Firstie Service Selection

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by greeneagle5, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    What's the usual SOP and due dates for processing a Firstie's "Dream Sheet", and when will they hear their selection results ?
    Thanks and GO NAVY !
     
  2. breadcrumbs

    breadcrumbs Member

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    Last year Service Selection Day was Dec. 1st for '11. Submission of choices in order from 1-6 was done online and I think it was early Sept.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Selections go in this coming Tuesday through Sunday.
    Tentatively we're finding out what we got either November 30 or December 7, but that might change.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    That's a long time to be holding one's breath, so to speak. In our day, we walked up on SS night in January in order of merit and picked -- service and (for some) class date. All on one fell swoop. It was a very tense (for some) and exciting night, but all done at once.

    Not sure if the new system is better or "worse," but it is different.
     
  5. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    You know, I never recall filling out any kind of preference card regarding service selection while a midshipman at the Naval Academy (circa 70's).

    Prior to service selection they informed us all of our order-of-merit. On service selection night, they would call out about 20 numbers at a time, starting from the top. When our number was called, we proceeded to Memorial Hall where they had tables set up for the various service selections. You just walked over to the table and said, "I want to be a Marine." They would shake your hand and that would be that! If you wanted to fly, you go over to Navy Air desk. I sincerely do not recall any quota ever being invoked.

    At the same time, you would pick your stash job, flight school date, ship and everything else associated with service selection. When I walked out of there I knew that I was going Navy Air, that my flight school started on September 13th in Pensacola and that, in the interim, I was to attend Aviation Maintenance Officer (AMO) School at NAS Memphis. In fact, it would have been OK to have a complete change of heart at the last second and pick something different.

    Nowadays, service selection is a completely different experience. I can't even relate to it. Disappointments seem to be much more common.
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    That's definitely different. It seems weird that the different communities (especially Marines) would be cool with Mids just choosing completely on their own without any direct input from the company officer or officers in that community.

    I'd say most people now know how good their chances are at getting what they want, so it's very stressful, but not a complete shot in the dark. The guys and girls on the margin lines for their top choice, however, are sweating bullets. I think last year in my company we only had one guy leave service selection night disappointed, and he'd wanted SEALs.
     
  7. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    In my day, about the only people who knew in advance of their service selection were all the Nuke Power selectees. That's because they had to go to Washington, D.C. and get interviewed by Admiral Rickover.

    There was no "Leatherneck" for those desiring the Marine Corps. There were no interviews for any community other than Nuke. You didn't have to demonstrate any particular aptitude for any particular community.

    We did have to take the AQT/FAR (I think it's called something different nowadays) for aviation. But you either passed or failed. I don't think it really mattered if you did "well" or "poorly". For becoming a pilot, the big killer was the medical exam. It shot down a lot of people's dream to fly. If you didn't have uncorrected 20/20 vision - it was over. And, of course, a host of other physical/medical conditions would also make aviation an impossibility. Some people were disqualified for anthropometric reasons (i.e. too tall or some other dimension). There was no aviation "interview".

    I seriously do not recall a single person not getting what they wanted if they were qualified to get it. There must have been quotas of some kind, I imagine. But nobody ever told us what they were. Nobody thought much about being the "victim" of some quota. And I never recall anybody saying something like, "I wanted to fly, but they told me all the pilot slots were taken."

    Marines? It was not a very popular choice in my day. It was rare to even get 100 in a graduating class to go Marine Corps. The Marines were thrilled if anybody chose Marine Corps. Nowadays, it's quite popular with nearly a quarter of the graduating class going that route. That would have been absolutely unheard of in my day.

    Subs? Actually, in my day, that was a fairly popular choice. We were still embroiled in the Cold War with the Soviets and submarines seemed like the "tip of the spear" in the confrontation. We all heard interesting stories about cat & mouse games being played by U.S. and U.S.S.R. submarines. It was exciting. It was very Hunt-for-Red-October like! Today - submarines are not nearly as popular. We're not going to find any Taliban warriors 300' beneath the surface in the North Atlantic. It seems kind of pointless to anybody eager to make a difference in our nation's War on Terror. Plus, there's no internet! :smile:

    Also, they had a service selection called Surface-Air-option. You would initially go SWO and then, after you completed your first sea tour, you were guaranteed a community transfer into aviation. I believe the intent was to entice more people to go SWO. The irony of it was that few of these people ever opted for air because it would have extended their obligated service when they were only 2 years from getting out.

    Things are definitely different these days - for better or worse - depending on your perspective. It seems the Navy is much more "hands on" with the service selection process whereas, in our day, they seemed to pretty much let the chips fall where they may.

    Isn't it true that "Marine Air" and "Marine Ground" are no longer separate service selections? You have to select "Marine". If you want to fly, that is a separate request. If denied, you could end up with "Marine Ground" even if you only wanted to be in the Marine Corps if you could fly - right?

    And, isn't it the same with Navy Air? You could end up a pilot or an NFO (Naval Flight Officer)?

    It just seems the Navy is playing little "tricks" with service selection to get what they need.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah ... I know ... it's not your needs, it's the "needs of the service."
     
  8. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    The word we got (and I can give more details tomorrow after putting in my preferences) is we're only allowed to put down one Marines selection. So, USMC Air OR Ground. Navy pilot and NFO are still two separate selections. Last year they asked people who put USMC Air first and didn't get it whether they preferred ground or wanted to get considered by the Naval Aviation board. 77 put USMC Air first, there were 75 spots, both who didn't get air went ground. I don't know how that's going to work this year (there are significantly more air spots than last year.)
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    My day was much like Memphis'. However, the big difference was for women. I won't bore folks with the details but women weren't allowed in combat so most of us ended up with admin jobs and supply. We could also go Intel, Crypto, AMDO, etc. even if physically qualified. There were ~7 slots for pilots (all aggressor squadron and the like) and surface (mostly destroyer tenders that rarely left port). Female Marines couldn't fly.

    However, the process was the same -- other than Nukes you walked up and picked what you wanted. The big deal was NFO billets, which always went quickly b/c of the eye issue for pilots. Also, in our day, the USMC promised that, if you want USMCC and wanted to fly and were physically qualified to fly, you could fly. As a result, quite a few men went USMC simply to fly and that didn't always work out so well.

    I believe the current process is somewhat a result of the "failures" of the system from our day. But I agree with Memphis that there were very few disappointments -- among men or women.
     
  10. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    Marine Air

    Is it true that Marines must be choice #1 on a Midn selection list if the Firstie is interested in Marines :confused: ? And if Marine Air is #1 on the dream list, does the "selectee" recieve a " contract" assuring him/her a slot in flight school after successfully completing TBS and all medical qualifications ?

    GO NAVY
     
  11. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Marines can be put down as a choice even if it's not your top. However, the likelihood of getting USMC if its 2 or 3 is slim (unless 1 is SEALs/EOD), especially considering the summer training requirements (Leatherneck/MAGTF). Getting Marine Air means that, pending successful completion of TBS/flight physical, you are guaranteed to be able to report to flight school, but you can drop the contract and go Ground while at TBS. Conversely, there's usually a 2-3 flight spots open to Ground contracts at TBS, but these are extremely hard to get.

    The only things that have to be first are SEALs, Med Corps, SWO Options, and EOD (EOD can be put second only if the first choice is SEALs).

    Warning, boring details follow!

    Also, for those who are curious: firsties have to put down six selections if they've taken the ASTB (test required to pass for aviation fields), but only can put down four if they haven't taken or passed the ASTB. Because there's different standards for each service, it's possible to pass for Navy Air and not Marine Air, or for NFO and not pilot, etc. So, for example, if you've taken the ASTB, the preferences list could look like this:

    1: USMC (Air)
    2: Submarines
    3: Navy Pilot
    4: Navy NFO
    5: SWO
    6: SWO-Nuke

    If, not, it'd look something like this:

    1: Submarines
    2: USMC (Ground)
    3: SWO
    4: SWO-Nuke
    5:--
    6:--

    If you're NPQ'd from commissioning into the unrestricted line or USMC, you have four choices: Supply, Intel, Information Warfare, or Civil Engineers Corps (CEC). If you are physically qualified, these aren't even available as options to put down, aside from SWO-option. For example, since I'd PQ'd for commissioning, my status is cleared for stuff like USMC, SWO, and SWO-Intel (or another option), but "not cleared" for Intel.

    Service Selection (technically called "Service Assignment" now, which is probably more honest) is just that, you only find out your community. Ship selection and flight school/nuke school/TBS dates are all worked out later.

    Also, random question for usna1985: I've heard that there used to be an option for females called "general unrestricted line officer" which basically entailed doing shore tours for an entire career because females weren't allowed to qualify as SWOs, etc. Is this true?
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Absolutely true . . . in part. There was a General URL option -- and that's what most (more than 50%) of the women did. It wasn't that women couldn't qualify as SWOs, etc. -- rather, b/c women couldn't be in "combat," we couldn't be assigned to most ships or squadrons. Thus, there were very few ships (mostly destroyer or sub tenders) or squadrons (mostly aggressor squadrons) open to women and thus very few billets in the URL. I think ~7 women in my class went SWO and about the same number went pilot. Women could go USMC but could not fly in the Marines.

    Also, in my day, women who were PQ'ed could still select Intel, Crypto, AMDO, Supply, etc. and some of these were highly sought after billets.

    Yes, General URL was mostly, if not entirely, shore tours -- although not always in CONUS. Unfortunately, it was the best the USN could do until the combat restrictions were lifted in ~1993.
     
  13. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    It is my understanding that Marine Career field is not determined until end of TBS? Your Board selection for Marine Ground is done your Senior year at USNA after you select first choice Marine Ground after Leatherneck evaluation. Is it true that Marine Career track is not determined until end of TBS?
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Holy crap! Could this possibly be more complicated and convoluted?

    If you don't pick this first you won't get it unless you pick that first or second. If you pick it second, you might get it unless you don't get what you picked first provided that choice is this.

    Don't you wish you could just walk up to any desk and say something like, "I'd like to be a pilot" and they say, "Sure! Welcome to naval aviation! On the board you can see the remaining class dates. Which one do you want?"

    "Oh, I think I'll pick the next one available, August 3rd."

    "OK, we'll put you down for August 3rd. If you look on this other board, you will see the available TAD assignments. Do you see anything that interests you before your August 3rd class?"

    "Yes, what about that recruiting duty in San Diego from June 30th through August 1st?"

    "It's yours if you want it."

    "I'll take it!"

    "I'll put you down for that. Very good. We're all done here. Thank you for choosing Navy Air!"

    Seriously, it used to be very much like that.

    Those were the days. :smile:
     
  15. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    That's crazy and kind of sucks. Glad there's a different system now.
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It did . . . and I am too. Many of my female classmates who stayed in past 5 were able to take advantage of the relaxation of combat restrictions, as it was called. Several have commanded ships, etc. Likewise, even the restricted line officers had greater opportunities in that they could now serve on carriers, etc., which wasn't possible when we graduated.

    That said, it was what it was -- and it was a long time ago.

    As an aside, it is also the reason for many fewer women mids in those days. CGO had to be very careful about the number they admitted b/c there had to be jobs for them upon graduation -- and there were limited jobs. Once combat positions opened up, USNA quickly went to a gender-neutral admissions policy. Men and women now compete equally for appointments. That too is a good thing IMO.
     
  17. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    What are some of the unique differences/distinctions between choosing Marine Air vs. NAVY Air ? Don't both attend the same flight schools and train/ fly similar aircraft ? I'm assuming the Naval Air community is much larger than Marine Air( ?) .
    Thanks,
     
  18. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Correct in your assumption on the #s. However USMC pilots are much more likely to be flying hovercraft ... and that doesn't mean hoverounds!
     
  19. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Yes and no...there's still a significant number of Navy helos. As in, like, 60-70% (that's the number I've heard tossed around, at least) of Naval Aviators rock the rotor wing. It might not be quite that high, but it's a lot.

    The biggest difference between Marine and Navy aviation is that if you go Marine Air, you're a Marine. That might seem obvious, but it implies a different community, lifestyle and completely different service branch with a different mission, even for seemingly similar platforms. For example, the nonflying "shore tours" (or B-Billets for Marines) are not the same and emphasize different things with the exception of being a flight school instructor.

    Also, this is more what I had in mind when you said "hovercraft." Not the same thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. MIDNDAD

    MIDNDAD Member

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    Hurricane 12 Nails it. First and foremost you are a Marine! Some Marines fly, most don't but they are all Marines. If becoming a Marine Officer is not your #1 goal upon graduating from the Academy then it's real simple the Marines don't want you!
     

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