• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Family Disapproval - what do I do?

navy2014

Member
Never really checked this thread out... was kind of avoiding it. I've dealt with this a lot in the last 15 months. It honestly surprised me who had a problem with my plan and who didn't, and the reasons they gave. I've always been pretty distant from a lot of my family, though, so only one person really had an effect on my decision. I gave in and spent 9 months or so trying to figure out something else I could do, but between life circumstances and the fact that the Navy had gotten in my head, I feel like I don't really have a choice. Well, I have one, but I don't want one. So, I'm doing it, because it's pretty clear to me that if I don't I will never stop thinking about how I should have when the time was right.
 

Heinz57

Member
My parents weren't thrilled when I joined the Navy back in 2002. They were upset, but I was 19, and I was determined to do what I wanted, so I enlisted against their guidance. Fast forward to 2014...I have my bachelor's degree courtesy of the Navy. I received a commission and am now an O-2E, and I'm a winged NFO flying Rhinos. I make more than enough money to support my wife and son and be happy, and my parents are elated at what the Navy has given me. I'll say that besides my wife and son, the Navy was the best thing to ever happen in my life. Sometimes it takes hindsight for some people to realize what the best choice was at the time. Just because they are older, wiser, etc, doesn't mean our parents know everything. Do what will make you happy, work your ass off, and if your parents can't be proud of that there is something wrong with them.
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
My parents weren't thrilled when I joined the Navy back in 2002. They were upset, but I was 19, and I was determined to do what I wanted, so I enlisted against their guidance. Fast forward to 2014...I have my bachelor's degree courtesy of the Navy. I received a commission and am now an O-2E, and I'm a winged NFO flying Rhinos. I make more than enough money to support my wife and son and be happy, and my parents are elated at what the Navy has given me. I'll say that besides my wife and son, the Navy was the best thing to ever happen in my life. Sometimes it takes hindsight for some people to realize what the best choice was at the time. Just because they are older, wiser, etc, doesn't mean our parents know everything. Do what will make you happy, work your ass off, and if your parents can't be proud of that there is something wrong with them.
Great post, now go to the wings request thread and ask that your "double anchors" be added under your avatar!;)
BzB, fellow Mustang
 

Farmer Bob

Just a simple man.
I've been hit with the double whammy. It has been an uphill battle with my family about joining the Navy. Everyone in my family believes it is a waste of my talents. That my earning potential will be limited and in addition to that I will be away for long periods of time. However being a Naval Officer is all I have ever wanted. It has taken me awhile to get over their criticisms, but with family disapproval you get to a tipping point where you either understand their point of view or realize that it is your life and you only get one shot at it. I think the most difficult part that parents and friends don't understand is the core desire of wanting to serve. Trying to explain that is hard because you always are hit with statements such as, "You won't have as many freedoms anymore" , "The government will own you" , and my favorite "Do you have a death wish?". The biggest thing for me and getting past the relentless negativity of my family was just to focus on why I wanted this so bad. My selection board is October 29th, 2014 so fingers crossed I get picked up as a Naval Flight Officer... that being said my MOS recently has sparked controversy itself..

This is where the second whammy comes in though. Now that my family has finally stopped bothering me about joining the Navy there is a new issue. My uncle is a former USAF fighter pilot and he believes if I get accepted and become an NFO it will be the kiss of death. He doesn't think they get the advancement opportunities like pilots do. Plus he doesn't see a job market for them after the Navy. So my question is if there are any NFOs, either current or veterans, out there who could help me out I'd be greatly appreciative. I've read about NFOs getting their stars and a lot of people in aviation I talk to tell me how their squadron was led by an NFO so I have a feeling advancement is possible but what I don't know is post Navy career. I read a lot of things about what NFOs can/ are qualified to do however being qualified for something and actually doing it are two different things. I want to have an idea of what NFO typically does once out.

Personally I think being an NFO would be killer. I don't have the eyes to be a pilot and initially that bothered me a little but the possibility of being an Naval Officer in the aviation field I believe is an honor. Aviation is the future and I cannot imagine anyone turning a position down in this field.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
...My uncle is a former USAF fighter pilot and he believes if I get accepted and become an NFO it will be the kiss of death. He doesn't think they get the advancement opportunities like pilots do. Plus he doesn't see a job market for them after the Navy. So my question is if there are any NFOs, either current or veterans, out there who could help me out I'd be greatly appreciative. I've read about NFOs getting their stars and a lot of people in aviation.....I want to have an idea of what NFO typically does once out.
Are there a lot of civilian NFO jobs? No, but there are plenty of jobs that NFO's do after getting out to include lawyer, civil service, engineer, business, banking, beach bum, reserve bum, program management, small business owner and even airline pilot among many others. Unlike USAF Nav's Navy NFO's are treated equally in the Navy with the same chances of promotion and command. Need any more proof? ADM Harry Harris Jr., a P-3 NFO, was just nominated to be Commander, USPACOM. He would be the second NFO to be in charge of a combatant command.
 

Farmer Bob

Just a simple man.
Are there a lot of civilian NFO jobs? No, but there are plenty of jobs that NFO's do after getting out to include lawyer, civil service, engineer, business, banking, beach bum, reserve bum, program management, small business owner and even airline pilot among many others. Unlike USAF Nav's Navy NFO's are treated equally in the Navy with the same chances of promotion and command. Need any more proof? ADM Harry Harris Jr., a P-3 NFO, was just nominated to be Commander, USPACOM. He would be the second NFO to be in charge of a combatant command.

Flash, I am happy you responded. I feel like my Uncle believes what is the point of being in Aviation if you don't fly once you're out. Its been a mix bag with the reactions I've got when I tell people I'm going NFO. My buddy in the marines training to be a pilot says there isn't going to be NFOs in the future. At the same time I talked to an old academy grad who was an NFO and he said he wish he never left the service that being an NFO was awesome. I've been encouraged to try USAF and Coast Guard to see if I could qualify to be a pilot but honestly I couldn't see myself in any other branch. All the Navy aviation folk I've talked to have said NFOs and Pilots are treated as equals with the occasional teasing every now and then.

I want my biggest stresses for now to be as follows 1) Getting accepted 2) Getting through OCS and 3) Getting through flight school. I hate being plagued with crazy questions like what will I do afterwards when I am not even in yet however I do like to know being an NFO is marketable to the civilian world. Hopefully though that won't be a thought in my head for at least 20 years down the line. Thanks again though Flash. Very appreciative.
 

ltedge46

Lost in the machine
None
my earning potential will be limited and in addition to that I will be away for long periods of time.
First of all, these statements are true, sort of. As a service member you earn a salary just like anyone else in a full time job but you don't get to walk into the bosses office and say "I feel like I'm working harder than everyone else so I think I deserve a raise", as a LT you get what every other O3 in the military gets as a base salary, whether they're special forces, ship drivers, AF admin officers, or basketball handlers at the gym. There are special pays and bonuses etc, but your base pay is the same. However, you do get a raise when you promote, meet certain time gates, yearly COLA raises etc that civilians do not get and the job security is pretty good if you keep your nose clean.

You will be away for long periods of time. That's both a con and a pro. If you have a family and have to go to the desert, it sucks, but you may be flying operationally and dropping live ordnance which makes up for it a little bit. If you're single(or married) and get to visit places like Singapore, Perth, Naples, St. Maarten, Antigua, Hong Kong, Seychelles etc etc, it's a pretty fricken good time. If you don't like to travel, the Navy is not for you.

The Navy is like any other job, sometimes it sucks and you hate it. Other times it's awesome and you can't believe they actually pay you to do it.

As for being an NFO, it's a great gig and there's no shortage of promotion opportunities. My boss is a 3 star admiral who got his NFO wings in 1981. Lots of people say NFO's won't be needed in the future, there are also a lot of people that say pilots won't be needed either. The truth is, neither of us are going away anytime soon so why worry about what might happen 20 years from now, you've got plenty of time to get your wings and do something good.

As Flash said, there aren't many true NFO jobs in the civilian world, but you'll have plenty of leadership and management experience when you decide to get out. Our ground skills as military officers are also recognized by the corporate world.

In the end, you have to decide what is right for you and how much dissension from your family you are willing to endure. The top 3 priorities you listed are spot on, according to your profile, your application is in so good luck!
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
...My buddy in the marines training to be a pilot says there isn't going to be NFOs in the future...
The Marines plan to retire their last aircraft with NFO's in 2019 or so but the future for NFO's in the Navy is pretty secure for the next generation.
 
Last edited:

ea6bflyr

Working Class Bum
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I know plenty of NFOs that had their private pilot's license and when they left the Navy, they went to fly for the airlines. I have fellow NFOs that fly for all the major airlines......some of them had to start in regional jets then worked their way up.

@wink is a former S-3 NFO flying for the airlines.
 

swampertness

New Member
I didn't join the navy yet, but my parents are the same. They believe the only way to succeed and be happy in life is to have a civilian job. For me, I really don't care what my parents think. My passion has always been aviation, and I plan on becoming a nfo. My advice is to go to college and join the nrotc program. I heard it is less intense than OCS since it's spread out over 4 years, and you also get a college degree and major in a subject in case the navy doesn't work out.
 

Farmer Bob

Just a simple man.
In the end, you have to decide what is right for you and how much dissension from your family you are willing to endure. The top 3 priorities you listed are spot on, according to your profile, your application is in so good luck!
ltedge46, I thank you for your advice and point of view. I, myself, am sold on the Navy. Seeing the world and being a part of an organization that will certainly not disappear over night would be an awesome feeling. I think the two biggest things working against me at home are military inexperience and the media. While my uncle was in the USAF, he was a wild card, the rest of my family isn't military so they can only form opinions based on the stories of others. However all the desire to be apart of the Navy doesn't equip me with the tools to answer all their questions. So, once again I am very appreciative for you voicing your experience. I am also happy to hear about the pay and promotions. That being said I never feared much about the pay because I've never seen a poor military officer. Always looked like a survivable income.
Flash, my recruiter touched on this lightly. However he was saying even though the Navy and Marines work together that just because one goes one way doesn't mean the other will follow. I just didn't know if there was any talk in the naval aviation community that the Navy would follow that course soon after.
swampertness, I graduated college last December and began my application in January (I was too round for the Navy so I ran ran ran) I turned in my application in May but my recruiter failed to submit it and when the June selection board came I got an apologetic phone call... Asshat... anyway I am all submitted now (or at least that is the story). I've heard mixed bags about NROTC. I kind of liked not going that route because I liked doing my own thing in college plus I view commissioning programs like running. I'd rather try to get it done as quickly as possible than to drag it out. However that's just my point of view. All I would say is to jedi mind trick your parents. I talked about going into the Navy for a long time, when I was 19 I lived my life to SEAL specifications and planned on enlisting but I talked to an retired Naval Officer and back to college I went. My point is, what I learned is the more I talked about it the more they fought me. The more I acted on it though the faster they stopped hounding me on it. Parents just want their kids to be and if the Navy makes them happy then they will adjust. That being the comments will be never, they'll just become less frequent.

Once again I thank you all for your input. I feel like pre-selection board nerves got the best of me and I just needed these questions put to rest so I could have peace of mind. Thanks again.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
There is only one civilian job a former Navy pilot is qualified to do that a NFO can't (without additional training), and that is professional pilot. Big deal, one career out of thousands. I'd be willing to bet there are more former military pilots wanting to be employed as pilots waiting for a job flying than there are former NFOs in the unemployment line. If the only reason to join the military is to set yourself up for an obvious, seamless transition to the same type of work in the civ world, we wouldn't have Submariners, Infantry Officers, or any real military at all. And if the only way to become a pro pilot was to give up 8-10 years of your life in the military then we wouldn't have half the airline pilots we have. I can see family not being too enthusiastic about a loved one going into a potentially hazardous job of any sort. But I can't respect family not appreciating, being proud of a loved one wanting to serve in the military. It is an honor to serve as an officer in the military and be entrusted with the lives of someone else's brother or daughter, let alone millions of dollars of equipment. The military isn't for everyone. That is OK. But to stand in the way of a family member who wants to serve because it is beneath them, to reap the benefits of others who serve and not support someone who wants to do their part, is contemptible. Sorry if that describes your family. Oh, and your USAF uncle sounds like an ignorant unimaginative fellow who is best left to a career as a stick monkey and nothing more.
 

Farmer Bob

Just a simple man.
But to stand in the way of a family member who wants to serve because it is beneath them, to reap the benefits of others who serve and not support someone who wants to do their part, is contemptible. Sorry if that describes your family. Oh, and your USAF uncle sounds like an ignorant unimaginative fellow who is best left to a career as a stick monkey and nothing more.
I think that is the most frustrating part of my situation. At first I didn't understand how I had such a different mindset from my family on this. As hard as I tried though I couldn't grasp their point of view. I'm educated, young, strong, drug-free, not married and I have no kids. Had I not been born in America I can't say I would've turned out the same way. I believe I am a Patriot and am greatly appreciative of the sacrifices of those before me. It is a no-brainer, when I leave this life I want to be remembered as someone who took some but gave more. If this wasn't what I truly wanted to do in life I could easily see myself becoming discouraged from what my family has said. I commented on this discussion to answer my own questions so more people in my situation can see they're not the only ones. Ultimately I applied because I couldn't see myself happy if I didn't even try to pursue my dream. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't nervous about getting accepted but I believe I am a good applicant. I can say if I'm accepted as an NFO that ink will hit that contract in record timing.

As for my uncle, he is a nut. He has been flying for over 30 years and can't imagine being in a plane and not at the controls.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
My take on it is the military is one of the few good ways to break out of the "need experience to get a job - need a job to get experience" catch-22 so common these days. There's very few new college grads who hit the ground running in their chosen career and never look back. Most companies aren't willing to train new hires; they want someone ready to do the job on day one. I think that's a shitty way to do it, but no one cares what I think.

The military gives you a way to build a respectable resume and some actual experience while earning a handsome paycheck (and O-1 pay/benefits really are pretty good, compared to the average new-grad salary), not to mention opportunities for paid grad work, etc and so on. Yeah, there's a huge ball of strings attached to all of that, but it's still a pretty good deal compared to all the others out there.
 
Top