Selectivity -- A Good Thing?
A reader wrote in to ask if I had any insight into the best way to increase one's chances of getting into the Navy as an officer. Excerpt:
I have been trying for over a year now, increased my GPA, lost over 50 pounds, and added additional community services to my resume. From my understanding, there just aren’t any spots for young men and women who are just getting out of college.To be honest, I hadn't realized just how picky the Navy had become. I knew the services had been meeting their accession goals recently (I'm sure the state of the economy contributes to that), but didn't know just how few slots there really were. Some entries from this blog by a New York Navy Officer recruiter has some interesting posts, including this one and this one, excerpted:
Today I saw NRD NY's goal or quota for Fiscal Year 2012 which starts this October. I did a double take. Active Duty General Officer (Pilot, NFO, SWO, Intel, Nuke, CEC, Supply, SEAL, etc.): The goal for ALL of NRD NY is ten. That's right, T.E.N. Out of those ten four were Nukes. What does that mean to me? Well to put it into perspective last year my personal goal was 24, the year prior 31 while the goal for the district has been 65 and 71 respectively. It means that I highly doubt there will be a board for any of these designators until September of next year. There are twenty-six NRDs in the US. Do the math and you'll see they only need 260 Officer Candidates this year which is a joke, in the past it has been well over a thousand.I knew the Navy was drawing down, but this sounds much more serious than I'd realized. Sure, it seems like it would be nice to be able to pick and choose which people you want to join your organization, but I'm worried that we'll end up with several year groups in a row composed only of the people who the recruiters think would make the best Officers -- which, to be honest, might not reflect the characteristics and personality types with whom the non-recruiters among us would most like to serve.
Do you have any advice for the reader about what he might be able to do to impress the recruiter? (Input from current and recent recruiters would be especially useful.) And do you have any concerns about potential blowback from the Navy's new-found freedom to "pick and choose"?
Off topic, kind of: Also on the recruiters blog, here's a report of an E-mail he got from a young officer in the middle of the Nuke pipeline that I thought was interesting. Excerpts:
As it turns out nukes are much needed in the fleet but huge holds are building up in the pipeline. If you recall I was attached to NRD NY for 15 weeks and that was shorter than most people who graduated OCS and were designated as sub nucs (There were ensigns who were on hold for up to 24 weeks). Throughout the 24 weeks here in Charleston no one knew where or when we would be going to prototype or SOBC. For my class, we were issued 3 sets of orders the week before graduation which changed constantly. As of now, everyone took 2 weeks of leave and the sub nukes have to report back to Charleston for 2 months of quality assurance training (some assignment they're experimenting with so we don't go back to OHARP or just sit around and muster daily). Most of us are going to prototype in NY after we report to SOBC with a few who are staying in Charleston (mainly those with families who do not want to keep moving around).