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38 year old with a Master's in Education

jmiahstewart

New Member
Hey all,

I am 38, turning 39 in February of 2021. Never had military experience. Single father of 2; split custody. I hold a Master's of Science in Education, a Bachelor's in Psychology and have completed 24 credits in Law School. I have been told that at my age, the prospect of going to Officer School is slim. The Navy Recruiter referred me here. Does anyone know if I would be marketable with my credentials at this point? Today is Tuesday, September 15, 2020, for reference...... THANKS!!!
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
It might be worth your while to look at reserve officer programs. I know that's the question you're asking and it's not a full-time second career and some of the programs are different, but there are more programs that are open to your age. Reserve recruiters and active duty recruiters are different people, sometimes in different offices, and the latter aren't always fully knowledgable about the former.
 

loadtoad

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Also to add to the Active vs Reserve questions above were you speaking to an Officer recruiter? Seems like a very piss poor recruiter to not be able to give you this basic feedback.

The answer to if you are marketable is it depends on your work history, GPA, criminal history, etc. (and reserves vs active). In regard to your age, are you trying to finish Law School and come into the JAG Corps? Are you trying to fly? Each program has different requirements and for many you will not be eligible.

There is a wealth of information on this site and 99% of the questions you will have been answered before. The search function is your friend.
 

jmiahstewart

New Member
Are you thinking about going Active or Reserve?
I’ve thought about both - but it was an active duty recruiter that I spoke to yesterday. Really I’m interested in what would benefit me the most financially. As I understand it, there isn’t much incentive in the reserves other than medical insurance. Thanks for your reply by the way.
 

jmiahstewart

New Member
It might be worth your while to look at reserve officer programs. I know that's the question you're asking and it's not a full-time second career and some of the programs are different, but there are more programs that are open to your age. Reserve recruiters and active duty recruiters are different people, sometimes in different offices, and the latter aren't always fully knowledgable about the former.
This is a great suggestion. But would I talk to a Reserve Recruiter or a Reserve Officer Recruiter (if there is such a thing)? Thanks for your help.
 

jmiahstewart

New Member
Also to add to the Active vs Reserve questions above were you speaking to an Officer recruiter? Seems like a very piss poor recruiter to not be able to give you this basic feedback.

The answer to if you are marketable is it depends on your work history, GPA, criminal history, etc. (and reserves vs active). In regard to your age, are you trying to finish Law School and come into the JAG Corps? Are you trying to fly? Each program has different requirements and for many you will not be eligible.

There is a wealth of information on this site and 99% of the questions you will have been answered before. The search function is your friend.
No I was only talking to a regular recruiter (Navy). Not interested in JAG, too old to be a pilot, but I have all these graduate credits that I’d hate to go to waste if I was told that enlisting was my only option. Thanks for your help.
 

AllAmerican75

Back to School!
None
I’ve thought about both - but it was an active duty recruiter that I spoke to yesterday. Really I’m interested in what would benefit me the most financially. As I understand it, there isn’t much incentive in the reserves other than medical insurance. Thanks for your reply by the way.
The Reserves are likely the only way in for you at this point. The military is largely a young man's game for many reasons. You will likely have more options as a DCO Reservist. I've got some friends who joined up that way in their late 30s and early 40s.

If you are in it for the money, there are a lot of options once you're in for active duty orders to fill billets that need filling for months or years (usually anywhere from 4 to 24 months). Those orders would get you activated and serving full time. That being said, you would be spending that time in some less than ideal locations like Bahrain and Djibouti.

This is a great suggestion. But would I talk to a Reserve Recruiter or a Reserve Officer Recruiter (if there is such a thing)? Thanks for your help.
You need to find a Reserve Officer recruiter. They will have the information. These are often officers themselves (sometimes are senior enlisted) and are going to have the answers and connections to community managers.

No I was only talking to a regular recruiter (Navy). Not interested in JAG, too old to be a pilot, but I have all these graduate credits that I’d hate to go to waste if I was told that enlisting was my only option. Thanks for your help.
Sadly, I'm not sure where you fit into the Navy or Reserve DCO programs. If you were under 30, there would be opportunity to take on jobs that don't care about your degree. Since you are older, you need to appeal to the communities that are recruiting DCO Reservists. These are often very specialized fields like JAG, medical, dental, Intel, and I think the IP/IW community as well. Your degree is likely to hold you back unless you have special skills that you bring to the table such as language, cultural experience, and technical knowledge.

That said, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. If you really want it, make Big Navy tell you "No!" I would also recommend looking into the National Guard and Air Guard. The Guard tends to be more lax with age restrictions and might have more opportunities for you. Again, speak to an officer recruiter.

EDIT: I tried to find some links to specific links to Reserve recruiters, but couldn't find any. Also, the Navy's recruiting website is pure garbage. Go here (https://www.navy.com/local) and find the officer recruiter nearest you. They are not as common as enlisted recruiters. The option is to reach out to your local NOSC/Reserve Center (Map is here: https://www.public.navy.mil/nrh/Pages/nosc-locator-map.aspx) and see if they can set you up with a specific Reserve recruiter.
 
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Hair Warrior

New Member
I am a direct commission reserve officer. Welcome to the site.

You stated "Really I’m interested in what would benefit me the most financially." I can tell you right now that being a reserve naval officer is not a financial boon - most of us are not in it for the money. For example, a full seabag costs over $1k (but the Navy only gives you $400, and it takes a while to receive it). Intangibly, the Navy Reserve absolutely detracts from my day job and family time, and I make trade-off decisions there that aren't money-maximizing choices, either.

You should probably talk to a reserve recruiter to understand all of your options. You are not competitive for IWC officer designators unless you have significant IT/intelligence experience that you haven't shared with us yet. You could possibly apply for HR DCO or Chaplain DCO (if you are religious) but unless you have direct HR experience and certifications, you aren't competitive for HR. Just because you have graduate credits doesn't mean they are of any use to the Navy - it really depends on the field of study, and the needs of the Navy.

Based on the information you presented, and your stated goal of financial benefits, your best option is probably to just focus on your law school and become a lawyer. Entry level lawyers can make six figures where I live - especially if they consent to being overworked to the tune of 60-80 hour work weeks, which is rarely compatible with Navy Reserve obligations.

Lastly, just a thought for you to take onboard, officer applicants don't look for others to spoon-feed them their options, or convince them why they should join up.
 

ABMD

Bullets don't fly without Supply
DCO = Direct Commission Officer, meaning you do not attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) after college.

I too an a DCO.
 

ah87

New Member
@Hair Warrior and @ABMD is Public Affairs DCO still a thing?
I'm going to jumped in here to answer what I know about the PA DCO program (designator? Pardon me if my lingo is wrong), although I will lead off with the disclaimer that I am at the very beginning of my DCO process and only know as much as my recruiter and my daily Google searches have told me.

Yes, Public Affairs DCO is still a thing. I am currently working with an officer recruiter for Intel, but my original interest (due to my degree; English) was Public Affairs. My recruiter told me that Public Affairs was almost impossible to get into, even with extensive work experience in media relations (which I don't have), and suggested that I pursue Intel instead, as it would be my best shot at commissioning. It just so happens that Navy Intel has always been my dream, so I jumped at the chance to pursue this, but I had originally contacted him with PAO in mind. I was unsure of my qualifications for Intel, as I don't have a sought after degree or work experience in a related field, but he seemed confident that it didn't matter, and, in skimming his FB page (creepy that FB brought him to my attention based on emails sent), it appears that Intel DCO applicants are highly sought after right now. With that said, and the reason I bring that up, is maybe PAO is really as difficult to get into as my recruiter says, or maybe he's just trying to fill spots for Intel since he's been pushing that pretty aggressively on FB; either way, I'm perfectly happy (thrilled, actually) to be pursuing Intel instead. Based on AMBD's answer, however, and taking my recruiter at his word, perhaps PAO's just aren't in demand so their acceptance rate is few and far between?

Then again, I could very well know nothing about nothing in this regard. Just basing my observations off what I have been told and have read online.
 

Hair Warrior

New Member
Almost all DCO communities have a 10% selection rate or lower. None of the DCO programs are a good fit for someone who isn’t already directly qualified for that job in quantifiable ways that the DCO Board will find compelling. Last year, the IWC DCO Board left billets on the table because they didn’t want to commission candidates who they felt weren’t ready. The purpose of all DCO programs is to augment and enhance the Navy with leaders and experts who need as little training as possible to be successful as a naval officer in that specific field.

Correction: the DCO programs with the highest selection rates are in Navy Medicine. They are still offering large sign-on bonuses for current RNs, MDs, and DDSs to join.

@Griz882 Yes, DCO PAO is still active. They select about three to five new Ensigns a year, and many of them are prior enlisted or have significant private sector or government expertise.
 

AULANI

Well-Known Member
Hey all,

I am 38, turning 39 in February of 2021. Never had military experience. Single father of 2; split custody. I hold a Master's of Science in Education, a Bachelor's in Psychology and have completed 24 credits in Law School. I have been told that at my age, the prospect of going to Officer School is slim. The Navy Recruiter referred me here. Does anyone know if I would be marketable with my credentials at this point? Today is Tuesday, September 15, 2020, for reference...... THANKS!!!
I was 39 when I went through OCS. Due to my age I was only eligible for 1830/Intel. I have 3 small kids too. Good luck!
 
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