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37 with no prior service and a non-STEM masters degree...Enlist? OCS?

Reservist

Well-Known Member
AW,

A quick update...

I took the OAR and got a 53. That was not a fun experience... I believe this score still qualifies me for Intel, even though it may not be super competitive. I'll try to get a strong package together and see how it goes in March!

I haven't ruled out the reserve options. It might be the perfect way to move forward if I run out of time for selection.

Cheers,
I think there's a way forward with this if you are serious - but I think a very good place to start would be enlisting in the navy reserve as intel specialist. And don't be close to the Army - the Army is big. What the Navy says no to - the Army says yes routinely. They just need more people.
 

Hair Warrior

JO 1835
Contributor
Unless you have Intel-related work experience I wouldn’t waste your time applying for DCO Intel.
The odds are certainly in your favor if you’ve done intel, but I know of several JO 1835s who earned a direct commission with no intel background. Thinking of a couple lawyers, a history PhD, a scientist without a graduate degree, a finance person, and a Hill staffer, just off the top of my head. It can be done and there is a path, albeit uphill.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
I think there's a way forward with this if you are serious - but I think a very good place to start would be enlisting in the navy reserve as intel specialist. And don't be close to the Army - the Army is big. What the Navy says no to - the Army says yes routinely. They just need more people.
Not if he wants to be an officer. The most difficult way with the least amount of success at gaining a commission for anyone already meeting the requirements is enlisting.
 

Sculpin

Well-Known Member
Unless you have Intel-related work experience I wouldn’t waste your time applying for DCO Intel.
This should be the first thing every Navy DCO applicant is told: pertinent work experience is vital. With regards to Intel, I've seen some analyst types on this board without intel-related work experience get picked up (eg. financial analysts), and it looks like OP has made a career out of something in financial services.
 

Reservist

Well-Known Member
The odds are certainly in your favor if you’ve done intel, but I know of several JO 1835s who earned a direct commission with no intel background. Thinking of a couple lawyers, a history PhD, a scientist without a graduate degree, a finance person, and a Hill staffer, just off the top of my head. It can be done and there is a path, albeit uphill.
I think you are realistic about what can be done here Hair Warrior! JLew - I say go for it, but with eyes wide open.

I'm one of those that gained the 1835 direct commission - just recently selected actually. I did have about 9 years enlisted time in the reserve as an intel spec, a law degree, and some significant personal awards from deployment. It took me two tries before being selected for 1835.

I had also applied to active JAG a few times and was not selected. Commissioning can be very competitive. Intel - I was seriously competitive because of my intel back ground. I agree intel background helps and suggest enlisting in the reserve to gain some experience.

I really never had a shot a JAG. I went to a lower ranked law school and graduated near the bottom on my class. Even with a bronze star, that doesn't get you into JAG these days. My undergrad BA is respectable. But I was a terrible law student, but I passed the bar 1st shot. I went to law school with a full time job, two kids, a reserve gig - not even really sure how I went to law school - I see the perseverance as strengths, but strength is a lot easier to sell on paper when you say 1st of 50 as opposed to 40th of 50.

But I say it again, if JLEW is serious, there is a way. All kinds of people will tell you no. They may suggest ways that are better in their minds to do this. They may nay say and never suggest an alternative. There's a lot to sort through. Getting in is possible. Getting in as an officer with a Direct Commission is very hard. Not impossible, but enlisting is not all that hard in the reserve. I think it could open some doors for you. Time ticks with age, but there are ways to go form enlisted to officer on the reserve side with the Direct Commission and LDO. Frankly - being a Chief is pretty cool too if it doesn't work out.

If this guy wants to do it, I think there's a way. Good luck JLew. If you don't try, you'll never know. And frankly - it really isn't that hard to quit if you don't dig it.
 
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RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
This should be the first thing every Navy DCO applicant is told: pertinent work experience is vital. With regards to Intel, I've seen some analyst types on this board without intel-related work experience get picked up (eg. financial analysts), and it looks like OP has made a career out of something in financial services.
You could argue data analytics can related as “Intel experience”.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
I'm one of those that gained the 1835 direct commission - just recently selected actually. I did have about 9 years enlisted time in the reserve as an intel spec, a law degree, and some significant personal awards from deployment. It took me two tries before being selected for 1835.
Different story when you have work experience. For what the OP mentioned, he doesn’t. His options are to apply for an OCS program (Intel) or enlist, HOPE he can get an IWC enlisted rate, work his way up and then submit for IWC DCO.
 

egiv

Well-Known Member
AW,

A quick update...

I took the OAR and got a 53. That was not a fun experience... I believe this score still qualifies me for Intel, even though it may not be super competitive. I'll try to get a strong package together and see how it goes in March!

I haven't ruled out the reserve options. It might be the perfect way to move forward if I run out of time for selection.

Cheers,
Aww, and we were all geared up to say 'told you so' after your first 'being enlisted sucks' post.

But seriously, good choice - take the time to put together a good package. Guys with non-Navy life experience have a lot to add to a wardroom.
 

Hair Warrior

JO 1835
Contributor
Different story when you have work experience. For what the OP mentioned, he doesn’t. His options are to apply for an OCS program (Intel) or enlist, HOPE he can get an IWC enlisted rate, work his way up and then submit for IWC DCO.
I respectfully disagree for Reserve Intel. We don’t know too much about this particular hopeful (no resume given), but there are always DCO selects with zero prior intel experience on every IWC DCO board. Yes, all of them are very, very smart on other topics in ways that are readily transferable. And yes, most of them have to apply more than once to get selected.

Also, everyone starts at zero upon commissioning. Sometimes the non prior service with no intel background do amazing things in RNIOBC and out in the fleet.
 
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egiv

Well-Known Member
Also, everyone starts at zero upon commissioning. Sometimes the non prior service with no intel background do amazing things in RNIOBC and out in the fleet.
Concur - and conversely, I've met reservists with a very impressive resume and civilian job who are crappy Officers because they think they already know everything. Being an Ensign is a humbling experience; prior experience can add a lot of value and perspective, but it doesn't predetermine success.
 

AllAmerican75

Back to School!
None
AW,
A quick update...
I took the OAR and got a 53. That was not a fun experience... I believe this score still qualifies me for Intel, even though it may not be super competitive. I'll try to get a strong package together and see how it goes in March!
I haven't ruled out the reserve options. It might be the perfect way to move forward if I run out of time for selection.
Cheers,
I'm late to the party but I'll weigh in with my $0.02:

Do NOT enlist! You will be miserable. I know quite a few guys and have had the privilege to lead quite a few Sailors who were in their mid to late 30s when they enlisted. Not a single one made it past their initial enlistment. A few of them had college degrees but most didn't and EVERY single dude resented the mass amounts of bullshit they had to deal with as junior (E4 and below) enlisted and even the dudes who made E5 hated being told what to do by guys much younger than them; me included. It will grind you down and you will feel very alone.

Also, your recruiter is bullshitting you about making E5 and E6 so quickly. Even if your rate did have promotion rates that good, you'll be surrounded by E5s and E6s so you'll be doing the gruntwork anyway. Also, those rates tend to be stagnant for a while waiting to get picked up for chief. If you can't get straight answers, ask his boss or call the recruiting district for the direct line to an officer recruiter. Many enlisted recruiters don't have a lot of knowledge about officer programs and many of the smaller communities (like DCO) have specialty recruiters and accessions managers.

Your best bet right now is to either get picked up on active duty as an intel/IW/IP/Supply bubba or go DCO as a reservist. These communities are hurting for people with technical management skills (which is what you're being hired to do). I know quite a few people who've gotten picked up for DCO in their late 30s (even one over 40) and they were great dudes. Remember, you're not getting hired to be a wizkid electronics tech, you're getting hired because you have a special skill set and technical knowledge that the Navy needs. They are expecting you to use that knowledge in managing Sailors or civilians.

Many people who recommend that you go enlisted before you go officer do not appreciate the huge difference between the skill sets and the job descriptions. I've had Sailors complain that they want officers who all "cool" or who "get what it's like to be enlisted" but I've seen those same guys turn around and complain how prior-enlisted officers "forgot where they came from." You're never going to win that fight. Focus on being competent, taking care of admin paperwork on time, and letting your dudes skate out early every now and then.

Good luck.
 

Hair Warrior

JO 1835
Contributor
Remember, you're not getting hired to be a wizkid electronics tech, you're getting hired because you have a special skill set and technical knowledge that the Navy needs. They are expecting you to use that knowledge in managing Sailors or civilians.
Shack. And in fact, you are often not even selected for DCO for your skills - you are selected because you have demonstrated leadership experience and you are trainable.

For 18X5 designators, IWTC instructors don’t care if you have an MBA from Harvard or Stanford, because you still need to learn naval C4ISR concepts like everyone else. If you stand up and always brief only what you know from your civilian world, you aren’t learning the material and you aren’t getting better. Same goes for prior enlisted who specialized in one field (e.g. their C school) and now need to generalize beyond it. “You did Army HUMINT. Great, now go learn maritime opintel and recce this submarine.”

It can sometimes be a bucket of cold water that, as an officer with a master’s degree, you aren’t being selected to merely use your existing skills. The exception to this in Navy DCO would probably be the nurse corps and Navy medicine. If you’re a nurse, the Navy hires you to be a nurse.
 
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It can sometimes be a bucket of cold water that, as an officer with a master’s degree, you aren’t being selected to merely use your existing skills. The exception to this in Navy DCO would probably be the nurse corps and Navy medicine. If you’re a nurse, the Navy hires you to be a nurse.
Also, CWE (1845) is a highly technical role that you'll be actually do all of the technical work, not necessarily manage others as a JO. But that generally requires someone who is highly skilled and they're expected to hit the ground running pretty much right out of ODS. This was the first area I looked into and they wanted people with 5+ years of kernel programming, assembly, C, etc (which are immensely niche skills). None of this is applicable to the OP though, of course.
 

JLew

Member
AW,

Thanks again for all the great feedback. My package is about complete and will be submitted at the end of this week. Only time will tell...

Enlisted hasn't gotten any real support, so it looks like that should only be a "nuclear" option in my case.

FS
 
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