providing enlisted sailors extensive training for both new recruits and job training. Recruit training is the first training assignment to be received. It involves a period of nine weeks for the transitioning from civilian life to a life in the Navy. Recruit training includes physical conditioning, discipline, and education that is essential for continued service in the Navy. All recruits will train in Great Lakes, IL where they will live throughout the recruit training period, receive their Naval uniforms, and be divided into the different divisions of training. Classroom education and physical training are a daily part of life for the nine-weeks and all recruits will be tested for fitness at the end of the training period.
Job training is the next step after Recruit training has been completed. The Naval technical school, known as Class A School, is where Navy personnel will go to begin job training for one of the more than 60 job fields available to recruits. A recruit will get their choice of job fields during their enlistment processing. This job training will be conducted at the Great Lakes facilities or at one of the US Navy bases around the United States including Newport RI, San Diego CA, and Pensacola FL. Length of job training will depend on the chosen program, ranging from several weeks to several months. Recruits who enlist in the Navy that are undecided in a career path can begin apprenticeship training programs for several of the Naval programs including diving specialist and submarine training.
Moving Up in the Navy
There are nine enlisted pay grades for Naval personnel. The grades range from E-1 Seaman Recruit, the lowest grade to E-9 which is the highest. After servicing approximately six months, an E-1 is often eligible to advance to an E-2 Seaman Apprentice.
The Navy offers many opportunities for advancement and each field provides a path towards supervisory positions in the field. Advancement throughout a career in the Navy is based on several factors of individual personnel. These factors include:
- *On-the-job performance
- *Examination grades
- *Supervisor recommendations
- *Time of service
- *Length of time at present work level
For recruits who already have education and developed skills prior to entering the Navy, there are advanced pay grades based on existing knowledge. There may also be eligibility for specialized training programs in the fields of electronics and nuclear specialties.
The Navy also has a strong faith in the power of education so the Navy Campus program allows enlisted personnel to enroll in continuing education courses during their career in the Navy. This education is believed to better prepare personnel to complete their military jobs in the Navy, their work, duties, and reach their personal goals.