Join the US Navy

Here's a cool boat, I mean ship

Only a VERY few sailors get to ride on one of these, but don't let that deter you from joining.
Only a VERY few sailors get to ride on one of these, but don't let that deter you from joining. | Source

How to join the US Navy

The short version of How to join the Navy goes like this:

  • Watch YouTube videos that cover Navy basic training and Navy life. The basic training experience is one that cannot be replicated by anything in civilian life. Once you are stuck in the middle of the chaos called "boot camp" - it may turn out to be the one thing that causes you to regret your decision to join. All US service basic training programs are much more combat oriented than they were before. Later, after serving for a while, if you are kicking yourself in the behind for joining - you may have watched the wrong videos. The US military offers a great life, but only for those who are capable of putting up with the the associated "fun" involved.
  • Ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question (many will disagree with this, and later, the ones who disagree with the concept will be the ones that you will want to stay away from). The main social media sites are the fastest way to ask questions and have them answered by Navy staff, Navy recruiters, active duty sailors (rubber-meets-the-road type of people), and anyone in general who knows the answer to the question. Facebook offers lightning speed discussions these days.
  • If you can, try to talk to some crusty old sailors. Or, heck, maybe even some crusty young sailors or marines. The guy everyone asked to talk me out of joining the Army in 1979 was a helicopter pilot who had been shot down in Vietnam.
  • Visit a local recruiter - and join - if that's what you want to do with your life.

Things to consider before you visit a recruiter:

  • Haircut and a shave. This is not absolutely necessary, but first impressions are heck if you need a job really bad, aye.
  • Attire (consider wearing nice clothes and a tie - get a clip-on tie if you do not yet know how to tie a tie) (if you are a woman, wear something classy and/or businesslike).
  • Résumé (bring one with you to the recruiting station).
  • Say “petty officer," "sir," "ma'am" (for noncommissioned officers and officers, respectively).
  • Acquire a respectful attitude in general if you do not already have one - the recruiter sitting across the desk from you may be a decorated combat veteran - and/or he may have already sacrificed many years of his family life to serve his country in your stead (you haven't joined yet, remember).
  • Make sure the recruiters understands that you understand that you want to serve your country and that the potential exists for you to die trying.
  • Ditto for ensuring that they know that you know that you will be gone a lot - that you might not see any family that you may have for weeks or many months at a time (kids, spouse, favorite-sister-or-brother-who-you-used-to-fight-with-all-the-time-that-you-will-miss-really-bad-during-basic, all that).
  • If you’re interested in joining for the college money - don’t tell the recruiter that.
  • Pray about your decision if you are religious (if you’re not religious, wait until you are in a gulf somewhere taking incoming enemy fire - then pray about your decision).
  • Study for and take the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Test (the better you score on this test, the better job you will have while serving).
  • If you have something specific that you would like to do later in life, ask about job skills related to that career field, but be flexible if you really want to join because you may be forced to learn new skills.
  • Start doing pushups and situps, and jogging - daily (or at least 3 to 5 times a week) - but check with a doctor first, especially if you’re overweight.
  • If you have ever done drugs or have a history of criminal activity - the US Navy is probably not a good choice (you can try to join, but you will probably be told No).
  • Don’t sign paperwork unless you are absolutely certain that you want to join.
  • If you get seasick - you may want to consider a different US service - although I have heard that all sailors eventually get seasick at least once.

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Comments 6 comments

sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest Author

Deb, I forgot to tell you "thanks for your military service." It is a privilege in America to be able to serve your country in uniform, not everyone gets to do it. Thanks for your service! :-)

sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest Author

Windclimber, I often wish I could have joined all US military services (not really, but the Navy would have been really interesting). And, yes, US military experience is irreplaceable, nothing like it on the planet. The new high-tech stuff the services are experimenting with right now is off the charts, and I love writing about it. Thanks for the comments, and thanks for your service. SK

Windclimber profile image

Windclimber 4 years ago from my boat somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay

A pretty good hub! I did a hitch quite awhile ago, and to this day my old Navy buddies agree: Dickens said it well, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." And I wouldn't trade those years for the world.

Also, you may want to suggest watching (on the internet) the PBS documentary "Carrier." It shows different aspects of life on the carrier Nimitz, complete with interviews with all kinds of sailors. I've watched only a few episodes so far (there are 8 hours!), but I'm impressed with how well done it is.

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida


:) From a family of Navy people this hub was wonderful. Yes it is ture if you spend a year or two on board a boat you will eventually get sick just maybe not sea sick.

Awesome vote up!!


sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest Author

Deb, I'm following a guy who is in Air Force basic right now, and he's telling me they've made it much harder than it was before. I guess all US services are doing a much better job of prepping gals and guys for combat tours during basic training these days. Thanks for the comment. Sean

Deb Welch 4 years ago

Voted Up - Useful, Awesome, & Interesting. I was in the USN - 5 yrs. - a long, long, time ago - when only women as nurses served on ships. I was in the last company of WAVES that attended Boot in Bainbridge, MD (old WWII barracks) - from there they went to new quarters in Orlando, Fla. I am glad I joined and served - actually - as I look back - I should have stayed in and took my 2 yrs. of Isolated /duty in Iceland. Oh well - such is life and the choices we make. Good advice offered in your Hub - wow - Boot Camp is getting much - much tougher. Regimental.

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