A career in the Navy question?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 25, 2008
How many times will I have to be on a ship, that is deployed, or leaves port? I know it probably varies from job to job, but I was wondering which jobs are on ship the most and which the least? It's not that I don't want to be on a ship, I do, but I don't want to spend most of my career on one, how do you meet someone? I don't want to sound selfish, but I was just wondering, how many tours on average someone does on a ship.

If someone could direct me to another site if that helps, thanks.

Also, another question I'm thinking more and more about is Enlisting right of H.S. for 2 years, then hopefully go to Notre Dame or the Naval Academy. I would go in as an E-3, because I'm an Eagle Scout (that is true, right?). I was wondering how mny jobs would be available on my "Dream Sheet". My dad says (But this is Coast Guard, and back like 20+ years ago) As an Ensign officer, you could basically go wherever you want, because everyone needs Ensigns. Is this also true today for Enlisted Navy? I would like to return to where I was born, Honolulu, if possible for the two years, how likely would it be do you think that I would get a job there?


Ohh, and one final question, do they give bonus' for enlisting in the Navy? I'm not sure where I got this in my head, amybe it's those Army commercials, but is that true? Is it based off H.S. grades or just ASVB test scores?

Thanks again, sorry it's probably a little confusing.

E: And would it be possible to advance to E-4 in just 2 years?
Well, I'm a JROTC cadet (as my signature says) and I'll tell you what I know...
Yes being an eagle scout is a promotion to E-3 which will get you less than 1600 a month. And while yes that's a lot more than you're probably making now and with few bills (cell phone or better cable if you choose those) you can absolutely live on that, it is NOT a lot of money. I had a recruiter (now at OCS) who had a room mate that spent all his money on xbox games and food so you can do it.
Depending on your ASVAB score you may or may not get an "indemand" job which may or may no be on your "dream sheet". From there you can look at getting a good bonus and possibly makeing some demands deployment wise. I believe bonuses are mostly for the rate but the Navy may have some more like the MC one for going to basic within like 30 days. However with bonuses, they change and so that really is something you need to talk to a recruiter about.
I'm not sure if "meritous" promotion is a possibility to E-4 and since (at least AF) promotions are job and Naval (AF) knowledge based I'm not sure that you could know your job well enough in two years.
IDK about the Navy but I know Japan is a VERY common first deployment for the AF and I'm guessing that "ideal" places like HI are gonna be more indemand and going to be harder to be assigned to as a junior memeber but that's just a guess.
In regard to your question about ensigns I don't know. This is just a guess but I'm going to say that you are probably going to spend a lot of time on a ship regardless of rate and for singles I don't know what kind of shore leave there is. If the idea of long term ship life is a concern I would suggest either not making the Navy a career or considering a different branch. If you are set on a Navy career definately talk to a recruiter about more shore based ops and do research on your own into those options.
Hope that was of some help.

I'm kind of starting to have second thoughts about the Navy. I'd probably at least join for 6 years, especially if I have a NROTC scholly, and see if I like it. But I wouldn't mind doing 2 or 3 tours on a ship. But I lover the water, so I'm think of following in my dad's footsteps, the Coast Guard. He only had to do one tour on a ship, but like I said I wouldn't mine doing more, but the CG does do less tours regarding ships.
Hope this helps a little

Futureplebe, lets address the issue of Naval Academy / NROTC first: You have to ask yourself if you are competitive or not. With your parents, meet with your local B&G officer and he'll be frank with you. Remember, you'll never know unless you apply.

Now as far as enlisted Navy: I'm a retired senior chief petty officer and my twilight tour was Navy recruiting. The Navy is much like the other branches and company, they deal with supply and demand...simple as that. Of course a lot has to do with your job field (if its a sea-going rate or not) and the Navy's needs. All branches of the military has including the Coast Guard have personnel at the "sand box" right now, it's just based on the branch of how you get there. I myself personally trained with and served alongside coast guard personnel boarding ships (coast guards are the specialist at this) and checking cargo to manifest in the Arabian Gulf. Some ships were not to happy when they were diverted to safe ports for closer inspections.

My advice to you and your parents: Take this opportunity and apply for everything you can (i.e. service academies, ROTC), and take the advise of your B&G officer to the max. If you don't get in the first year, you might be offered NAPS, Foundation etc. Each branch is unique in their own way but I'm privy towards of course the Navy. You do not want to go through life singing your "Shoulda-Coulda-Wouldas."

I am a very proud dad of a 2012 plebe. I advised her on the pros and cons of officer vs enlisted ranks. My kids had only observed-or really comprehended my time in the Navy during my senior ranks and the pomp and prestige it brings. But as your dad can attest, working your way up through the ranks no matter what job field your in, can be challenging and also humbling. I had my daughter also do ships visit and talk to enlisted, and I also advised her to really listen what was in her heart and no matter what decision she makes, we'll support her.

Deployments will always be their. It's our bread and butter, and its what we do best. It feels great to pull into a foreign port and watching the locals jaw drop at awe, wondering how a 200,000 plus ton steel man-o-war (carrier) can possibly float with all of that fire power.

If you need more advise on the ins and outs of recruiting, feel free to PM me anytime. As a plebe parent that ASSISTED (key word here- have to let you do most if not all of the work - it will mean so much more to you) his daughter on the road to the Naval Academy, I can advise or this forum, including the other one (CC-something) can assist you with everything you would ever want to know about applying.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box and I hope I help just a bit.
c6cvehicle, many thanks for your insightful post. Congrats on your daughter's achievements & thank you for your service. I hope you'll continue with your great advice here! It is very much appreciated!
My pleasure Jamzmom, it is the least I can do. Lord knows this forum including the CC one got us through some tough times during the process.
How many times will I have to be on a ship, that is deployed, or leaves port?

It depends. First, it depends on your warfare specialty. Are you going to be a surface warfare officer, submariner, aviator, or Marine? If an aviator, what platform will you end up flying (a handful don't deploy on carriers). Some USMC MOS's are more likely to deploy than others. Also, it depends on the world situation. Obviously, there are more and longer deployments today than there were 10 yrs ago. In the "old" days, they tried for a 6-months deployed, 12 months at home rotation. Of course, you spent some of those 12 months at sea, doing deployment workups, various exercises, etc. I don't think they manage that at all today, but am not sure.

Also, after doing a sea tour, you'll almost certainly do a shore tour, meaning you won't deploy. In GENERAL, you do sea tour/shore tour/sea tour/shore tour . . . throughout your career. If you do the minimum 5 yrs, you'll do one sea tour and one shore tour (you'll be eligible to leave during that tour). The sea tour will likely have at least 2 (6-month) deployments.

Also, another question I'm thinking more and more about is Enlisting right of H.S. for 2 years, then hopefully go to Notre Dame or the Naval Academy.

This option exists but MOST (again, not all) enlisted that end up at USNA come from the submarine community. Enlisting is a great option for many people. However, if you enlist and don't get into the program of your choice, you must still complete your 4-yr (I believe it is) enlistment. Be sure you're prepared to do that.

I would go in as an E-3, because I'm an Eagle Scout (that is true, right?).

I've never heard of this; someone else may know.

As an Ensign officer, you could basically go wherever you want, because everyone needs Ensigns.

Service selection is based on your class standing, aptitude, among other things. It's a "mutual" choice, with the final choice always resting with the USN/USMC. I'm not as familiar with Enlisted options, but I think that you may have some say in what you do, along with your ASVAB (a test that shows your skills, etc.). I believe some people are "guaranteed" certain enlisted specialities, assuming they qualify, but you would need to check with an enlisted recruiter for details.

As for your other questions, unless there is a recent prior enlisted on this board, you are probably better off raising your questions elsewhere, as this board/forum is primarily targeted at those wishing to attend SAs.
I worked with a guy at a Boy Scout camp this summer that is going to the Marine Corps directly afterwards and he said he's getting promoted to E-3 immediately after Boot b/c of his Eagle Scout. I've heard of other ways that people could get a person promoted to E-3, but I've never met anyone that has actually got them so I won't put them up here.
I do not believe you can be promoted to E-3 in the Marine Corps for ANY reason right after basic. I have not EVER heard or read of any way to do that. Most things that are E-3 for other branches (eagle scouts, JROTC) are only E-2 because remember the MC does not promote for "graduating" basic. As I live in one of the major cities that is closest to Parris Island I can tell you it is VERY common to see a bunch of slick-sleeves walking around the mall in uniform on a field trip.
futureplebe said:
I would go in as an E-3, because I'm an Eagle Scout (that is true, right?).
usna1985 said:
I've never heard of this; someone else may know.

Yes it's true.

There are lots of ways to enter at E-2 or E-3 when enlisting in the Navy (Sea Cadets, JROTC, Eagle Scout, Civil Air Patrol, Young Marines, or college credits are a few of them).

The USMC will also promote to PFC (E-2) upon graduation from recruit training for Eagle Scout, as well as the other criteria listed above.

Altaica103 said:
I do not believe you can be promoted to E-3 in the Marine Corps for ANY reason right after basic.

Incorrect, you can make Lcpl (E-3) by graduating as Company Honor Man