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Family Disapproval - what do I do?

SRoque

Registered User
Now that I am seriously considering Navy OCS after school my dad has flipped out on me to the point that it is instigating a falling out.

He's making wild claims that I won't be happy in the Navy that I'm throwing away my life and I'm being disillussioned by (his words) "brainwashed people." He claims I will have no chance of being able to do what I want in the Navy and I won't make it into what I want to. Furthermore, he's even declared that anything anyone tells me about getting a good enough salary to get my college loans paid back or getting grad. school paid are all "lies" and in the end I'll end up wasting the future years of my life for nothing and being miserable - the fact that he called me up yesterday to scream at me through the phone was no help either and now there are doubts in my mind.

Furthermore, he knows that I have been considering the Navy for more than a year and I didn't hear the wild protests he's suddenly given me this weekend - like he's lost his mind.

To you people there - advice: 1. Can you reassure me that he's getting his facts all wrong? 2. Has anyone else had problems getting family blessings for their decision and if so, how have you dealt with it? 3. Can you honestly say that joining was the best decision in your life and you wouldn't take it back for anything?

I ask this because I understand that in signing those papers there's no going back and if there's something I strive to do that I think I would love and have a chance in doing I'd really like to go for it in spite of risks. But my dad is weeding doubts in my head that's making me question my decision.

Any advice, as always, is deeply appreciated.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
He's making wild claims that I won't be happy in the Navy that I'm throwing away my life and I'm being disillussioned by (his words) "brainwashed people."

Some people end up being unhappy in the Navy, some people end up being unhappy no matter what they do in life.

He claims I will have no chance of being able to do what I want in the Navy and I won't make it into what I want to.
What do you want to do in the Navy???


Furthermore, he's even declared that anything anyone tells me about getting a good enough salary to get my college loans paid back or getting grad. school paid are all "lies" .
Decide for yourself- http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/pay/bl06offbasepay.htm

Keep in mind that is only base pay (per month), and doesnt include a housing allowance, flight/sea pay etc. The Medical and dental benifits as well as the retirement programs (50% base pay after 20 years and the reserve retirement program)

Yes, there are ways to get gradschool paid for if you do it on your own time (Graduate Education Voucher, Montgomery GI Bill), or as an assignment (Joint Staff intern, War College etc).


...and in the end I'll end up wasting the future years of my life for nothing and being miserable...
I ask this because I understand that in signing those papers there's no going back and if there's something I strive to do that I think I would love and have a chance in doing I'd really like to go for it in spite of risks. But my dad is weeding doubts in my head that's making me question my decision.

Any advice, as always, is deeply appreciated.
The standard commitment is 4 years active duty, 4 years inactive reserve (someone correct me if its different comming from OCS). Its not the rest of your life. If you decide at the end of the first active duty commitment that you've done your bit for your country and want to leave, your free to go. If you want to stay longer you most likely can.
 

metro

The future of the Supply Corps
You know what, with all due respect to your father, it sounds like he hasn't clue one about what the hell he's talking about. No offense, but he sounds like one of the typical whiny Americans who expect something (freedom and safety) for nothing. It's not his life. It's yours. Only you can know if joining is the right thing to do. I just got back from Charleston AFB and the USS Yorktown tour, and it really hit me that the ocean and the ships of the Navy are home, and that being a sailor was what I was always meant to do, but never knew until fairly recently. Hopefully you will feel the same way, but if you don't, like zippy said, all you are giving up is four years...and I haven't heard of the Navy using the loss-stoppage thing to hold people past their committment like the Army has...we simply don't need to, because the fact of the matter is, most people who join the Navy are happier than pigs in **** with their decision, their job, their salary, and the opportunities they are afforded.

Your story reminds me so much of the book Starship Troopers, and like the main character of that book, do what your gut tells you to do, and know that if your father decides to let his pettiness ruin your relationship, that it's his loss, his fault, and his job to feel the shame for it, and I guarantee he will feel regret and try to make amends before you do.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
We'll you've got no chance of being an aviator unless you apply. Search the threads and you'll probably get a better idea of what the application process is like for OCS...

I'm really not to familiar with the OCS route but,
I believe you put your top 3 choices down on a dream sheet and are selected for one of them (or none of them). After that, then you sign on the dotted line. Like i said before, check out some of the other threads (Search function is great)

With everything, needs of the Navy win. Make it through flight school and you fly what the Navy needed you to fly at the time you selected.

Don't just listen to a couple of peoples opinion, do your own research before you start making decisions for yourself.
 

Whalebite

Registered User
Well im in the Marines, but for your purposes i dont think it matters. What are you doing in DC, u go to school there?
Well my mom was the same way she completely disapproved of me joining, said all the same crap, she tried telling me I couldnt tell my extended family what I do for a living at thanksgiving! So as far as the family thing goes, its your life and you have to do what you want to do, youll be miserable trying to please other people all your life.
As far as getting to do what you want to do, that depends, if you have a guaranteed contract theyr not going to screw you out of it, but other than that it would be the needs of the service, followed by your qualifications, and lastly your wants. As far as salary goes, thats all public record, you can figure out your bills from that. For an O-1 its 2343 in base pay, in pcola its about 15o something in bas and 730 something for bah, you can look up the specific amount. For me its not easy to pay off loans, I had to defer some and do some financial maneuvering to get to a possible budget. As far as grad school, it is possible for the Navy to pay for it, it depends on your career path, and of course the needs of the service. What is largely independent of the service is the GI bill, its 1200$ (100 per month for the first year) and pays off well in the future, you can again look up the details, its a great thing. It can be financially difficult in the first year with uniform payments, gi bill and loans, you can look into deferment.

so to answer your numbers:
1: See above, if you have a contract if you uphold your end they will uphold theirs, other than that it is the needs of the service, the finances are in black in white online.
2:Yup, but my mom has never been approving of anything i do anyway so i really didnt care, my father wanted to do this when he was my age but he didnt have the eyes (or he did but his contract to go to the academy was contingent on his eyes staying at 2020 and they didnt) and most of my family is good with it, my bro is following in my footsteps.
3: Its not top gun, there will be ups and downs, your not signing a contract to give you some fantasy life, but im glad I joined, I wouldnt give it up, and im glad i get the chance to do what im doing.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
To tack on to some already great points... Usually, parents try and look out for their kids, in some form or another. Yeah, I know there's exceptions, but in your case I'm pretty sure they want the best for you. That said, your dad isn't telling you not to join because it's in your best interest. He's telling you because he's being a bit selfish. And it's totally understandable when you see the news day in and day out. He's worried about you, and doesn't want to lose you, whether it's to another "family" or worse (and I think you know what I mean). I'm just saying this based off what you've posted here, so if your dad has a history w/ the service, there might be more there, but overall, that's my take.

As for joining...There are times when it's going to suck. It's hard work, no matter what people tell you. You're going to study your butt off for the next 3 years, and once you're comfortable in your platform (speaking of aviation here), you're going to have to continue to keep your nose in the books, because there's so much info to stay current on (and nuggets that are asking you questions). Deployments are long. You're away from your family during important times (holidays, births, deaths, etc). But...

There's so much to get out of the experience. Whatever you thought your limits were, you'll probably find that they will be expanded (that's a good thing). They hand you a multimillion dollar piece of hardware, tell you what you need to do, and then let you go. It's totally up to you and your crew to make it happen. Talk about freedom. The benefits (money-wise) are pretty substantial now. Medical care alone is a huge thing not to be worrying about. And then there's the people. They're just like you. They want to do their job and have fun. I'd recommend you head over to the "Why Naval Aviation is good" thread. With all the sucky stuff you have to put up with, there's all that stuff in that thread that you get to experience.

As for education, if you go OCS, you'll have something that many don't in the officer corps. A GI Bill to fall back on. Guys coming from ROTC scholarships and the academies don't have that, so the government will want something for their further degree aspirations. With the GI Bill, you're already starting out w/ "free" money.

So, in summary, if you truly want it and are ready to work hard with huge payoffs, go for it. Your family will come around.
 

airgreg

low bypass axial-flow turbofan with AB driver
pilot
Any advice, as always, is deeply appreciated.
To answer your concerns:
You will be paid a decent wage that will cover any reasonable expenses.
You apply for the job (designator/community) that you want.
Service of your country is not "wasting the future years of my life for nothing". I submit that riding a desk for the law firm of Smith, Jones, Clark & Barney could be wasting your future years.
The "brainwashed people" who you will work with will defy the stereotype. They, as a whole, are the most motivated, goal-oriented, independent & critical thinkers I have ever met. They make me feel utterly stupid on a daily basis, and I'm ecstatic to work with them and learn from them.
At family reunions, weddings, social events, old men will beg you to tell them stories and, almost without exception, they will tell you that they wish they did something similar with their life.
Joining the Navy has been the hardest thing I've ever done, and the best thing I've ever done. Expect lots of work, time away from loved ones, relationship stress, hours of bullsh!t work, and the complete satisfaction of knowing you are doing a job that not many can/will do.

In short, your dad has his head up his ass and you should follow your dreams. Best of luck to you.
 

ip568

Registered User
None
>>To you people there - advice: 1. Can you reassure me that he's getting his facts all wrong?
Yes, he is. Navy people far outshine the civilian world in open-mindedness. I found Navy and Marine Corps people to the the best, most decent, most accepting people of all.

>>2. Has anyone else had problems getting family blessings for their decision and if so, how have you dealt with it?

Oh, yes. When I told my mother I wanted to fly in the Navy she was very apprehensive (this was duting Vietnam) but didn't try to stop me (my father had died when I was 15). My aunts went nuts, yelling about how awful the military is and how only losers and psychos would ever volunteer for military duty. My cousins stopped talking to me. I just put my head down and went for it. I never looked back. Now, my mom and aunts are dead and my cousins have "forgiven me" for having spent all those years in the Navy (tho they still have a fit whenever I wear my NRA hat). On the other hand, I just returned from my first squadron's 35 year reunion. It was wonderful.

>>3. Can you honestly say that joining was the best decision in your life and you wouldn't take it back for anything?
Absolutely. I'd love to do it all again (except fro the O Course at Pensacola). The people, the flying, the duty, the travel, the adventures (ok; I don't really want to dodge enemy fire again), the whole package. On many days, suspended over an azure ocean with the Sun coming up after nine hours onsat, I still couldn't believe I was flying a Navy airplane and getting paid to do it.

Your dad is wrong. About the Navy. About earning a living (Navy O pay is ok and the benefits are fine). And about whose life it is.

I think you will find later in life that the single biggest regrets you will have will be having not taken a chance on something that might have been scary but also looked wonderful. Those "what ifs" are a *****. I don't have many.
 

metro

The future of the Supply Corps
>>Those "what ifs" are a *****.
Good point. Don't be that guy who looks back and says "Man, I wish I had done something out of the ordinary with my life...okay, back to filing papers in my 8x10 office without a window."

That was sort of what I was faced with as a business major...I could either go out and work for a greedy corporation and further proliferate the corrupt corporate system that I despise, and look back at myself in 40 years and be ashamed, realizing that I never did anything to help change the world for the better, or I could go and do something fairly similar (I AM a SuppO, after all) for the Navy, but have a feeling that what I did might not have changed the world, but at least helped the people who were trying to change it for the better. Sure, I may never draw down on someone from 500 yards with an M-14, or execute a pinpoint, precise bombing run over an enemy airfield, but chances are I might have helped get that M-14 to that Marine, or provided that Naval Aviator's jet with fuel. Just something to mull over.
 

Fly Navy

...Great Job!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Sounds like your dad either only knows about the military through what the media tells him, or he was in the military and had a bad experience.

He's being selfish either way. It's your life, not his. He may think he's looking out for you, but he's not. It's your life, make it so.

Navy Officer pay is good. I may not make near what I could as an EE, but then again, I get free medical, dental, a house allowance, flight pay, etc. As OCS, which I wasn't, you will even get GI Bill. As a military member in general, you can get tuition assistance and such for grad school. Some of these options exist in the civilian world. You'd be lucky to have a job that offers them.

He may also be scared. Look at the world. There is a good chance you'll go to war, especially in the aviation business. Even then, aviation itself is inherently dangerous. In the year I've spent here in Meridian learning to fly jets, 2 students have died through aviation mishaps.

I would not want to do anything else. Where else can I strap on a 20 million dollar jet and go fly it by myself in formation with 2 of my friends. I'm glad I'm not in the civilian sector, especially in EE. Civilians are too inconsistent with work ethic, or ethics in general, with discipline, etc etc.

If your dad had a bad experience in the military, he needs to come to the present day. My step-father hates the Army, because when he went through it, it was in shambles. He doesn't see the advancements the military in general has made regarding quality of life and quality of people.

Most people on here who have been in your situation, find their parents eventually come aroudn to it and are actually proud, once they soul-search and realize what their child is making himself out to be.

Good luck.

If it's any help, many middle-aged men I talk to today have one very large regret... not serving in the military.
 

gaijin6423

Ask me about ninjas!
Just to add my two cents:

I first enlisted 10 years ago in the Marines. My father, who built briefings for high muck-a-muck USAF general types during Vietnam, has had a bitter taste in his mouth ever since, and he wouldn't even speak to me for 3-4 months after I signed up. Even when he did finally speak to me, it was just to tell me that I was making a huge mistake, I should go to college, I was wasting my life, etc. He was still skeptical after I graduated from bootcamp, but he was proud of me. Seven years later, when he and my mother pinned my 2ndLt bars on after I graduated from USNA, he cried. (For the record, I'm not selling out pops, here; He freely admits that he did so.) And now, he wants to know about every flight I do in HTs. I can't get him to shut up.

I'm not going to espouse crap about how everyone should join the military, yada yada yada. But when I go home and run into someone I knew from high school, there's something missing from their eyes. Whether it's the shared misery we experience, doing and seeing incredible things, the values that are beaten into us, or whatever else may cause it, there's something about the military experience that binds people together, inside themselves and with their commrades in arms.

The Marines took me in, trained me, educated me, and are paying me to do what I've always dreamed of: Fly. More than that, though, the Marine Corps has taught me more about myself than I could have learned in uncountable civilian jobs. Specifically, that I am stronger than I could possibly imagine with my fellow service members by my side. For that, I'll be eternally gratefull.

As for your father... Well, it's not really his decision, now is it? If joining the military is what you need to do, then I say stand up and do it. Be true to who you are, not who your father thinks you should be. I'm willing to bet that your father will come around, but don't be too proud (like i was) too let him.

It ain't a walk in the park, but nothing that's worth it ever is.
 

Tara

VT-6 student
SRoque-
Gather as much info as possible, then sit down and explain your reasons for applying to the Navy. My mom has similar concerns and while she is still worried, having a talk with her has helped her realize that my eyes are open to the pros and cons and that this is what will make me happy. Now, that doesn't stop her from hoping that I won't get accepted (my app is at the Oct pilot board) or trying to convince me that I can find what I'm looking for outside the military, but the candor helps keep our relationship from suffering as a result. Actually, I've probably talked to her more since I decided to apply to the Navy and she has told me that she appreciates that I am willing to talk with her about it. Bottom line, arm yourself with information and be completely open about your motivations and why you decided to apply. If nothing else, go ahead and apply and your dad may come around when he sees that you are happy in what you are doing. Best of luck.
 

lowflier03

So no $hit there I was
pilot
Do what you want to do. Make sure you do your research on your chances, the jobs, etc. Luckily my parents think its the best job ever. I heard something on the radio the other day that puts things into perspective. Sadly, the majority of people in the US hate their jobs. I personally love mine, and I have yet to meet another pilot in the military that doesnt enjoy what they do. Even my other friends in the Navy with other jobs that have bad days, still love it over anything else. You just need to figure out what you really want to do and stick with it. D what will make you happy, dont go through life regretting what could have happened. As for the money, check the payscales, You will be able to live very well. Trust me.
 
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