First Duty Station advice

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by USN16x, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Well the countdown begins! One more semester until commissioning! Although I do not need to submit a formal preference of duty stations until I pass the NCLEX sometime around June I would like to start making a tentative list and researching various locations. I am from New England and looking to branch out and try something new. Does anyone have any experience with Hawaii (tripler army medical center) or Ft Lewis in WA ( Madigan Army medical center) Thanks in advance!!
     
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  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Both of those you listed are new large urban centers, Seattle/Tacoma and Honolulu. Than can be attractive to many. Both also have a higher cost of living compared to most places which is something to keep in mind although the BAH does help reflect the housing costs.

    I can't say a lot about the working conditions so I'll keep more with living conditions. Traffic can be a mess around Ft. Lewis, the farther you live from base can add to that mess, the quality of the areas around Ft. Lewis vary greatly, there are nice areas and some to avoid. make sure you try and visit the area or get a lot of info from others stationed there about where to live and how the commute is to base.

    You can find some nice areas close to work in Hawaii to help keep the commute down but the rents are high as are the utilities. Don't be surprised when you compare what you get in Hawaii for your full BAH to those in other areas that don't have to spend their entire BAH. Not much else to say about Hawaii other then it's beautiful and if you like outdoor activities and the water you will stay busy on your off time, except for the False Missile alerts it can be a great place to live. (Never want to relive the conversation we had with our son Sat. morning)
     
  3. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Thank you for your insight!
     
  4. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    I can tell you that my daughters preceptor was transferred to Tripler after she did 4 years at Fort Sam and finished the E.R. course. She absolutely loves it out there even though she didn't request it. She has dependents and gets over $3300 BAH. Another nurse that my daughter trained is leaving Fort Sam on Friday and heading for Tripler as well. She also took the E.R. course and asked for Tripler as far as I know.

    I lived on Honolulu myself long ago at Kaneohe Bay (Marine base) and took my wife back several years ago to show her where I lived on base. Traffic on Oahu was not pretty and that was 10 years ago. I can't imagine what it must be like now.
     
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  5. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

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    Given you are a nurse I think my priority in locations would be based on where I can best take the next step to do what I want as a nurse. Do I want to be critical car...I should go somewhere with a robust critical care ward. Do I want to be a CRNA...I should go somewhere with a robust/diverse OR and maybe one of the CRNA training hospitals. Do I want to be at a residency training hospital and learn/deal with physician interns/residents...etc.

    As a fresh out of school nurse I would probably consider those aspects more than location. You only get one chance to place the foundation for your future, you have many chances to go to a particular location.
     
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  6. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Solid advice!
     
  7. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    With the Army, you're essentially going to work a Med/Surg floor wherever you go. After 18 months, you can start thinking about what direction you're interested in going....assuming you decide to stay in because attending a specialty school is going to incur your time in service. Most of the specialty schools (ER, OB, Burn unit) are back in San Antonio.
     
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  8. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Correct, my mindset is if I'm going to be on a med-surg for 2/3 years I might as well be adventurous and live in a new part of the country!
     
  9. Jbmz

    Jbmz Member

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    Sir, It's your lucky day.

    (I apologize in advance for the poor use of grammar, usage, and mechanics.)

    I'm from Ohio and I've lived in New England a few years for college. As a guy that likes winter, there's way too much snow but there are some pretty nice falls. I enlisted and I chose Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM or Fort Lewis) as my first pick. I've been here since may and I love it. I imagine Hawaii is nice to be stationed at but many people choose this duty station to retire here and frankly I don't blame them. I'm actually planning to find ways I can haul the rest of my stuff in my storage box in Ohio out here so I can live in Upper Left, USA. It's one of the better CONUS Army duty stations. Amongst all of the soldiers that I talk with, it's either hit or miss with JBLM.

    But It really depends upon what you want to do and your attitude. I'm a man with simple tastes and take joy in small things. I don't drink or party outrageously like a lot of my friends in my unit. I like exploring and just good clean wholesome fun.(Jeez I'm only 23 and I sound like an old man....) Yes it rains a lot. However, the days when the sun breaks out can give some really nice rainbows. One day I saw a full 180 rainbow and then another one on top of it. Last summer was nice and this winter hasn't been too bad so far. In the 7 months I've been here I've visited Portland, went to go see a temple by lake Oswego, Went up to Seattle for an international car show, Bought a car in Concrete, sold it and bought another car in Bainbridge Island. I've visited Gray's Harbor and climbed up Washington's tallest lighthouse. Went to Cannon Beach, OR too. The travel radius is 200miles without getting a pass which is pretty generous. You can probably visit Vancouver, BC, CA if you wanted to. I haven't but I intend to. I also intend to go up the space needle and go to a sounders game eventually. Seahawks if you like football. Your unit might have you go to Yakima and YTC. Possibly Korea. Fair warning. Traffic Sucks. I was here when the Amtrak derailed. I was on my way to the Post office and there was a huuge line of traffic backed all the way up a good mile or two from the Dupont Gate. Olympia is pretty. So is Bellevue. Microsoft, Amazon, Valve if you're into video games. I think PAX was here last summer but I missed out :(

    Like driving? Listen to a Boards of Canada album and just drive down a state route near the coast(SR105). You won't be sorry.

    On a good day at JBLM you can actually get a clear in your face view of Mt. Rainer. I'll attach some pictures. You might be working in MAMC right? Go up to an office on one of the higher floors to view Mt. Rainier (7th floor- Refractive Eye Surgery clinic is a good spot). The cool part about being on an ArmyAFB is that there are all sorts of aircraft taking off and landing all the time. It makes the kids go wild when they see a huge jet come in really low over the base getting ready to land. When I walk past the Airfield on the Army side of the base I get so hooah just seeing the rotaries hovering over the grass. PRT is bearable because I can see the beautiful evergreen forest line every morning before I salute the colors.

    That's all I got. I would say PM me if you want more details but I don't think I've reached my post count yet.
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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  10. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Wow what an informative post and those pictures are breath taking thank you!!
     
  11. Jbmz

    Jbmz Member

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    Here's one more. I just took this one today. Amazing Double Rainbow.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. brob

    brob Member

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    Why not consider really expanding your horizons and go to Germany, where this is also a major army medical center? That's where my DD has her sights set in a few years.
     
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  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Join the service... see the world. DS's first Marine duty station is Okinawa. So far he's been to 'mainland' Japan twice, climbed Mt. Fuji with his girlfriend to see the sunrise, been to Hong Kong and Kowloon, and just met his girlfriend for two weeks mountain climbing and scuba diving in Australia over Christmas. Take advantage of the opportunities, especially if they also line up with career opportunities.
     
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  14. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    +1

    DS's top choices were Qatar and Kuwait. He got Kuwait. Tax Free income. Sharia enforced clean living. TSP (saving plan paying 10% on up to $10k while in Combat Zone) Yes. One of the safest countries in the world is a combat zone. Much to see in the region: Oman, Petra, Turkey. Unbelievable airline connections from Qatar and UAE make for easy 4-5 day weekends in far flung places with adult beverages and pork.

    Many, if not most newly minted O-1's want to stay close to home, BF/GF's, spouses etc. In many branches, this creates better career opportunities in the more far off Duty Stations.
     
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  15. USN16x

    USN16x 5-Year Member

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    Thank you all for your input! I was for a time considering the DC area to just stay close to friends and family but researching it on my own and listening to everyone's input I think heading out west is the way to go! Now fingers crossed I end up at one or the other and not somewhere like hood or bliss!
     
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  16. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Just get out there and see the world before you acquire spouse, house, kids, aging Elders, etc. At some point in your life, you may be physically unable to travel.

    As a single JO, I went to Spain and Italy, 5.5 years total. The opportunity to live in a foreign country, immerse yourself in the culture, travel extensively, broaden your horizons - shaped my life. AND - your friends and family will want to come visit you. Some of my best memories.

    I had two tours in Pearl Harbor. When else in your life are you going to get to live full-time in Hawai’i? Get to see all the other accessible islands? More than once? On weekends? With your bike and new friends? Great opportunity to take up a new outdoor sport. I joined the Navy Women’s Outrigger Club and Hawai’i Trail and Mountain Club. HTMC gets permission to hike on private land, and you get to see the real Paradise parts of the Islands. Misty valleys, falls, ancient ruins, stunning views.

    Several of our sponsored USNA mids-now-alumni have had duty there. Most had a roommate and lived comfortably in nice condos with community pools a few blocks from the beach in Kailua or Kaneohe; easy enough commute via H-3, Likelike or Pali through stunning mountain passes to Tripler. Rainbows most days, double and triple ones often. Local and military discounts. Plenty of help and advice on finding places to live. And, did I mention friends and family? We kept the guest room stocked with beach towels, beach bags, tourist brochures and a list of recommendations.

    Just go. Of course, that’s me. I’m in the mood right now, because DH and I have a cruise coming up, and I just booked a zip lining rain forest canopy excursion in Costa Rica and a volcano hike in Nicaragua. Work hard, play hard.