Question about Navy Careers

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 1mathboy1, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. 1mathboy1

    1mathboy1 Member

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    Hello, I got accepted into the Naval Academy, and I am thinking about going, although Air Force Academy is my first choice, and I am still waiting from them. What kind of math and science jobs are there in the Navy? Are there positions for scientist or researcher? Thanks in advance
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Coming out of USNA, almost everyone goes into one of the following areas: surface warfare, subs, pilot/NFO, USMC, SEAL/EOD. A handful go into these areas: intel, crypto, supply, aviation maintenance, CEC, med school. And a few other small communities I've missed.

    There is no direct career path out of USNA for a scientist or researcher of which I'm aware. I'm also not aware of USN officers from any source who hold such positions. Assuming there are (and there probably are) career officer scientists/researchers, my gut feel is that they are direct accessions/hires from industry rather than coming from USNA/ROTC/OCS.

    However, I am more than willing to be corrected on these points.:smile:
     
  3. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Not really.

    You should understand that, primarily, your job after graduation from any of the three, main service academies will be to fight this nation's wars; or, support those wars in some capacity.

    There are some medical school slots available from all three, but they are very competitive. By far, the Naval Academy takes the least into the Medical Corps compared to USMA & USAFA.

    Of course, there are post graduate opportunities available immediately after graduation (very competitive and limited), but that does not mean your final job will not be in a warfare community. You probably are not going to be a scientist.

    Even if you go to grad school later, that does not necessarily mean you will have a community transfer.

    The answer to your question is this: Very few.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    However, none of this precludes some scientific research job in the civilian world after you've completed your service obligation. You would probably want to get a Doctorate or work on your Masters after you leave the service in order to get your skills back up to speed.
     
  5. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Not really.

    If you're interested in that sort of thing, the EDO (engineering duty officer, or AEDO, aviation engineering duty officer) tracks may be up your alley. You can select SWO/Nuke sub EDO option at USNA but with the caveat that those jobs are only available after a couple years cutting your teeth in the fleet doing submarine/surface/aviation officer jobs and leading Sailors. If that's not interesting to you, you're barking up the wrong tree with the Navy/USMC.
     
  6. usnaco2017

    usnaco2017 New Member

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    @usna1985


    Everybody mentions how difficult it is to get in the med. corps through USNA, and I understand that. I was just wondering, is there a health/physician club at USNA to shed light on this possible career path to interested students? Or do they have to rely solely on their Chem major?
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    There's not an official club that I'm aware of, but the guys/gals that are serious about it self-identify (and are very competitive with one another) because of their similar track. Not all are chem majors: guys in the past couple years have selected Med Corps that are English majors, etc., but they all either validated a ton of stuff or did piles of summer school.

    You're probably tracking on this, but don't get your heart set on Med Corps. It's a very real possibility that it won't happen. There are extremely talented people every year who don't get selected. It sounds trite and over-used, but your ultimate goal in attending USNA should be serving as a Naval/Marine Corps Officer and if it happens to be as a doctor that's the icing on the cake.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'll echo what Hurricane said. USNA no longer discourages applicants from wanting to be MDs -- as it did a decade ago. However, they also want people applying to be realistic -- at most 24 mids (2% of the class) can go to med school each year directly out of USNA. In reality, 10-12 do. In the end, it's mostly up to USNA whether you can go.

    So, if your dream is to be a doctor should you attend USNA? Well, if your dream is to go directly to med school after "college," you're better off not going to USNA. However, if your goal is simply to be a doctor, you can do USNA then do a warfare specialty and then either get out and go to med school on your own or go through a program available to active duty officers. Not an insignificant number of USNA grads become doctors after fulfilling their USNA military commitment.

    As a former Chief Medical Officer at USNA said: You have the rest of your life to become a doctor. Do something fun first!
     
  9. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    At HUB a couple of weeks ago, we were advised that with the current economic/budget environment we shouldn't expect more than 10 med school selectees for the next few years.
    I fully endorse Hurrican and 1985 in their postings.
     
  10. usnaco2017

    usnaco2017 New Member

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    Thanks for your clarification! I will be looking forward to becoming the best Naval Officer that I can be (hopefully SWO).

    My CVW is coming up in either March or April. From your experiences, are there any monuments or places I should go? My father (retired Navy) is going as well, so I want to fully utilize this experience because this will be the first time we'll ever be in Annapolis.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I would go to the USNA museum. It's very well done (recently renovated). And the Chapel, including JP Jones' tomb. The Yard is relatively small so you can cover the whole thing in a few hours.

    As for Annapolis itself . . . not a clue. I'll defer to a parent as most mids consider it the walls of their "prison" not a tourist destination.:biggrin:
     
  12. MIDNDAD

    MIDNDAD Member

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    Just a reality check for you. Currently my DD is a Marine 2ndLT and is a Motor T platoon commander, responsible for 20+ Marines. She is currently finishing up a 6 week FEX at 29 Palms, one of the true garden spots in America.

    She recently sent me the following text:

    " Hi Dad, on my last graded event of the FEX. So far today we countered an IED, delt with local Afgans, and survived an ambush. Just another day at the office".

    You could call this applied science.
     
  13. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    As someone who spent the summer hanging paintings and picking out displays there (best TAD ever), go check out the museum.

    Don't know if they hit it during a tour or anything over the CVW, but go to Memorial Hall. It's easily the most powerful and meaningful place on the yard, and somewhere I made a point to visit at least a couple times a semester as a mid.
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I have some recent knowledge in this area that I think I should share with anybody who is thinking of pursuing the Medical Corps at the Naval Academy.

    There is a directive that limits the service academies to send no more than 2% of their graduates into the medical field (doctors and dentists - no nurses).

    However, each service is free to send less (or none), if they so choose. Unlike the Army & Air Force, the Navy has adopted the policy of less in the past few years. It seems they have settled upon no more than 10. Not eleven. Not twelve. It doesn't matter if 30 have preferenced this and would be otherwise a perfect choice for the Medical Corps. They only take 10. In fact, they'll take less than 10 if they are not pleased with the candidates.

    One of my sons had an Air Force Academy roommate last year (2/C year). That cadet was striving to become a doctor after graduation. He told my son, who was also trying to get into the Medical Corps, that, at USAFA they take many more into the medical field after graduation - over 20. (By the way, that kid did ultimately get selected to become an Air Force doctor.) West Point, I believe, takes over 20 and identifies them early. This cadet was amazed at how few the Naval Academy permitted.

    Does that mean it's easier to become a doctor at USMA & USAFA because they take more than USNA? Not necessarily. There's no way of knowing that. The chance of getting selected for Medical Corps at USNA is so remote - many don't even try. Plus, it's one of the least advertised of the service selection options. (The academy only touts it in their "Fulfill Your Destiny" campaign. Total misrepresentation! Once you get to the academy, you'll barely hear a peep about the Medical Corps) One would need to know how many cadets typically compete for the available slots to determine the probability of being selected. Because it's a more viable option, maybe many more compete for those slots.

    Having said that - for the most part, it is a self-selecting process. People fall off the radar screen for countless reasons other than the academy not selecting them. Inadequate grades, conduct/honor issues, unimpressive MCAT score, failed to shadow doctors, no community service activities, poor recommendations from professors, poor interview, etc. When the dust settles, there is very little selecting remaining on the part of the academy since the competition has built-in carnage.

    The real discouragement comes when you fall just short of the quota. The 11th and 12th Medical Corps applicants are designated as alternates. They still have to get accepted into a medical school, however. Imagine the motivation to fly off to a medical school interview knowing that, even if the medical school accepts you, the Navy will not permit you to attend.

    The irony is this: For many, the only thing standing in the way between them and a career in medicine is the Navy itself. Had they gone to a regular college (i.e. civilian) there would be no such restriction. Colleges do not have quotas for how many of their graduates are permitted to become doctors, or lawyers, or engineers, or anything. Only at a service academy.

    Both my sons were lucky - they were selected. But it was very stressful, especially when it comes time to sign your commitment papers prior to beginning your 2/C (i.e. junior) year at the academy. The Navy requires you to commit to them before they will commit to you.

    Caveat emptor!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    What Memphis says is correct (although I can't personally vouch for whether more than 10 might be allowed to attend med school in some years as I just don't know and it could vary by year, Supe, CNO, needs of the Navy, etc. 2% of the class is the cap.

    This is why BGOs are told not to discourage someone from attending USNA with the desire to be an MD but to be VERY clear and realistic about the chances. If you attend USNA with your ONLY desire to be an MD right after USNA, you face a very unhappy 5+ yrs doing something else. And that's not fair to you or to the folks you'll be working with/leading.

    However, if you are flexible, you can try for med school at USNA and, if it doesn't pan out, do your 5+ years and then get out and become a doctor or try for a medical accession program within the USN while on AD.
     
  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Very true.

    However, the amount of work (and extra work) to be competitive for a Medical Corps slot is tremendous. You have to really want it. And the more you want it, the less you want anything else - especially down the stretch. It's very difficult to work that hard and remain "flexible".

    For instance, my sons had to give up all summer leave during their 1/C year. They were still required to do their cruise - then they shadowed doctors at Walter Reed (Bethesda, MD) for a month - then they assisted with medical research at Wright Patterson Medical Center (Dayton, OH). This last assignment, although funded by the Naval Academy (stipend and lodging), was voluntary - although, not really - not if you wanted to be competitive.

    Even when they were home on leave they would shadow doctors in our hometown. That all has to be "on record" with recommendations if you plan to be competitive. It's relentless and it wears me out just to think about it. I'm glad it's over and it wasn't even me. :smile:
     
  17. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Ah, the one that portrays every USNA grad as becoming a doctor, Navy SEAL, astronaut, or Blue Angel?
     
  18. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    One anecdote on this specific question, and I'm confident it's application is SA-wide ...

    I've known of a number of students frustrated by the "whitman sampler" approach to their major area of study ... pure and applied sciences and engineering notably included.

    Simply not enough free Carnegie units to nurture much depth of subject matter for Mids in this mindset and state of need.

    If you're one who really wants an in-depth nano-science experience in ME or heavy duty oceanography, look at this closely. Even some in chem or other areas, focusing on the med school track, experience severe frustration when they are told "chem comes later. Put on your runnin' shoes or boots and cammies." :mad:

    And this is one of the major highways where life's rubber meets the Mid's road with the recognition that you ain't in Kansas anymo'~ :eek: And btw, what are 3 major current events breaking today, what's for chow, and gimme 20, scumbag!:frown:
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Memphis --

    Absolutely don't doubt you re what it takes today to go med corps. Agree that you have to give it 100% and then some if you want to go directly from USNA. Somewhat different from my day where you had to be determined but it wasn't as "crazy" as it sounds now.

    What I was trying to say is that, if you want to be an MD but are flexible about doing it a bit later in life, go to USNA and do something else first -- SWO, subs, USMC, etc. (i.e., forget about going directly to med school). Then become a doctor. Five yrs isn't forever and a decent number of folks go to med school after their service obligation.
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Yes. Again, you're right. The average age of a new medical student is 25yrs old. In other words, not right out of college.

    When my sons did their medical school interview at Bethesda, many of those interviewing were Lieutenants (and higher) from the fleet. One of my sons who interviewed at New York University said that not one of those being interviewed in his group was currently in college.
     

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