NROTC Commissioning and Uniforms (and other growing-up and doing it on your own questions)

hockeygirl

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Dec 24, 2015
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Does anyone have advice on what I should be getting for uniforms (or other useful items) to have following commissioning and entering the fleet?
Abbott's package seems a bit expensive and I haven't really been able to find too many other options- any advice here? I was service assigned SWO-N so for the next couple of years I will be on a ship, should I try to get coveralls now or wait?

My unit hasn't really provided much support so any and all advice is welcome! Also anything I can get my hands on about PCSing and would be helpful as well- and while this might seem too soon I would rather be over-informed than wait until the last minute and deal with something I don't understand.
 

hockeygirl

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Another question I have since I am just going to pile it all in onto this thread is about my birth control prescription and how I might be able to get it transferred over to a Tricare doctor. Or if I should just try to get the implant while I'm on my parent's insurance and not have to worry about issues with getting the pills while in the middle of the ocean. Or if there are other considerations I should be making about this particular issue,,,
 

Capt MJ

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Another question I have since I am just going to pile it all in onto this thread is about my birth control prescription and how I might be able to get it transferred over to a Tricare doctor. Or if I should just try to get the implant while I'm on my parent's insurance and not have to worry about issues with getting the pills while in the middle of the ocean. Or if there are other considerations I should be making about this particular issue,,,
I pulled my original answer after @NavyHoops kindly reminded me of your NROTC not USNA status. I shouldn’t ever try to respond on an iPhone in full sun and not be sure what forum I am in.

First and foremost, in consultation with the appropriate healthcare provider, make the right birth control method decision for you. Be fully prepared as you head toward your first duty station; you never know if you are joining a ship halfway around the world mid-deployment. Once you are on AD, you can make an appointment for routine gyn care at the base hospital or military medical clinic - ask for a “Well Woman” exam - and your military provider will update your military medical record with a method you agree on and create the Rx. You will fill that at the military TRICARE pharmacy likely located in the same complex as the military healthcare clinic. TRICARE pharmacies are free to you, of course.
Down the road, when you know you are deploying, you go see your doc and figure out how to manage the logistics with a jumbo refill. Women have been deploying since the 70’s; you will get the hang of it.

Your ship should assign you a fellow JO as a sponsor to help get you settled, answer questions in advance, and shipboard uniforms are a good topic. The minute you know your ship, do your best to be proactive with your sponsor about all the PCS and uniform stuff.

Abbot uniforms are nice, but they may or may not match exactly with what’s available in the Navy Exchange Uniform Shop, as you replace individual pieces down the road.

The Navy Uniform Shop is available online, free shipping. I think by now you are in the DEERS system with your SSN, so you can go to the link below and create a log-in. These uniform items are the same as in the NEX stores, if you are near one of those. Any military base tailor shop with tailor your uniforms (hems, etc.) free of charge if tags are still on, as I recall

Navy Uniform Regs should tell you what uniforms are required and what are optional.

That first uniform stock-up is always expensive. Tell family you need cash gifts for birthday, holiday, graduation. Let the doting grandparents buy you that pristine officer cover or all the Ensign shoulder boards, insignia, etc. Do not procrastinate in buying - think of all the new Ensigns across the country popping out of USNA, NROTC and other sources April-May-June. Space it out. You do not need to buy a sword. It’s not a required item until you are a LCDR, and it’s a royal pain to travel with.


From the Navy Fleet and Family Service Center:


Not an official source, but reliable info:

Finally, do not worry about looking stupid or doing stupid things. You will, but this is the best time in your career to make stupid mistakes. Those shiny butter bars announce to the world you are as green as can be, and people will help, though teasing is part of it. Do your research, and if you can’t figure something out, ask nicely and express appreciation, and pay it forward when you are saltier.
 
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NavyHoops

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Capt MJ, as always, gave great advice!

One thing... if you are seeing your provider for an update on birth control this year and get a script, I would recommend to ask them for a copy of that and the results that way when you schedule your exam once on active duty they can see the results of the exam and your current script.

Once you have your ship and sponsor that will help alot in knowing how all this plays out. You will then know if you are joining a ship on deployment, port, dry dock, etc. This will dictate the need for your current doctor to help you load up on things if needed, being able to establish a well woman visit on base, etc.

As far as uniforms, definitely expensive. Your sponsor should be able to help, but that won't obviously come until after the holidays as I believe ship selection is in Jan. Holiday and graduation gifts are great ways to help knock out some uniform expenses. Gift cards are always great, but I know some folks want to pick out tangible items. Picking out certain items like a cover, shoulder boards, etc and providing that pricing to family/friends (ordering is difficult and would have to be done by you more than likely) is a great way to get items you need, and family/friends feeling like they are getting you a tangible gift. I didn't go Navy, so can't necessarily speak to number of uniforms needed but guessing the working uniforms are the most needed out of the gate. Also, on Facebook there is a Female Navy Officers page. Hopefully with you being a 1/C they will let you join, if not you could ask them if there is a SWO Ensign out there who could help answer some questions. The page is pretty supportive.
 

Devil Doc

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One thing... if you are seeing your provider for an update on birth control this year and get a script, I would recommend to ask them for a copy of that and the results that way when you schedule your exam once on active duty they can see the results of the exam and your current script.

Once you have your ship and sponsor that will help alot in knowing how all this plays out. You will then know if you are joining a ship on deployment, port, dry dock, etc. This will dictate the need for your current doctor to help you load up on things if needed, being able to establish a well woman visit on base, etc.
All great advice. Females on ships with no medical officer aboard (about 80 percent of the fleet) are cared for by the ship's Independent Duty Corpsman just like the male members of the crew. We have female specific meds to include BCPs. We, IDCs, even know how to do GYN exams. Pretty simple really. Having females on combatants, shooters, has been a thing for about three decades. If though a female member should require a visit to a real doctor, that female member will rest assured, be scheduled for that appointment.
 

Capt MJ

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All great advice. Females on ships with no medical officer aboard (about 80 percent of the fleet) are cared for by the ship's Independent Duty Corpsman just like the male members of the crew. We have female specific meds to include BCPs. We, IDCs, even know how to do GYN exams. Pretty simple really. Having females on combatants, shooters, has been a thing for about three decades. If though a female member should require a visit to a real doctor, that female member will rest assured, be scheduled for that appointment.
Great fleet input from our resident senior IDC, adding to the chorus of “you’ll figure it out, you’ll be fine.”
 

Devil Doc

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I went to the Tricare portal to put in my med refills. It told me I had to go in to the pharmacy instead of the drive through. Not usually a big deal as I live about a mile from the Dumfries clinic. I drove over after work and the place was packed. I came back home and will try another day. I was a member of Navy Medicine for going on three decades and toward the end was at the highest level. In retirement my wife and I receive care that is among the best on the planet. Healthcare in the USN is a different animal due to our environs, but that just makes us try harder. That in turn results in a higher level of care at all levels.
 
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