Sub Drafting

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by COmom, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. COmom

    COmom Member

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    DS is looking for some insight from those of you with experience with the "sub drafting" process. He is a youngster, so he has a couple more years before service selection. However, he has spoken to several new Ensigns and current submarine officers, who didn't have submarines as their first choice and were pressured to move into that community.

    DS is majoring in mechanical engineering and currently has a high OOM (he recognizes that he has a long path yet and his OOM will change). His current desire would be to go into the EOD or aviation communities. Recognizing that every year is different in terms of numbers of officers needed versus mids volunteering for the various communities, does anyone have any insight into how the process works for sub drafting? Assuming he gets his ducks in a row for the requirements for both EOD and aviation, is he likely to still be a desirable candidate for subs?
     
  2. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    EOD is a slightly different animal than the other communities because it has special extra requirements: performing well on the EOD screener during 2/C year and then getting the okay on an EOD cruise. He will know well before service selection if he is a viable candidate for EOD.

    Subdrafting was more common with 2009 and 2010 than my class; he may be running into these guys on summer training. My class turned people away from subs and I don't think many if any people actually got the draft. Nuke SWO did draft some who had conventional SWO first, though.

    If he is a target for subs he will be called in for a service assignment review board (SARB) firstie year. Basically, he would have to stand in front of a bunch of officers from his target community and subs and have to defend why he wanted to go aviation (for example) versus subs. The typical target for SARBs my year were those who had Navy Pilot first and then subs ("Why don't you have NFO second?") or were SWO and were nuke targets, with the occasional person who wanted pilot but was seen as a weak candidate. A SARB is not a death sentence for his aviation dreams, and I know many people who "survived" and are now in flight school.

    My memory is fuzzy since this was now almost two years ago, but f I remember correctly some people who would have been sub targets and wanted aviation (specifically) were "protected" by being people that the Navy Air community
    wanted. Some were also "drafted" NFO that wanted SWO because they had ASTB scores on file and had (for example) done poorly on nav or something.

    If your son continues to do well at USNA he would be a desirable candidate for subs, but if he does well enough he would likely not get poached for subs. Confusing enough?
    If he's really worried, keep in mind that subs take ~120-150 people per ear; Navy Air takes 250+ between SNA and SNFO.
     
  3. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    While Hurricane12 has it right, "Needs of the Navy" trumps personal choices. As I tell my candidates, they need to prepare to do anything from Marine Corps to Submarines. So I would say that option is on the table AND needs to be strongly considered in the event that scenario plays out -- it is better to err on the side of worst case scenario vs. "what are my chances of X not happening."
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Also, the same sort of thing can happen once you're in a warfare community. In theory, if you stand first in your aviation school class, you get to pick your platform. Had a friend who stood first and was given a platform not of his choice b/c they wanted really good pilots in that community. Happened to me (but not in aviation) as well.

    BGO08 is right -- needs of the Navy/USMC always come first. While excelling typically puts you in a better position to get the assignment, etc. you want, it doesn't always work out that way. It's a concept civilians often have a hard time grasping but, once you're in the military, you learn to "accept" it.
     
  5. Seavoyager

    Seavoyager Member

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    If he does get "sub drafted", he will still need to go through interviews at Naval Reactors in D.C. and get cleared by the admiral. I know a few of my classmates who wanted subs and didn't pass the interview, and likewise with classmates that were sub drafted.
     
  6. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    DS should probably keep an open mind. I know a rising Firstie who has been in Hawaii for a couple of weeks on a summer "training" block but is essentially being courted by the sub community. 'Signing' bonus and salary aren't too shabby either:smile:
     
  7. COmom

    COmom Member

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    Thanks!

    Thank you for all of your comments/insights/advice. DS understands needs of the navy trumps personal wishes, but was looking for some additional insight as to the service selection process.

    As usual, Hurricane 12, you have been most helpful in explaining how the process works. Apparently he's going to have to work on his peers to get them to volunteer for subs so that his class mimics the 2012 service selection preferences!

    FYI, DH is a retired submariner, so we have some background with that community (and dad keeps telling him he'd be a good fit, but he's not buying it at this point). :smile:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, we all know from personal experience that Dad doesn't know anything, until you're approaching 30 anyway. :rolleyes:
     
  9. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    COmom,

    Aside from maintaining a high OOM and passing screeners some of the service selection process may involve being "selected" by the service especially in the smaller communities like Special Warfare. It pays to network as much as possible with people from those communities and take every opportunity to experience any training available. DS had a training block with EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base this summer - a great experience. He will be a 2C this year so there are some opportunities even before mini-BUD/S or EOD cruise. Good luck to your DS.
     
  10. osdad

    osdad Member

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    DS should request a sub cruise next summer if possible. My DD was one a few women selected her year and those 24 days under the Atlantic solidified her choice...to not go to subs. :biggrin: But it will give your DS a perspective from which to make an informed decision.
     
  11. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    My S got some really bizarre questions from the admiral in his interview. Rickover lives!
     
  12. COmom

    COmom Member

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    Kinnem--yes, DH and I are getting wiser and wiser as our 3 children age; the older the kid, the smarter we are. :smile:

    AikiBudo--many thanks for the advice. DS has been talking to officers of the various communities, including EOD and Aviation, as well as upperclassmen. He also tried out for the EOD training block this summer, but his PST wasn't as good as your son's! He's been working out and concentrating on his weaker areas to see if he can improve enough get selected next year.

    Osdad--DS requested and got a submarine cruise this summer (as well as powered flight, which he loved). Although he enjoyed the cruise, especially getting to know the officers and crew, it also confirmed that the submarine community wasn't going to be his first choice.

    I really appreciate all of the feedback based on your various experiences--very helpful during the application process 2 years ago and continues to be helpful while "navigating" USNA.
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    At the Navy bowl game in December, 2010, (Class of 2011) I met a mid who had indeed been drafted. As I recall, the signing bonus was either $30k or $40k. Eases the disappointment a bit. I got the idea, though I could be completely wrong, that about 20 such draftees were in that class.

    To echo what everybody else has said, the most important phrase regarding Service Community selection/assignment is "The needs of the Navy". And you can't game it, period. Besides the integrity issue, sometimes a high OOM position gets you drafted, sometimes a lower OOM gets you drafted. I think the only predictible place is to have done well enough in your first choice community to get protected, as one poster above mentioned. The bottom line is that when a mid takes the Oath, there is not a lot of quarter for personal preference or comfort. That is of course balanced by the fact that the Navy wants satisfied officers who wholeheartedly pour themselves into their service... and officers funtioning in the Community that matches them best, in terms of satisfaction, are better officers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    It's actually quite easy to avoid the "sub draft" if you know how this game is played.

    PM me and I'll advise you how your mid can dodge this. My method is tried and proven even if the midshipman has a bullseye on his head and is forced to interview.

    I had several parents come to me whose midshipman was being targeted. Not a single one of them went subs.
     
  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I somewhat disagree with this. There are certainly ways of increasing your odds, not the least of which is doing well. But, besides achieving a high order-of-merit, there are certain do's and don't's that, if you're not aware of them, you can fall victim to being "voluntold" when you otherwise would not have.

    Let me give you a very small example, something I know a lot about because it just happened with the class of '13.

    In recent history, the Naval Academy has only been permitting 10 midshipmen into the Medical Corps. There is a directive that allows them to take more - but the Navy has opted to get the bulk of their doctors from other commissioning sources - not USNA.

    As in previous years, this past year, they selected only 10. They designated one midshipman as an alternate. The alternate was forced into his second choice because he was not one of the 10. The alternate will not be allowed to go into the Medical Corps unless two things happen: 1) One of the primary ten drop out for some reason and 2) he gets accepted into a medical school.

    Getting accepted into medical school is a time consuming and expensive ordeal. You have to fly all around the country and be interviewed with no guarantee of being accepted. You have to fill out applications and write essays. And, even if he does get accepted, the Navy is not going to permit him to attend medical school because he was not one of the 10. It's a waste of time and money. Usually, the alternate gives up and moves on with his life.

    This kid did not!

    Although he was very bright and would've been a perfect choice for submarines, he chose SWO. Did he really want SWO over subs? No!

    Prior to being told he was not one of the 10 selected for MedCorps, his top three preferences, in order, were 1) MedCorps 2) Subs 3) SWO. Once he found out that he was a MedCorps alternate, he quickly changed his preferences to 1) MedCorps 2) SWO 3) Subs.

    He did complete all the medical school essays and paid their application fees. He missed classes to attend interviews. Ultimately, he was accepted into George Washington University Medical School. But, unfortunately, none of the other 10 dropped out - all of whom got accepted into medical schools themselves.

    It looks like SWO for this kid - right?

    Wrong!

    He called the Navy's bluff. He put the Navy in the awkward position of getting accepted into medical school when they thought he was not prime medical school material. Well, apparently, George Washington University disagreed.

    I guarantee you, had this kid selected submarines - he would've been screwed. They would have never allowed him to back out of that service selection. He knew that the Navy would be much more agreeable in allowing him to drop his SWO selection.

    And they did!

    The Navy made an exception to their own, self-imposed rule and allowed ELEVEN to go into the Medical Corps.

    There was a little gamesmanship in that process, wouldn't you agree?

    It made a huge difference in this deserving midshipman's life.
     
  16. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ agreed.
     
  17. chickwebb

    chickwebb New Member

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    Memphis9489, tried to PM you to take you up on your offer, but I don't have enough posts! :rolleyes: Can you PM me with info on avoiding the draft so that I can share that with DS? Thanks.
     
  18. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    chickwebb, why not just create about 20 post in a row, right here in this thread, with something like "trying to get my post count up" ?:smile:

    There's always a way to get to the objective!

    Which reminds me of that Jack Nicholson scene in 5 Easy Pieces. He tried to order toast to go with his omelet instead of a roll. The waitress said they have a rule against substitutions. After about a minute of back and forth frustration, he asked "Do you have a chicken salad sandwich?" to which she replied that they do. So he said, FINE, "I'll take a chicken salad sandwich with toasted bread. Hold the lettuce, hold the mayo. Now, all you gotta do is hold the chicken, and I get what I want and you haven't broken any rules."

    See, there's always a way to get around a silly system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  19. chickwebb

    chickwebb New Member

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    Yes, I suppose. But the signal-to-noise ratio on these interwebz is high enough without my adding to it. Memphis, thanks very much for your response, BTW - I tried to send you a PM, but...

    With regards to "Bobby" and the restaurant scene in "Five Easy Pieces", I believe that he got thrown out shortly thereafter and got neither his omelet or the toast! That falls under the heading of "Question Authority... And the Authorities Will Question You," doesn't it? :wink:
     

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