A BA in psychology is useless in securing a Staff Corps billet. (In English, that getting a job to fit your degree).
The best you can hope for is a Line Officer billet. Line Officers are those who are on the track to take command. Line Officers, in the Navy, are generalists. They get whatever position is thrown their way. You might be a communications officer, or a schedules officer, or serve in any of a variety of capacities. But you won't be in the Medical Corps (MD), the Nurse Corps, Civil Engineering, Dental, probably not even in the "Medical Services Corps."
I met quite a few female Navy Officers while in the DC area. One of them, and this was a few years ago told me, "I realize I'm a woman in what's traditionally been a 'man's world' and that I have to do twice the job a man has to do to get the same recognition." Then she'd add with kind of a smirk, "And I do it." And she did. She was consistently recommended for "deep selection" -- simplistically, that's being selected for promotion before the rest of those in your class. She swam in a Navy meet in San Diego and a Master's meet in (I think) Texas. In the Navy meet she took a firs, two seconds and a third... and she was the only woman swimming. At the Master's meet she took women's "High Point" for her age group.... all by herself.
I was in a combat unit. We didn't have women in our outfit. Back then, and it's probably still true to a large extent, women were looked on as kind of "second class citizens" when it came to the military. Most weren't anywhere near as fit as guys were because the military, to accommodate the "Libbers," had to lower the standards so women could get in. I think the "Libbers" kind of shot themselves in the foot with that one. They effectively said, "We can't compete on an equal basis with men, so why force us to try? You have to give us a set of easier physical requirements." As a result there are a lot of fields where women are not even allowed to try out.
In my experience, female Navy Officers seem to be better educated, more refined, and, I guess, more feminine than the female officers in the other branches.
I think women kind of have to do it better and cleaner than guys. If they don't, they seem not to be taken too seriously.
You don't want to date within your chain of command... upwards or downwards. It's been done, and sometimes without repercussions... but the chances of any good coming from it are slim.
I've known of officers dating enlisted personnel outside their command. There are rules against fraternization. But I believe the Navy's intent is not to thwart romance, but to prevent undue influence... such as an officer calling to get his or her date off watch early, or maybe getting his/her SO good duty, or assigned with him or her. But in the few instances I know of wherein it's "worked out," both remained 4.0 sailors, maintained a distinct separation between their personal and Navy lives -- didn't even talk on the phone in the office, weren't demonstrative in public -- even when in civilian clothes and away from the office.
The problem dating outside your chain of command, there's always the chance that one day that situation might change.
I was in for 25 years. I enlisted with a BA in math at age 20. About four years later, when I would have had to extend or reenlist for my E-6, somebody dusted off my degree and recommended me for OCS. I like to think it was because I was such a good sailor, my good taste, my impeccable good looks, my wit and charm, and my proven leadership ability -- and, of course, my humility tempered only with my honesty. But it was probably they were starting a new program and they needed young officers with my training involved in it. In any case, I took the offer and retired at 45.
I got a couple more degrees, mostly on the GI Bill, and started a second career managing government projects on the West Coast for a management consulting firm. I landed that position because of my military background, my education, and a recent security clearance. I retired from that job after 12 years. Now I had my pension, the income from my retirement fund. While working for the consulting firm I purchased a house on a VA-insured loan and paid it off in ten years. Last year I rented my place to an officer from a nearby Air Force base and moved into a Veterans Home. The rental income more than pays for my fees here at the Home. My medical and dental are taken care of. The food's better than I was making for myself. Because I'm retired, I can travel just about anywhere in the world... for free. Entertainment here is free. Saw Bill Cosby and The Smothers Brothers, and a couple of other shows for free. The public can come too... and they do... but it costs them about $80 a pop. My only expenses are my car, my cell phone, and my internet access. And the internet access is shortly going to be free as well.
Would I do it again? I advise people who're trying to make the decision to go and look in the mirror. Take a good look at the person looking back at you. Parents, spouses, children, family, friends, kibitzers like those of us on YA... we come and go in your life. But that girl looking back at you from the mirror is going to be there for the duration. She's the one you have to keep happy.
Would do it again? I still look in the mirror. It's habit after a lot of years. The old goat looking back at me doesn't smile much anymore. He's got this big, stupid grin... ;-D
Yeah... in a heartbeat.
Answered By: gugliamo00 - 4/7/2009